Is Your Small Business Website Optimized For Voice Search?

Is Your Small Business Website Optimized For Voice Search?

Google’s search algorithm includes more than 200 factors that determine whether your business website will earn a place in the top three coveted positions. And these factors are changing all the time – Google tweaks their algorithms at least one to two times per day to improve their users’ search experience.   And, in 2018, small businesses should expect Google to really start catering to voice queries, as the popularity of vocal search has increased exponentially since such tech was introduced: voice-based queries have increased more than 35 times since 2008 and more than seven-fold since 2010.   As voice searches tend to occur differently than traditional typed searches, companies need to tailor their search engine optimization (SEO) strategies a little differently. Here are three tactics to use to leverage the emerging trend in voice-based queries:


Write content using a more conversational tone.

  When a consumer makes a typed query, they are more likely to use short phrases and incomplete sentences. The opposite is true of voice searches; they tend to be more conversational as users are more inclined to speak in full sentences following more natural speech patterns. For example, while users may enter “Company X store hours” in a typed search, they’ll ask “How late is Company X open tonight?” using voice search.   As consumers have become more comfortable with vocal queries, full questions, rather than shorthand inputs, have come to dominate voice search. Today, questions are 60 percent more likely to occur in voice queries than typed searches. Companies need to make sure they are answering the who, what, when, where, and how of their business and their products and services.


Target more long-tail keywords throughout your website.

  Similarly, long-tail keywords are becoming increasingly relevant as question-based voice searches are on the rise – they go hand in hand. Long-tail keywords are key phrases that point consumers to your website and tend to be more specific than short-tail keywords. Companies ought to create content that caters to the who, what, when, where, and how format of questions, making their product and service descriptions as specific and detailed as possible using full sentences.


Optimize for mobile and local searches.

  Today, nearly 60 percent of searches occur via mobile device or smartphone, while 20 percent of those queries are voice-based and expected to reach far greater proportions. Along with catering content to match question-based and conversational voice queries and using long-tail keywords, businesses should implement mobile-friendly strategies, including utilizing mobile-responsive design and improving loading speed.   Users also tend to conduct mobile searches on the go, meaning they are looking for places near them where they can achieve immediate gratification of their needs. Local businesses should make sure they are signed up for Google My Business (GMB) and that all location and contact information is correct across all local listing services, including Apple Maps and Yelp.   Optimizing for voice search as part of an overall SEO strategy for 2018 will help your business not only rank higher in the search results but also steal a place in prominent Google features, such as snippets and knowledge graphs, that are more likely to grab customers’ attention than the traditional blue links.   While businesses can implement their own SEO strategies, ever-evolving and complex search algorithms can quickly relegate your website to the bottom rungs of the search results. So, if you want to stay above the fold, contact Social Spice Media today. Our inbound marketing experts will stay on top of the latest SEO trends to get your business the attention it deserves.