It’s been 10 years since voice search was first introduced by Google in 2011. At the time, it was practically still an experimental novelty that made more funny mistakes than it served any good. But voice recognition (and artificial intelligence) has come a long way. Today, voice search is quickly becoming a major trend. People rely on it more and more while on the go – it’s easier to talk into a phone than type on it while outside and safer to do so when driving. And with smart speaker devices and other smart home features, we’ll only see more and more of this in the future. So including voice search optimization tactics in your digital marketing for moving companies is the only logical choice. But what are the best ones to use when promoting content?
Why do you need specialized voice search optimization tactics?
Regular optimization is not really enough to get you to the top of the voice search results on the same topic. The reason for this is that voice search is a specific type of search that differs from regular searches in several aspects:
- Type of device used. When analyzing regular Google searches, you’ll find a pretty even split – about half will come from mobile devices while half will be on desktop computers; for voice searches, mobile devices make up a much higher percentage.
- Search terms phrasing. When people use voice search, they feel like they’re speaking to their device so the searches are often posed as questions or conversational sentences rather than simple phrases.
- Search intent. Users who perform voice searches are typically looking for specific information; mostly, this involves long-tail keywords with a lot of specificities rather than head keywords.
The best voice search optimization tactics
To optimize for voice searches, you’ll need to focus on responding to the unique needs of the users who perform them. Here are the best ways to do that:
Know your audience and the devices they use
When you’re planning any type of moving company marketing, it is crucial to understand who you’re marketing to. The better you know your audience, the better you can adjust your strategy to what they respond to. So always do some market research before jumping into voice search optimization. Do your customers even use voice search? What do they use it for? Is it something they practice at home on smart speakers or while driving and looking for directions? Finding out what your specific target audience is searching for will help you optimize in a way that attracts the right kind of traffic.
Make sure your content is mobile-friendly
It’s no secret that responsive website design and SEO are a good pair given that a growing percentage of internet users rely on mobile devices. But prioritizing mobile users is a necessity when you want to optimize for voice searches. A vanishingly small number of voice searches occur on desktop computers; the vast majority will come from some form of a mobile device. So make sure that your website is mobile-friendly.
Focus on conversational and long-tail keywords
When using voice search, most users behave like they would in a conversation. They don’t just search for a short phrase; instead, they speak in full sentences and ask questions as they would to a person. This means they rarely use the type of keywords you’d normally expect in a Google search.
So in addition to optimizing for those, you’ll need to optimize for long-tail keywords. These are the (usually grammatically correct and complete) phrases that contain multiple words and represent a specific niche because they contain more information – descriptions, locations, time stamps, or price ranges, for example. They normally don’t get as much traffic as head keywords. But in voice search, they are a lot more common.
Since so many people use voice search to ask questions, the content that ranks high for those searches is content that answers questions. So anticipate what your users might ask about your business. Then, create a FAQ page. List out the common questions and provide answers in a conversational manner. In addition to a FAQ page, you should also include questions in other content. For example, you can title your blog posts as questions and use rhetorical questions in a text to appeal to voice search.
Work on your local SEO
Any business that operates in a specific geographic location can benefit from localizing its SEO efforts. This is why any good SEO for movers strategy will include local SEO efforts. The added benefit is that relying on local keywords can help you rank for voice searches as well. Because voice searches tend to be more specific, they often include a location – people will search for a specific service in their area, ask for the best prices in their state, or simply want to know more about local regulations in a certain industry. Either way, making location-specific content is a good idea if you want to optimize for voice search.
Use structured data
Google cannot by itself decide which part of your content is important for a specific website. That’s why you need to use structured data to let it know. With structured data, you can provide search engines with context for your content. There are more than 40 different schema markups you can use to tell Google that you’re providing a recipe, a review, a step-by-step guide, or anything else.
When Google bots analyze these schemas, they can better understand your website. This will help you rank higher because Google will know when some of your content fits the specific needs of the user performing the search. And it’s not just voice searches that you’ll rank higher for – structured data is recommended for all optimization.
Incorporating voice search optimization tactics into your strategy
Because voice search is a specific type of search with some unique trends and features, it requires specialized voice search optimization tactics. Some of them, like using structured data or focusing on location-specific keywords, will help your overall SEO so they’re a good idea to use anyway. But others, like FAQ pages and conversational keywords, are pretty tied to voice search. That’s not to say that they’ll harm your rankings otherwise; just that they won’t help them much. For this reason, it’s important to find the right balance.
If you find that not many of your users rely on voice search, then you shouldn’t prioritize voice search optimization at the expense of other SEO efforts. But if many of your users use voice search, then optimizing for it is definitely a good idea. It all depends on your business and your target demographic.