How to Improve your Ranking in Voice Search Results
By now, I think most people are aware that voice tech is on a solid growth trajectory, as vocal interfaces are integrated into more and more devices. And as voice tech grows, so does the use of voice for things like interfacing with appliances, shopping, and search. It's the latter that interests us here: voice search.
Voice search is already big. And, given the current trends, it's just a matter of time before it grows from big to huge. Let's look at a few numbers that make the above crystal clear.
- 30% of daily searches are voice-based
- 40% of adults use voice search daily
- 1 billion voice searches take place each month
- 30% of all searches took place on screenless devices in 2020
- 58% of consumers use voice search to find local businesses online
- 122.7 million Americans used voice search in 2021
That's a lot of chatter…
So voice search is big and growing, and many organizations understand this and want in. But for voice search to work for your business, you need to get it right. This post looks at four of the best ways to maximize your ranking in voice search results.
Structure your website's content to include concise answers
While accuracy is critical to search results (whether using voice or not), so is speed. And speed takes on another dimension with voice search because the answers are spoken. People using voice search are after quick answers to their queries, not white papers.
In fact, research has found that Google Home tends to answer voice search queries with 29-word (or less) results. By optimizing your site's content to include concise answers, you can rank higher in voice search results. That will boost traffic to your site, where visitors can take the time to look at your longer-form content to understand your products/services better. More traffic usually translates to more sales.
Include FAQ pages on your website
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages are critical in optimizing your website's content for voice search. Because FAQs, by definition, favor concise answers, they tie into the above point and will help you achieve that goal.
But another way in which FAQs are helpful in voice search optimization is because they are rich in question keywords, which are critical in voice search. FAQs have a higher ranking potential because of the prevalence of voice search queries formulated using the question keywords "who," "what," "when," "where," "how," and "which."
By their very nature, FAQs make it easier for Google to pull content from your website and display it as a featured snippet. A featured snippet is third-party information that Google displays above organic results and ads to provide users with quick and concise answers to their queries - a clear boon to your content's ranking.
Incorporate long-tail keywords in your website's content
Let's say your company sells furniture. The odds of your website ranking in the top results for a search using only the term "furniture" are close to nil. That's because the amount of competition in the "furniture" space is staggering. But if you specialize in Victorian furniture, searches with (long-tail) keywords like "Victorian-influenced half-moon lounge" have a much higher chance of including you in the top results.
Long-tail keywords will draw less traffic than shorter and more common keywords, but they allow your business to set itself apart from the pack. The traffic directed to your site due to a match in long-tail keywords will be much more relevant to your business - and those users will be more likely to make a purchase.
A good place for long-tail keywords is your website's long-form content: articles, blog posts, etc. Google takes the keywords used in the user's search query and crawls the web for the closest match to the user's query (read: keywords). It doesn’t matter if it's in the title (as in this article), a header or the body of text. Google will disregard the relevant content's position on the page, privileging the match in keywords rather than its location.
Optimize your website's loading time
Despite being critical in ranking search results, this point is often overlooked in both voice and keyboard searches. Search engines quickly abandon websites that take a long time to load - hence website loading times directly impact search results and their ranking.
And speed is even more critical with voice searches because verbal queries tend to be answered roughly twice as fast as keyboard and screen searches. That's because there are no visual elements to load (pictures, videos, etc.). If your website is slow to load, the odds are you'll be left out of voice search results altogether. Sites with speedy load times will beat you to it and rank higher.
A few quick tips to improve your website's loading times would be to:
- Compress the images and videos that appear on your site
- Reduce the number of redirects as well as the number of plugins you use
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
So there you have it. Voice search is something you want working for you. And the above tips should help you get there. As voice search scales up, so does its potential to grow your business. If you want to grow your business, voice search may well be the answer you've been looking for…
Modev was founded in 2008 on the simple belief that human connection is vital in the era of digital transformation. Today, Modev produces market-leading events such as VOICE Global, presented by Google Assistant, VOICE Summit, and the award-winning VOICE Talks internet talk show. Modev staff, better known as "Modevators," include community building and transformation experts worldwide. To learn more about Modev, and the breadth of events offered live and virtually, visit modev.com.