Search engine technology is constantly evolving, in light of both consumer trends and emerging technologies. This is a follow-up to our most recent blog post, which discussed the rapid evolution of voice search.
For Long Island businesses, voice search is more important and relevant than ever. Even lifetime Long Islanders with a knowledge of the area use voice search to find local businesses. As voice search continues to advance in popularity, having a website that is equipped to answer user questions will become increasingly important. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how your website can increase its accessibility in preparation for the voice search revolution.
3 Common Usages for Voice Search
1. Voice Search While Driving Around Long Island
In a way, voice search was created for densely populated suburban areas like Long Island.
Think about it. If you’re a resident of Wantagh, and you find yourself in Greenlawn for work, then how will you find a local coffee shop? Ten years ago, nobody would have batted an eye if you politely asked a local for their favorite cafe. But now, voice search has eliminated the need for that interaction, and made this process more convenient. Simply ask Siri for a local suggestion as you are driving around. Unsurprisingly, most voice search queries are related to directions. Including the address of your business in title tags and meta descriptions gives Google a stronger ability to provide directions.
People living in urban areas are not as inclined to take advantage of voice search — at least not on the go. With access to public transportation and the ability to walk around, people are less likely to use voice search.
How to Optimize for Driving Voice Searches
1. Schema Markup
Structured data like schema markup has played a crucial role in recent years. It will only become more important in voice search, as it provides specific information about your business. The most important part in this case, is your location and directions that will be provided to get to you. This essential tactic requires an experienced coder’s attention to detail.
2. Google My Business
In the same vein as schema markup, a Google My Business profile helps the search engine match your business to the voice search query.
2. Voice Search for “Near Me” Services
There is no shortage of service industry businesses on Long Island, and for good reason: the high population necessitates it. Contractors, plumbers and electricians constantly receive calls from homeowners who need immediate work done on their homes. Rather than thoroughly vetting local companies, frenzied homeowners will contact the first professional they can find.
If you’re like 53 percent of smart speaker owners, you’re going to ask for a plumber’s phone number. Then, call immediately. Service industry businesses can generate high profits and build lifelong relationships in emergencies like this.
The same principle applies to medical professionals. People who are fed up with back pain want to find a chiropractor to minimize their back pain promptly. People with a recent shoulder injury may want to schedule a physical therapy session.
In order to cater to these customers, local businesses need to begin optimizing for voice search. Being the first result featured in the voice search response drastically increases the chances of customers moving forward with the appointment, sale or work contract.
Providing quality service or care during a time of emergency may provide long-term benefits. After receiving quality service, you will leave customers with a positive impression. So, they will be likely to then utilize that company’s services in the future. In a way, taking these steps is an investment in itself.
How to Optimize for Near Me Voice Searches
1. The Two Items Mentioned Above
Both Schema mark up and Google My Business will help the Voice Search algorithm to return the accurate information on your optimized Google result.
Customers place a lot of trust in reviews — certainly more than they would place in your promotional copy. Search engines recognize that, and react in kind. Higher-reviewed businesses are more likely to be featured in a voice search response than lower-reviewed businesses.
3. Local SEO
Overall, following local SEO best practices is critical to voice search success. Title tags and meta descriptions will directly inform search engines about who your website is relevant to.
3. Voice Search for Immediate, Actionable Information
Before calling for assistance, some homeowners may try to fix that kitchen sink leak independently. It’s not uncommon for people to ask their voice search assistant for instructions on how to make these repairs. Your website can provide this much-needed information while they are in crisis mode.
The good news is that if you have existing SEO blog content, then adjusting it for voice won’t be that difficult. As industry experts, we usually tackle these basic topics — simple instructions that highlight your expertise — early on in the campaign.
So, what exactly is the benefit of this? Why would you give away your company’s secrets?
With luck, customers will observe your expertise on the matter, and entrust the task to you.
How to Optimize for Informational Voice Searches
1. Aim for Featured Snippets
The featured snippet is one of the most desirable SERP spots for local businesses. Positioned at the top of the page inside a box, the featured snippet gives users answers to specific queries. Ranking in this spot requires a highly strategic and deliberate approach.
FAQ pages help Google to easily process complex, industry-specific information. Providing answers that search engines can digest with ease helps your chances to rank for these queries, and others. Generally, writing responses that fall within the featured snippet length range (40-50 words) gives your website the best shot.
3. Website Structure
An organized website structure will help Google to analyze your website for information. Google is more likely to incorporate responses from your website when you provide a roadmap to the answers
Voice Search Optimization 3 Critical Steps
1. Optimize Mobile Layout and Usability
As we mentioned before, your existing SEO efforts will go a long way in paving the way for voice optimization. In fact, many of these tactics are identical.
Responsive Design: Writing code to dynamically adjust the size and format of a page to fit a given screen.
Mobile Usability: An easily scrollable interface with a clean navigation bar, allowing for maximized access.
Site Speed: Pages that load quickly are easier to access, and voice search engines understand that. According to Backlinko, the average voice search results page loads 52% faster than the worldwide average.
2. Keyword Optimization
Voice search algorithms are architected with user intent in mind. Therefore, keywords that reflect the often conversational tone and format of voice queries are critical. Keep in mind how customers would describe your industry (even if it is not entirely accurate), and other broad ideas.
3. Switch to HTTPS
Search engines want to send users to websites that offer the best experience, and respecting security concerns is key. Having an SSL certificate on your website is an easy way to boost your potential to rank for voice search. While half of Google’s desktop results have HTTPS designations, 70% of voice search results have enhanced security.
Get Ahead in the Voice Search Game
Voice search is the future that we all knew was coming. It’s the natural evolution for Google’s rapidly advancing technology, and it will bring on a new level of convenience for searchers. The time to start adapting to this revolution is now.
At Logic Web Media, we understand the comprehensive approach involved in ranking for voice search. Our versatile team will ensure that each part of your website is optimized for voice search, and make adjustments as needed.