Optimizing Your Business for Voice Search

Siri forever changed the way we interact with our phones. Google Assistant, Alexa, and Cortana soon followed to take voice technology into multiple areas of our lives. There aren’t many homes anymore that doesn’t have some type of voice activated item in it. That means it’s time to adapt and take advantage of this technology. If you want your business to continue to be found online, you’ll want to make sure that voice search can find you. To do that, here are some of the top items to consider.

Business Listings: Google My Business

One of the most common online searches using voice is for a local business. Google My Business listings are of course the first thing that voice search will pull up when searching local. You’ll want to make sure that you have your Google My Business listing claimed and verified. This will give you the ability to setup all of your companies information onto your listing: logo, address, contact info, hours, etc. Having this information accurate is vital in being pulled up in voice search.

The verification process takes a minute. Google requires that they send you a physical postcard in the mail to confirm you are actually at that location. You can get started on this here: https://www.google.com/business/

Other listings are important too, such as: Bing, Yelp, YP, Foursquare, and more.

Each has their own process, but making sure they are all verified and up-to-date will help you appearing for search results for voice search queries.

Use Structured Data: Site Schema

Schema.org is a website coding protocol that tags specific information on your site that makes it readable by search engines. It tags up your data in a standardized way so the search engines know exactly what it is reading.

Some of this data will be general business data: business name, address, phone number, social media links, etc. But you can also use this for more specific information like product data, events, or reviews. Using structured data will help search engines read and interpret your site better, allowing you to pull up in these long tailed voice searches.

Content Optimization: Use Conversational Words

When developing content, you’ll want to consider the end user and how they will be searching for the content. Searches done on a keyboard and searches done over voice are vastly different in their structure, but have continued to morph into more conversation style phrase.

An easy way to do this is to use this tool online called Answer The Public. Here, you can type in the keyword you are creating content about and it will spit back a load of questions that users are searching for related to that term. Here is an example using our made up bicycle shop:

Answer Common FAQs

Think about how voice searches actually speak. Many times the queries start with “Who”, “What”, “Where”, “When”, “How”, and “Why”. Fill that immediate need by formating your content around these phrases.

Build robust answers that are easy to understand and can be broken up into quick snippets. If you pair this with structured data, you could even earn the rich snippets section on Google’s search results page.

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