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How to Generate Traffic With Voice Search SEO (7 Ways)

bespoke voice search SEO graphic

“Hey, Google. How Do I Optimise for Voice Search SEO?”

It wasn’t too long ago when the idea of talking to a robot to find out the weather or get directions seemed like something out of a sci-fi movie.

But now, with the rise of virtual assistants and smart speakers, voice search has become a common way for people to access information.

With that in mind, businesses and digital marketers alike need to understand and adapt to this change in user behaviour. And that’s where voice search SEO comes in.

Voice search SEO is similar to regular text SEO in the sense that it involves optimising your website and content to rank higher in search engine results.

There’s just one small issue:

Voice search is totally different from text search.

In this post, we’re going to explore what makes voice search a valuable SEO tool in 2024, the secret to optimising for voice search, and seven ways to generate more traffic with this emerging technology.

Before we get into all that, let’s start with the basics.

 

Table of Contents

What is Voice Search for SEO?

Voice SEO is the optimisation of keywords and content for searches using voice assistants, such as Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa.

The main goal of voice search optimisation is for your content to be selected and read aloud by a voice assistant after a user performs a search.

The five leading voice assistants include Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana and Samsung’s Bixby.

Voice search optimisation focuses on searches made on smart speakers rather than traditional typed searches (or even voice searches done on desktop devices).

However, the added benefit of performing a voice search on mobile or desktop is that the user will also be able to see the text in addition to hearing the answer from the voice assistant.

Ranking for featured snippets is a popular strategy many digital marketers attempt as part of their voice SEO strategy.

Featured snippets are the search results that typically show up at the top of a Google page after a user asks a question. They’re often referred to as “position zero” or “rank zero” because they appear above even the first organic result.

 

How is Voice Search Different to Text Search?

Voice search, as the name suggests, involves using your voice to search for information instead of typing it out.

This technology has become increasingly popular with the rise of virtual assistants, with the main difference between voice search and traditional text-based search being how users interact with the search engine.

When using voice search, users are more likely to use natural language and speak in full sentences, whereas text-based searches tend to be shorter and more keyword-focused.

This opens up unique ranking opportunities centred around ultra-long-tail keywords.

Another key difference is where the user is getting their information from.

Similar to how everyone has their search engine of choice, as do smart speakers.

Google and Siri both use Google as their search engine of choice, which may not come as a surprise to anyone.

But here’s the big one.

Amazon Alexa (the most popular smart speaker brand on the market) uses Bing as its primary search engine.

So, if you’re not optimising your content for Bing SEO – you’re missing out on huge potential traffic from voice search.

 

Is Voice Search Optimisation Worth It?

Considering there are over 8.4 billion voice assistants used worldwide – yes, smart speaker optimisation is definitely worth it.

Research from Statista shows that since 2019, the number of voice assistants used globally has increased by 158.5%.

These searches can vary vastly in purpose, whether it be asking for directions, setting reminders, researching a product or looking for a local business.

The last point is the most crucial, especially for businesses looking to increase brand awareness, leads and sales.

By optimising your online presence for local intent searches using natural language, you open a door of opportunity to reach potential customers on the go – but more on that later on.

Although there is a big window of opportunity for bloggers and businesses alike, one thing must be known:

Ranking for voice search is hard.

As is the nature of voice search SEO, only one result will be read aloud, so to get noticed your content must be optimised and relevant enough to gain that coveted spot.

But don’t be discouraged – there are many ways to optimise your content for voice search and increase your chances of being selected.

The key thing to remember is that voice search is on the rise and continues to be an important part of how people access information.

If you regularly audit your website’s voice search performance, you can ensure that your content fits what the search engine (and user) is looking for.

Don’t worry, we’ll explore audits later on in this guide.

 

7 Killer Voice Search SEO Tactics

Now we’ve covered the essential information, it’s time to get to the good stuff.

Below are seven powerful voice search optimisation techniques and tactics you can implement today to upgrade your website’s voice SEO:

 

1) The Power of “What Is”

Put yourself in this position.

You’re running around the kitchen, getting everything ready for dinner, and you realise you don’t know how long to cook the chicken.

Instead of stopping to wash your hands and typing into Google “How long do I cook chicken for in the oven”, you can ask:

“Hey Google, what is the cooking time for chicken in the oven?”

And there it is. The secret ingredient to voice search SEO.

“What is…”.

As a business owner or content creator, it’s essential to think about these types of questions that your target audience may ask and incorporate them into your content.

But this goes much deeper than just “what is”.

 

Bonus: Always Ask “How”

If the secret ingredient to searching by voice is “what is”, then the secret sauce is “how”.

Similar to the example above, people often use voice search to find out how to do something.

This could be anything from changing a tyre to baking a cake.

Or, in the context of the business world, this could be asking Siri “How do I increase website traffic?”.

By creating content that answers these types of queries, you’ll have a better chance of being featured in voice search results.

Whether you’re targeting “how”, “what is”, “who”, “can”, “when” or “where”, it all boils down to one simple rule:

Questions are key to SEO for voice search.

 

2) Ask Yourself The Question

Voice search SEO has opened up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to content creation.

No longer can you just think about the main keywords and phrases that people will use to find your content.

To maximise your exposure on industry-relevant featured snippets, you must first consider the ultra-long-tail keywords that people may use for their voice searches.

This means focusing on the questions, natural language queries and intent behind the searches.

So, how do you know what questions are being asked?

The easiest way is to put yourself in their shoes.

Think about what

What would you say to find your content or products? How would you word it?

You don’t always need to write the question down word for word (especially if it sounds too long and overly complicated), but a natural tone goes a long way with voice search optimisation.

Alternatively, you can use tools like Answer the Public to generate a list of commonly asked questions for your chosen keyword.

 

3) SERPs Are Your Friends

If you’re having difficulty discovering questions to target, you can always turn to the search engine results pages (SERPs) themselves.

By typing in your chosen keyword and scrolling down to the “People also ask” section, you’ll find a list of related questions that other people have asked on the topic.

This is an invaluable insight into what people want to know and can give you ideas for future content.

With this, Google is quite literally telling you what people are searching for. Utilising these questions in your content can help you rank higher in voice search results.

Another great resource is Google’s “Searches related to” feature at the bottom of the SERPs, which expands on your original search query and provides even more inspiration for voice search optimisation.

 

4) Simple Content Using Natural Language

Now that the questions are sorted, it’s time to consider how we answer those questions.

The way you answer the targeted question is one of the most important parts of the voice SEO process.

After all, this is the text that will be read out by the voice assistant.

When it comes to voice search, people are more likely to ask complicated questions using natural language rather than typing in a few keywords.

Despite this, the answers need to be clear concise, and written using simple, easily understandable language.

Avoid using technical jargon or complex language as this can confuse voice assistants and make it more difficult for them to understand your content.

Truthfully, this could stop them from choosing your content altogether.

Another trap many novice digital marketers fall for is keyword stuffing. Don’t try to cram in as many keywords as possible, especially when you’re trying to sound as natural as possible.

Instead, focus on using your targeted keywords naturally and organically throughout the content. This will not only benefit your voice SEO but also improve overall user experience.

 

5) “Near Me”

Local SEO is a major factor when it comes to voice search.

In fact, studies show that 46% of voice searches have local intent. This means that if your business has a physical location, it’s essential to optimise your content for “near me” searches.

This can be done by including phrases like “near me”, “close by”, or even mentioning the specific location of your business in your content.

Search engines have super helpful business listings and map features that they use to provide users with the most relevant results for their voice search.

Whether this is Google My Business, Apple Maps or Bing Places for Business, properly setting up and optimising your business listings can significantly improve your chances of appearing in voice search results.

 

6) Yelp or Google My Business? Why Not Both.

Much like how search engines have their preference for search engines, they also have preferences for business listings.

Google Assistant tends to favour their own Google My Business listings, while Amazon Alexa favours Yelp for business listings and reviews.

More recently, Alexa has also started to use Yext for business listings.

Meanwhile, Apple’s Siri uses Yelp for business reviews and Apple Maps for business listings.

By covering all bases and having your business listed on multiple platforms, you increase your chances of being featured in voice search results across different devices and platforms.

 

7) If It’s Not Mobile-Friendly, It’s Not Ranking

Regardless of how well you optimise your content for voice search, it won’t matter if your website isn’t mobile-friendly.

Technical SEO is the backbone of any website and is essential for ranking well in voice search results.

When a website is optimised for mobile, search engines can better understand the content and provide a better user experience for voice searchers.

However, technical SEO goes far beyond mobile optimisation.

An intuitive and responsive design, quick load speed and HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure) are just some of the factors that play a key role in a website’s technical SEO.

By regularly maintaining and updating your website’s technical SEO, you not only improve your chances of ranking well in voice search but also for traditional text.

 

The Secret to Maximised Voice Search Exposure

Given how competitive voice search SEO is, following the seven tactics above is just the beginning.

To truly maximise your exposure in voice search results, it’s essential to utilise what could be considered a digital marketer’s best friend – data and analytics.

From Google Analytics to Google Search Console, these tools provide invaluable insights into user behaviour and can help you identify opportunities for improving any SEO strategy.

What’s more, maximising this data by using a leading SEO tool alongside it can significantly enhance your chances of appearing in voice search results.

But what is the best way to analyse and adjust your SEO strategy using this data?

The answer is a voice search audit.

 

What is a Voice Search Audit?

Any effective SEO strategy requires regular audits to ensure that your website is performing well and meeting the latest search engine requirements.

In this case, a voice search audit specifically focuses on how your website fares in terms of voice search optimisation.

A voice search audit will optimise your service and product pages to be tailored to key search terms for your industry and location.

By updating your business information to be more natural, conversational and keyword-focused, you’ll increase your chances of appearing in voice search results.

A voice search audit will start by analysing your current keyword strategy and identifying natural language queries that your target audience may use to find your content.

After analysing your keywords, the audit will look at your website’s overall structure and content to see if it is easily accessible and relevant for voice searches.

From there, recommendations can be made on how to improve your content and make it more voice search-friendly.

However, an SEO audit is not a one-off job.

It’s something that needs to be regularly updated as your SEO strategy develops and new opportunities emerge.

Utilising data is key to any effective digital marketing strategy, especially for something as competitive as voice search.

 

Hey Siri,  What Have We Learned About Voice Search SEO?

With Google releasing data showing that over 55% of teens use voice search daily, optimising for Siri and Alexa has never been more crucial.

Voice search has transformed the way we use search engines, and as a result, has changed the landscape of SEO.

However, optimising for voice SEO isn’t something you should do on its own.

It is simply just an additional element to your overall SEO strategy.

From utilising natural language and long-tail keywords to optimising for local searches and having a mobile-friendly website, there are various tactics that can help improve your chances of being featured in voice search results.

That being said, the key to maximising your exposure on SERPs is through regular data analysis and conducting a comprehensive voice search audit.

Taking a proactive approach to your SEO strategy and staying ahead of the curve can significantly improve your chances of ranking well in voice search results.

So, next time you ask Siri a question, remember the process behind how she provides you with an answer and try to think about how you can use her response to upgrade your digital marketing strategy.

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