Website Design

Optimizing Your Website for Voice Search

Optimizing Your Website for Voice Search
March 4, 2023

Around 27% of the global online population uses the voice search feature on their phones to locate information about a specific topic, including strategies like accessing a website. Younger users may prove even more likely to use the voice search feature to access essential information. Furthermore, as digital assistants rise in popularity, more users are choosing to turn to that strategy to access the information they need. As a result, optimizing a website for voice search can often help it stand out from the crowd. 

What is Voice Search?

Voice search is a strategy that uses automatic speech recognition software to translate voice commands and queries into text. Users can use those voice commands to seek out the information they need, from performing a broad internet search to searching specific websites. 

The Differences Between Traditional Search and Voice Search

Voice searches and traditional searches may have a number of key differences. 

1. Query Structure

In most cases, voice searches will contain much more natural sentence flow and structure than traditional, typed searches. For example, someone searching for a personal injury lawyer might simply type “personal injury lawyer near me” into the search bar, while a client searching for a personal injury lawyer via voice search might choose to ask, “What is the best personal injury lawyer near me?” or “How can I find a personal injury lawyer?” As a result, focusing on long-tail keywords may prove more crucial.

2. Localization

In many cases, voice searches are highly focused on a specific local area. Users may be more likely to use voice searches when they need an immediate response to a question: a nearby restaurant, for example, or a lawyer near them. 

3. Questions are Common

In many cases, voice searches are more likely to ask a question of the search engine: “Where can I find a personal injury lawyer near me,” for example, as seen above. Traditional searches, on the other hand, may use a series of shorter keywords.

Optimizing Content for Voice Searches

When optimizing content for voice searches, there are several strategies that businesses or website owners can choose to use. 

1. Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

Business owners who want to improve their visibility through voice search may want to focus on long-tail keywords. People using voice search are more likely to frame their content as questions, and they may be more likely to use those long-tail keywords. As a result, business owners can create content that focuses on long-tail keywords and common questions. For example, business owners may not only want to highlight “divorce attorneys near [geographic location],” they may also want to focus on common long-tail keywords, from “how [state] typically assigns child custody” to “how to answer questions kids have about divorce.” 

2. Answer Questions

When users conduct a voice search, they may see only a single Google snippet, rather than seeing multiple websites that could all provide reasonable answers to the query asked by the user. That means that in order to receive the benefits of organic search traffic, businesses, including law firms, must focus heavily on ensuring that they answer those questions clearly and concisely. Law firms and business owners might, for example, want to consider the questions that a client might prove most likely to ask, including the questions they hear most often. For example, an estate planning attorney might want to provide clear answers to questions like, “What should I include in my will?” or, “What do I have to do to make sure a will is legal?” Business or practice owners may want to focus on offering the answers to frequently asked questions around the office.

3. Aim for Mobile-Friendly Content

As part of a comprehensive voice search strategy, businesses need to make sure that they have a mobile-friendly website. A high volume of voice searches are performed on mobile devices. If the website doesn’t display clearly on a mobile device, a high percentage of customers will quickly click away from it. Over time, that will cause even a website with great content to slide steadily downward in search engine rankings. 

4. Use Schema Markup

Schema helps provide coding markup that will help you tell search engines what your website actually says and what benefits it can provide. It may include information like:

  • Where your office is located
  • What services you provide
  • How to connect with your social media profiles

That schema markup can prove key to ensuring that when customers search for the type of services you can provide, they can find you. 

5. Use Conversational Keywords

If you want to appear in response to voice searches, it’s important to consider how clients will perform those searches. For example, in the legal field, customers may not use complicated jargon. In a voice search, they might not even use words or phrases that they know. Instead, they may prove much more likely to use casual language. In order to appear in those search results, law firms need to  make sure that your keyword use is equally conversational and focuses on those keywords. For example, clients might not understand the use of jargon like “bad faith” or “burden of proof.” Law firms may want to take a careful look at what keywords they use and how they can improve that keyword use to reflect the way clients really speak. It may prove helpful to listen to how clients speak: the language they use when they make requests, for example, or the words they use when they do not understand a particular term or concept. 

Voice Search Grows Increasingly Important

Voice Search for Websites

As more people continue to use voice search, it has grown increasingly important for businesses across industries to optimize their websites and content for voice search. By focusing on conversational keywords, displaying location data, and marking up the website in a way that will make that information clear for potential searchers, many business owners can grow more successful in their goals. A marketing firm can help improve voice search optimization and ensure that businesses remain up-to-date on the latest voice marketing strategies. 

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