In a few decades, we may look back and wonder how we ever survived without the ability to turn on our lights or order more paper towels by simply speaking out loud. The personal assistant revolution has brought us closer to this goal, with Siri, Alexa, and Google Home leading the charge.
If you are not familiar with voice search yet, it is a technology that allows users of smartphones and other smart devices to launch an online search using only their voice.
Local search optimization has always been one of the most critical aspects of your digital marketing strategy, especially if you have a brick-and-mortar location.
They help pinpoint a search query to a specific location, say Charleston. But now, voice search optimization will be as essential as mobile optimization if you want your business to be a key player in your local market.
What Is Voice Search?
You may have observed that your voice search results are different from the results you see when you type in a traditional Google search. That’s because Google uses a different algorithm for voice search, which gets described as semantic search optimization.
It means that Google is figuring out the intent behind people’s questions rather than returning lists of keywords like it would on a standard desktop or mobile browser search. It does this by analyzing the context of users’ searches and returning more conversational and natural-sounding answers (instead of a list of websites). The technology also incorporates AI to learn over time and respond better to user intent.
Local SEO Strategies for Voice Search
While the algorithm can remember your past search queries, the data will still get stored on Google’s servers. It means there are several things you can do to improve your local SEO efforts with voice search optimization in a specific geography. If you live in Charleston, you can check the algorithm by putting that location.
The strategies mentioned in this article can help you improve your website’s local SEO rankings and make it more visible in searches through Alexa or Google Assistant.
As a result, it will drive new leads and customers to your business while increasing online visibility. If you are unsure of carrying these out independently, you can hit the search button for Charleston SEO companies to get assistance in the vicinity.
Start With Your Website for Voice Search
Voice search is popular on mobile devices. Nearly 61% of voice searches are performed on smartphones. It has to do with the always-accessible nature of our phones. They’re much easier to use while driving or when users are on the move.
Your website needs to be optimized for mobile, especially if you want to improve local SEO efforts through voice search optimization. An important factor in SEO is site speed; Google favors fast sites. If your site doesn’t load quickly, it’s time to make some changes!
If you have a WordPress site, one easy way to increase load time is installing WP Rocket (a recommended plugin by Yoast). WP Rocket takes care of page caching for you and can help speed up your website significantly.
Long-Tail Keywords and Long-Form Content
Long-tail keywords and long-form content are essential for voice search optimization.
Long-tail keywords are phrases that include three or more words and are specific to your business. For example, a paint store in Charleston might use “paint store near Charleston” as a long-tail keyword, whereas a poker player in Las Vegas might choose “when to fold pocket kings in Texas hold ’em.” These show up more often than shorter queries. They’re also less competitive and tend to convert better.
Long-form content is just what it sounds like: longer blog posts that deliver substantial amounts of information while remaining readable and digestible. They can increase the time spent on your site by users, which is excellent for SEO and also help to establish you as an authority in your field.
For example, if you run a bakery or coffee shop that specializes in vegan products, consider writing an article about the best places for vegans to eat around you. It will make people aware of who you are and what you offer while directing them toward businesses whose customers may visit you afterward (especially if they’re craving cookies).
Optimize Structured Data on Your Site
Structured data ensures that Google will be able to understand the content on your site. If you have a recipe blog, it helps convey your recipe’s ingredients and steps to Google. But what is schema markup?
On its own, unstructured data doesn’t have any meaning. It can’t get interpreted by search engines and doesn’t provide additional information about your page’s context or content. Schema markup provides this contextual information so that search engines can understand, allowing them to better index you within the SERPs and display your site more prominently for related searches.
Verify your listing by phone, email, or mail (depending on how many locations you have).
Optimize your profile for voice search so that it’s easier to understand what your business does and what kind of products/services you offer.
Keep your profile updated with accurate information about your business, such as hours of operation, holiday closures, etc., so users can conveniently find this information without calling or emailing you directly.
Encourage customers who are happy with their experience at your business to leave reviews on Google Maps. It’ll help potential customers know what they’re getting into and decide whether they should go there themselves. Remember: word-of-mouth recommendations are the best type!
Voice search optimization efforts are critical in 2019 to ensure your business shows up in local results. Voice search is growing in popularity and will continue to do so as Google Assistant, Alexa, and the like become more advanced, and their use becomes more commonplace.
Voice search optimization is different from traditional SEO. If you want your business to show up when people enter a voice query, you must optimize your website and Google My Business listing for voice search!