The way we search is changing. One of the big shake-ups in recent years is the advent of voice search; thanks to voice-activated assistants like Siri, plus household devices like Apple Home and the Amazon Echo, more and more people are speaking rather than typing their search queries. In fact, many projections show voice search surpassing text-based search within the next five years.
This can’t help but have some SEO implications. The question search marketers must ask themselves is, what practical tweaks must be made to existing SEO efforts in order to optimize for voice search?
Five Voice Search SEO Tips for 2018
Here are five SEO tips and steps you can take today to make your content more easily discovered in voice search queries.
Start with the Technical Stuff
There’s no way around it: If you want to fully optimize your content, you’ll need to spend some time thinking about technical SEO. A quick checklist:
1. Make sure you have fully implemented AMP.
2. Use a content delivery network (CDN).
4. Ensure speed and performance, especially on landing pages.
5. Implement https and SSL.
6. Implement scheme markups.
7. Be certain that your site is fully optimized for mobile.
Do Your Keyword Research
Next, consider that the way people speak a query will be different than the way they type it—and that can have a big impact on your keyword research. Topic research should be a big focus here, as should long-tail keywords that better match conversational search patterns.
Keep Your Content Conversational
Along the same lines, make sure your content is written to match the natural speaking patterns of your users. One specific recommendation: Use voice search yourself to get a better feel for user intent. Also, note that voice searches are more likely to be phrased as questions; content framed in a Q&A format tends to do well in voice search queries.
Don’t Forget Local Search
Assuming you’re doing SEO for a business with some sort of localized presence, an emphasis on local SEO is imperative. Again, a quick checklist:
1. Create and verify local profiles—including social media and Google My Business.
2. Submit your website to local directories, as well as data aggregators.
3. Ensure that you have the correct NAP data (name, address, and phone number) on every page of your website, and on all your local profiles.
4. Localize your content and your keywords whenever possible.
Get High Authority Links
A final tip for optimizing your website for voice search: Lend it some authority. The best way to do this is to acquire some links from high-authority websites. Do this naturally, through strong content and careful relationship-building. For any bad links, clean and disavow them. Use the SEMRush link audit tool for help with any of this.
You Can’t Neglect Voice Search
Voice search isn’t a flash in the pan. It’s the future—the way in which more and more people will be seeking information in the days and years to come. Search marketing professionals need to adapt their strategies to match user behavior; these tips will get you pointed in the right direction.