Have you ever had to alter your voice so much that you almost sound like a robot yourself, just to be understood by your virtual assistant? Luckily, Cortana, Siri and other virtual assistants are now much better at recognising human speech. Here, Jessica Phillips, junior account manager at Stone Junction, explains how businesses should alter their approach to SEOto encompass voice search. 

ComScore has estimated that by 2020, more than half of all searches will be done via voice search. With this in mind, how can we take advantage of this rise in voice search in our own campaigns?

Schema markup

Schema markup is a type of structured data markup that you can include in the HTML code of your webpages to provide a better explanation of what your website is about. Schema also increases the chance of your website appearing as a rich result — the text that appears first on a search page as a snippet or quick answer. These snippets are often used as the sources for answers in voice search.

Writing scheme markup isn’t as difficult as it seems. In fact, Google has a structured data markup helper to get you started.

Focus on long-tail keywords

This might sound obvious, but the way that people perform searches when they’re spoken is very different to when typed. Traditionally, we’ve optimised our web pages using head keywords, which are typically one to two words that target a broader topic or category. The introduction of voice search calls for more long-tail keywords in our search engine optimisation campaigns. This allows us to use a more conversational sentence-based format to match the way that we speak.

Go local

A large percentage of local searches are done with voice; when people are on-the-go and looking for directions or recommendations. If you’re a business with an inherently local audience, there are a few SEO tips that could help boost your chances of being picked up by voice search algorithms.

First, try to use keyword queries that tie back to your location such as using your city’s name. You also need to make sure that you’re present in third party apps and local directories, especially those that provide customer reviews. If you’re able to edit your bio on these pages, optimise it as you would your own website. Uses may search through these as well as they would traditional SERPs. Finally, you’ll need to make sure that your traditional SEO campaign is up-to-scratch with good on-site optimisation and plenty of high-quality inbound links.

Whether you decide to succumb to a virtual assistant in your personal life is completely down to you. However, if you ignore the introduction of the technology in your SEO campaign, you’re sure to lose out to your competition in the long-term.

If you need help with traditional or voice-optimised SEO, we can help. Get in touch with me on 01785 225416 or by dropping me at email at jessica@stonejunction.co.uk for more information.

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