Voice Search on The Rise: How to Optimize for Voice Search

Last week we talked about the rise of voice-centered technology and how it’s affecting the SEO landscape -- specifically, the way queries are evolving. But beyond tailoring our keyword strategies, how else can SEOs begin to optimize for voice search?

Knowing the best way to do this isn’t an easy feat, since this is a very new trend, but we’ve put together tips based on the best tools and resources available right now.

1) Analyze knowledge graph & maps search data

Websites like SEMRush have keyword research tools that can identify if a search is a direct answer, knowledge graph, or maps search. By breaking out those keywords, one can look for  possible voice search trends, based on likely voice search queries and begin to optimize for them. Manually searching actual queries to see if the SERP is structured in such a way that works to your benefit is probably a good start as well.

2) AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

A case study released by Google and the Washington Post last month showed an 88% increase in page speed and 23% increase in mobile user return rate by those that visited an AMP page instead of a regular mobile page.

Google also favors AMP pages on mobile devices, so tailoring your mobile strategy to include AMP could be a huge win for gaining traffic from mobile and voice searchers, not to mention retaining them.

3) Use Search Console’s Search Analytics Reports

At Google’s I/O conference this past May, Richard Gingras, the Head of News & Social Products at Google reported that that Accelerated Mobile Pages, Featured Snippets, and Rich Results would soon be filterable in Google’s Search Console. This could prove useful in finding keyword terms that fall into voice search type buckets as well, especially when you break out mobile device searches.

4) Test out a bunch of voice searches in different scenarios

It could prove useful to think of a few different types of searches you do regularly on your computer or tablet and then test out voice search on your mobile / voice enabled device for the same thing. Just be sure to do it conversationally. Then compare the results. You’ll likely learn what’s best to target in voice search.

5) Think about how people search in question form and optimize for the highest value terms.

Since many voice search queries tend to be in the form of a question, it may be beneficial to begin writing content in question-form once you’ve identified the highest value question-based keywords. Mining FAQs and doing “WWWWH” searches using autocomplete tools like Soovle could provide potential targets as well.

As mentioned in part 1 of our voice search series, performing this type of research and data collection should prove beneficial if you jump on the trend early. Because if the I/O conference is any example, adoption rates of mobile and voice assisted devices is not slowing down. If anything, having the largest demographic of internet users driving the trend and two of the biggest players in web and product search investing heavily in it, I anticipate voice search will only continue to grow at a greater rate over the next few years.

More questions? Concerned your company’s current SEO strategy isn’t up to date? Drop us a line.