Voice search: best practices

maxence tabankia

Digital Marketing Consultant

Last time we talked about voice search, we told you you couldn’t actually view your rankings or a report that lays out where you stand in terms of voice search. While waiting for an actual accurate ranking, we gave you a few tips and tricks on how to make sure your website was voice search fit. Eventually, you’ll be able to view concrete reports showing the fruits of your labor and make more specific improvements. 

But for now, and since you’re obviously back for more, we’ll go deeper into voice search best practices for you to benefit from it the most and get the highest ranking score when it come out. 

Use natural language rather than keywords

Before you start looking for vegetable related terminology, know that when we talk about natural language, we mean the way we usually talk. We don’t really use the same wording when talking than when writing and voice search takes that into account. 

Voice requests are more natural and less robotic than keyboard searches. This means that your SEO also need to be adapted so that you can get voice search results to show up on page one of the result pages for voice searches. Like we mentioned in our previous blog post, voice searches tend to have longer word counts than text searches, it is suggested that using long-tail keywords is the right way to go about this. 

Featured snippets

If you’re not familiar with the name “featured snippets,” let me google that for you. While you might not know what it is, you most probably recognize what they look like. Featured snippets appear at the top of the SERPs (search engine result page, come on this one was easy). Google takes out the most relevant content and shows it in a box like this:

Featured snippets matter because according to Perficient Digital;

Up to 30% of 1.4 million tested Google queries contain featured snippets.

You can be sure that if the results include a featured snippet, your voice assistant will pull its answer from there.

So if you want to perform in voice search results, you should focus on providing quality data that will make Google displays it in the featured snippet. By the way, this is also something valuable for your regular SEO.

Include short answers in your content

Content marketers and copywriters often write things that might not be particularly easy to read by the average person, and this will now need to change with voice search. Backlinko’s study of 10,000 Google Home states that the average content in a voice search result was written at a level that even a ninth grader could understand. This means that if you want to please both Google and the people you are trying to reach, avoid being too technical.

One of Backlinko’s findings is that Google tends to answer voice search queries with short, 29-word results. That’s why it’s important that your content answers someone’s query in 30 words or less. That being said, it doesn’t make sense to write a 30-word blog post. So it’s important to

Reduce Page Loading Time

Page loading speed has been a ranking factor for a long time, and it’s going to become even important. As we saw earlier, websites with content that is easier to comprehend get a better ranking from Google. Another characteristic that was found to be favoured by Google Home searches was the loading time of the website’s pages.

There are multiples ways for you to make sure that your website’s page loading time remains low. Single Grain recommends to:

  • Optimize the images of your website
  • Minify the HTML, CSS and JavaScript on the webpage
  • Use a content delivery network to “distribute service spatially relative to end-users to provide high availability and high performance”

By now, you should have an idea of what voice search is and how to improve your ranking. You might not be able to measure it properly yet but rest assure that it’s not wasted time if you start working on it right away. It is booming right now and will continue to do so in the coming years. So step ahead and if you’re still not sure where to start, why don’t you ask Google ?

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