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What is Voice Search and How Can You Rank?

What is Voice Search

Whenever someone asks AI a question, such as Siri, Alexa, OK Google etc, this behavior is considered “Voice Search”.

Why is Voice Search important?

According to Search Engine Land (source)

  • 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.
  • 57 percent of smart home speaker owners have made a purchase using their device.
  • 24 percent of smart home speaker owners use their device nearly every day, while 29 percent use it several times a day.

Voice search is already revolutionizing the way we approach our SEO strategy. If you’re a local business it’s critical to get found in voice so your brand populates when people ask “Siri, what’s a good restaurant near me?”, or “Siri, I need a plumber, who would you recommend?”.

How can you optimize your online presence for Voice Search?

Optimizing your website and online presence for voice search is actually pretty similar to optimizing for local SEO and organic SEO.  You’ll need a robust website with content relevant to the keywords you want to rank for.  Without content, your website and local pages will not rank for keywords – voice or text search.  Typically, you’ll an individual page targetting a longtail keyword phrase. If your business showcases multiple services, you’ll want to create a separate page for each service instead of listing all of them on one page. A larger sitemap will target more keywords as long as its organized and user-friendly.

Local Citations and Google My Business

Local text searches yield local listings and maps first, before showing organic results. Local search cross-references your website as well as your local listings (primarily Google My Business).

Local 3 Pack for voice search

You’ll also want to build out your Google My Business account with as many details as possible.  In addition to Google My Business, you should be submitting your business information to the other main local listings sites as well – such as Apple Maps which will help your business get found in Siri’s voice searches.   There are many local business directories you can take advantage of, including Yellow Pages, Yelp, Trip Advisor and Houzz. Creating and managing these local listings all work in tandem to boost your visibility in text based searches, and voice searches. You’ll want to research which directories are best for your business type and create/claim/manage those on a routine basis to ensure your information is accurate and you’re giving the general public valuable information on your business products or services.

Reviews and Reputation Management

The accuracy and quantity of local citations/accounts is important for getting ranked, but the quantity and quality of reviews on these sites is just as important.  Getting reviews on your business listing such as Google Maps and Yelp is a fantastic way to get your pages ranking in the 3 pack which often times is referenced in voice search. AI search algorithms want to serve the best possible results to their valued users which is why they serve results with higher ratings first.

Schema Markup and Structured Data on Your Website

Structured data is a strategy to give search engines, and voice search algorithms more information about what the page is about.  “Marking up” a website will not only improve the odds of getting ranked for featured rich snippets but will also improve the odds of getting found in voice search.   There are many types of rich snippets which include products, blogs, scholarly articles, news articles, recipes. This is another example of how Search Engines are making the user experience more friendly and offering more value to their users.

Schema markup for voice search seoNote: Just like there is no guarantee that a website will be ranked in SERPs, there is no guarantee that your marked-up webpages will be given featured snippets.

Learn more about Featured Snippets

Learn more about Structured Data

In Conclusion

Search engines and voice search AI have 1 job – get their users the best results. There are many technical factors that play into optimizing your online presence for voice search, but follow these main steps and 9/10 times you’re business will get found by the digital robots who will one day surely rule us all!

I hope you enjoyed this article, feel free to message me if you have any questions, comments or jokes – I love a good laugh!


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