Voice Search: Optimize Your Blog Posts

Voice Search: Optimize Your Blog Posts
November 13, 2017 James Wolf

Voice search has quickly become the order of the day in web browsing. People use Amazon Echo or Google Home, along with Siri, Cortana, and Google voice search to easily find things they need.

People frequently use these services to access local services and discover nearby businesses. Make sure people using them in your market find you!


two women using two cell phones to search for something online


According to Benu Aggarwal, who presented at SMX West 2017:

  • 50% of mobile visitors who perform a local search will visit a business within one day
  • 18% of local searches lead to a sale within one day

You already know that a blog is a great way to boost your search engine ranking. But do you know how to make sure your posts are being found by people using voice search? Don’t get left behind. Implement these strategies to optimize your blog posts.

Think of Your Content in the Form of a Question

Pretend you’re playing Jeopardy! with your content. Voice search relies on natural language. So, rather they typing in keywords alone, a user buries the keywords in a complete sentence, usually toward the end. Imagine you want to know movie times in your area. Instead of typing in “movie time” and the title, you would probably say something like “What time is Wonder Woman playing?” Text-based search engines have experimented with this type of language in the past–remember Ask Jeeves? When typing, people may want to type as few words as possible (sorry, Jeeves) but when they talk, they tend to use complete questions. Users tend to ask a question starting with “who, what, when, where or why.” Make sure your content answers those.

Experiment with Autocomplete

Related to the suggestion above, conduct a little research. Start typing a question your customers might ask into a search engine. See what suggestions the search engine produces. (The results are sometimes hilarious.) You can gain insight into your potential customer’s needs. For example if you type in “Where can I buy flowers,” Google suggests completing the query with “…in bulk,” “…for a funeral,” or “…near me.”

Produce Quality Content

Voice-based search engines consider context. They can even understand a question within the context of the previous question the user asked. So, while longform, quality content has long been considered valuable for SEO, it may be even more so with voice. Also make it scannable and easy to understand.

Use Long-tail Keywords

When you optimize for keywords, make a list of possible long-tail keywords. You will run into less competition if you use one-, two-, or three-word keywords. According to inbound marketing expert Neil Patel, “The majority of top brands don’t target long-tail keywords, because of their low volumes across the results of search engines.” However, 70% of search traffic comes from long-tail keywords. Again, keep in mind how people actually talk. Searchers are likely to use modifiers like “best,” “nearest,” or “latest.” So incorporate those into your long-tail keywords.

Optimize for Mobile

You’re doing this anyway, right? More than ever, voice search makes a mobile-focused strategy essential. Test your site on as many different kinds of devices as you can. Make sure that when your site appears in search results, the user finds what they were expecting. Make it easy to read and to navigate on a phone or tablet. You want to keep users there once you have them, possibly making a sale.


PHOTO: Pexels / CC0 Public Domain



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