It’s no wonder, really. After months of lockdown and social distancing, we had to speak to Someone. In 2020 and throughout 2021, Alexa and Siri has become a little less robot and a little more boyfriend girl. Siri supported our habit of non-judgmental online shopping, and Alexa gave us step-by-step instructions on how to make the perfect quarantine sourdough.
Voice search will change the way your brand does SEO. And if you want to increase organic traffic in 2022, you will need to commit. So we’ve put together some of the best tips to help you craft an SEO strategy that really speaks to your target audience … literally.
Improve domain authority
Want your results on the tip of your tongue for voice-activated devices? Focus on increasing the domain and link authority of your site by implementing a link building strategy and strengthening your backlink profile. High domain sites are the most likely to rank well in voice search.
Developing an effective link building strategy means examining your brand’s strengths. What do you have to offer that people would find interesting enough to share on their websites, social media accounts, or in news articles or editorials?
Data stories are always compelling … if you can tell a unique story with your customer data. For example, find out how OKCupid collects data and shares relevant information in his monthly blog.
In addition to data stories, using expert insights from your customers or influencers can help create unique and insightful content that resonates with people and often prompts them to share. Use a service like Cision’s HARO (Help a reporter) to research industry thought leaders or answer questions as a thought leader in your industry.
You can also create a lot of links just by being aware that links are important – many companies are already doing things in the community or with partners, or they are doing things that are worth posting. Ask for a link when it makes sense.
Keep it simple
Most voice search results arrive at a grade 9 reading level. Keep your content casual and conversational, and don’t forget to include those long tail keywords that answer questions like ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘why’ and ‘ How? ‘Or’ What “. Do a quick Google search for your main keywords and pay close attention to the “People Also Ask” section under Sponsored and Top Results. It’s a gold mine for SEO. Incorporate these questions into your content to increase your chances of ranking on voice search.
Hang these featured snippets
More … than 40 percent of all voice search results come from featured snippets from Google. Featured snippets are typically number one on search engine results pages (SERPs), also known as “zero position.” While getting a zero position result is always shrouded in mystery, you can improve your odds by optimizing your content around long tail keywords that answer specific questions.
The “People Also Ask” questions mentioned above will help you narrow down keywords that are relevant to your brand and write clear, concise answers to them.
Other ways to increase your chances of getting your content in a selected snippet are to carefully consider formatting choices. Use bulleted or numbered lists, tables, and header tags. Most importantly, structure your content so that it is easy for Google to understand and get answers to the questions people are looking for.
Don’t ignore the local
Regardless of the size of your brand, it pays to have a local presence. Voice searches on mobile devices are three times more likely to be locally based than text searches. Be sure to include your location in your long-tail keywords where applicable, whether it’s your brand headquarters, regional offices, or the communities where your employees or leaders are located and in which they are involved. If your brand is local, you will need to own that market if you want to rank well in voice search. Make sure the directions to the physical locations are correct and easy to understand, and optimize them for “nearby” searches.
Make sure your Google My Business and local directory listings (like Yelp, yellow pages, and industry-specific directories) are complete and up to date, including all locations and map listings. Engage in local partnerships and community initiatives where it makes sense for your brand. It can help you bond as well as build your authority and credibility in specific regions.
Create content with context
SEO without killer content to back it up won’t get you too far. Make sure your content gives your SEO strategy a boost by building your content around your ideal personas and answer key questions such as:
- Who are they?
- What prevents them from sleeping at night?
- Why do they need what my brand offers?
Then, reflect those answers in your content. Keep it concise, conversational and to the point. Consider adding FAQs with more specific questions and reinforce this with schema markup, whether it’s an FAQ schema, review schema, or video schema. This helps to structure your content further and ensures that Google can easily understand it.
Make sure the content you create meets a need or solves a problem. Create valuable tools and downloads that provide something useful and meet research intent. Make sure that you also use multimedia, like infographics and videos, to make your content engaging and shareable.
Additionally, if there are any specific issues, issues, or trends impacting your customers, cover them in your content. For example, if most of your customers are in California and are feeling the effects of wildfires there, be sure to mention it. Bottom line: if they talk about it, you should be too.
Find a professional SEO consultant
The way we search is changing. We want clear and concise answers, and we want them yesterday. Flowery, lengthy content may be ideal for your existing desktop audience, but if you want to capture new visitors through voice search, you need to optimize and tailor your SEO strategy. A professional SEO consultant can help you implement all of the tips above and much more like technical SEO and on-page SEO.
You want to grow up in 2022, right? Who doesn’t? But if you haven’t jumped on the voice search bandwagon yet, you’re putting your brand at a disadvantage. If you want to be the brand that everyone (or at least Alexa and Siri) is talking about, make sure that voice search optimization is part of your 2022 SEO strategy.