Voice Search Optimisation: Three Essential Tips For Tech Leaders

Voice search is one notable change in the evolution of SEO. When you consider the popularity of this feature, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Globally, over 4.2 billion devices on the market — including smartphones, smart speakers and computers — can serve search results with a voice prompt.

As a result, many tech leaders want to optimise their websites and reach more customers through voice-activated software. Here are three tips to improve your voice search visibility and engagement for your brand.


1. Start Using Long-Tail Keywords

In the old days, marketing teams would choose a handful of short keywords and try to rank at the top of Google’s search results by including those words throughout their blog posts and landing pages.

Things are slightly different now. The focus has shifted to long-tail keywords since voice search is based on what a user might say instead of type.

For instance, instead of typing “chocolate cake recipe,” a user might say, “How do I make a chocolate cake from scratch?” These slight variations can produce dramatically different results.

If you want to learn more about your keyword options, Google’s Keyword Planner tool can show you the search volume and competition on various words and phrases. Tech leaders looking for new keywords should focus on options with a high to medium search volume and medium to low competition.

When you use natural-sounding phrases as keywords, you’re more likely to appear in voice search results, which could lead to more traffic.


2. Find Out Why People Visit Your Site 

You could have a list of perfect keywords for your business, but it won’t matter unless you understand your audience’s intent. Simply put, user intent is the reason visitors opened their search engine and asked a question. Failure to understand intent could result in fewer engagement opportunities and an increased bounce rate.

Let’s go back to my previous example. Imagine you were using voice search to find out how to make a chocolate cake. If the top result was an article featuring 20 of the most impressive chocolate cakes of all time, would that answer your query? No. Because you didn’t want to see nice-looking cakes, you wanted to make your own. You have to keep intent in mind while writing if your goal is to keep new visitors on your site.

You can learn more about what visitors want to see when they land on your site by simply asking for their feedback. You could send out a survey, add a poll to your social media or include a contact form on your website. All of these methods allow users to voice their opinions, which can help you understand their intent.

I also recommend looking at your Google Analytics data. You can see what words people are saying to find your site and use that information to write posts that resolve pain points, answer questions and help users reach their goals.


3. Enhance Site Speed And Performance

The speed and performance of your website can also directly impact your voice search visibility. Google’s algorithm looks at a whole host of factors when determining where to place a website in the SERPs (search engine results pages), including loading times and overall site performance.

If your website is too slow, users will bounce off of your site before they can see your content or offer. Similarly, long loading times can result in Google penalising your site and not showing your website when a prospect performs a voice search for your targeted keywords.

You’ll be happy to know that there are several steps you can take to speed up your website.

First, we suggest you reduce the size of all of your images and host your videos off-site. This change will make it easier for your site to gather the resources it needs to load for new visitors.

I also suggest installing a caching plug-in so repeat visitors can get a consistent experience every time they visit your site. Caching plug-ins essentially allow you to save copies of your website across multiple servers. As a result, visitors will experience lightning-fast loading times because site data is pulled from the server closest to the customer.


Final Thoughts

It’s clear that voice search will continue to grow over the next decade. If your website isn’t optimised for voice-activated devices, now is an excellent time to start. Tech leaders that are prepared to reach their audience across all platforms tend to see more sales, engagement and traffic. The process of developing a voice optimisation strategy can be time-consuming, but it’s a marketing effort worth pursuing.

Any questions, hit me up below in the comments.

Jade Bartholomew, Director, Sierra Six Media