I know what you’re thinking… voice search?! That only makes up a fraction of search traffic! Well… you might be right for now. But times are changing quickly. Think about all the digital assistants out there—Alexa, Siri, and Cortana. Their adoption is growing and along with that growth comes increased voice search traffic. As a matter of fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020 voice-activated searches will account for more than 30% of all web searches. That’s HUGE.
It marks a massive shift in the way people search and interact with the internet. Soon everyone is going to be asking Alexa questions about everything and anything, including what your business may be offering. So, while it’s true that voice search isn’t big YET, it’s your chance to become an early adopter, rather than being late to the party.
That’s why I’ve put together 6 Powerful SEO tips for voice searches.
But before I begin, what is “Voice Search Optimization”?
Voice search optimization is the optimization of your website for digital voice assistants, a new technology that lets people access online search engine results through voice commands.
Ok, now we’re ready.
Tip #1: HTTPS Compatibility for Voice Search.
First things first. Make sure your site is compatible with HTTPS (including an SSL certificate). In case you aren’t familiar with HTTPS, it’s a secure version of HTTP that allows for secure communication over the internet. Google and other search providers are now requiring all sites to comply with this compatibility. If your site isn’t secure, it’s going to affect your chances of making it to the voice search results big time. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to update. Contact your website’s hosting provider and they will be able to make the change.
Tip #2: Linking to Authoritative Domains For Voice Search.
Start building an authoritative domain. This is probably something you want to do anyways, but it seems to have extra relevance when it comes to voice searches. The digital assistants are selective when it comes to which results they choose to share and prefer domains with authority.
Start by finding small, incremental changes that you can make to improve the quality of your website. Go back to old blog posts and add more links, add additional statistics, fix grammar errors, improve the layout of your page, etc.
Another way to build authority is by reaching out to other authoritative sites in your industry and ask them to link to your website. This will add to your “SEO juice” and increase your chances of making it to the voice search results.
Making sure that your Google My Business is up to date, getting more reviews, and getting social shares are additional ways you can also build your authority. Start small and continue to make improvements over time!
Tip #3: Speed It Up.
Speed things up. Way up!
If you want to rank well in Google voice search results, your website load speed needs to be supercharged to the next level. To be truly optimized for voice search, you want to get to a load time of 4.6 seconds or faster. That’s more than 50% faster than an average web page!
Go to PageSpeed Insights to check your speed and see where you rank.
There is also an entire subset of SEOs that deal exclusively with speeding up your page. If you need extra help, you can reach out to one of these companies as well.
Considering switching your web hosting or server could also be another solution if you find that your current provider is not giving you ample bandwidth and slowing you down.
Bonus tip! Shopify did a study and showed that a fast site is critical for a good customer experience, particularly if you have an e-commerce website—79% of customers who are “dissatisfied” with a website’s performance are less likely to buy from that site again. So, don’t just consider this a speed fix for voice searches, but for your website’s performance as a whole. 🙂
That’s it for part one. Stay tuned for part 2 next week! 😉
Have any other tips to improve your voice search SEO? Leave them in the comments below!
This info is invaluable. How can I find out more?
Thank you! Wordstream.com also has great resources you can check out for voice search. The future is here.