Aim for Featured Snippets
Google Home and Google Assistant currently read out featured snippets when they answer voice search queries, so it makes sense that you aim for the elusive position zero. Whilst there is no definitive answer as to how you gain that top spot, plenty of research has been undertaken to figure out how. The below works pretty well as a set of guidelines, and is worth bearing in mind when writing your content.
- Answer Specific Questions – Use answer the Public to find common questions on your chosen subject, and use that as a basis to create your copy. Include the question as an H2, and answer it in the body text directly below.
- Answer Questions Concisely – You don’t want to use a load of jargon that people won’t understand. Google wants to feature the best answer, so make sure yours is clear and easily digestible. Answers in the form of lists have fared particularly well in featured snippets.
- Write Engaging and Interesting Copy –5% of featured snippets come from a page that ranks in the top 10. It goes without saying you should already be ensuring your page is well optimised: your content should be engaging your meta data optimised, and your internal and external link building game strong.
Remember: voice search queries will be more conversational than written queries. Make sure this is reflected in your tone of voice, to help you climb the rankings.
Perfect Your Local SEO
39% of voice search users are looking for business information; so, its never been a more important time to optimise your local SEO. Ensure your Google My Business page is up to date with the correct address, contact details and opening hours listed. After all, if a user is asking where their nearest hairdresser is you want to ensure that you’re in top position.
Similarly, if a user is asking what time your store shuts, you want to make sure the correct information is provided, otherwise they will be misinformed, and you could miss out on a sale. Other ways to optimise for local searches include building your online reviews and using structured data markup.
Improve your site speed
Voice search is almost exclusively used on mobile, and it goes without saying that your website should be mobile optimised. If its not, then users will simply bounce back, which will harm your rankings. A page that takes five seconds to load is 90% more likely to suffer from bounce backs, compared to a page that loads in just one second.
Google found that bounce rates on mobile are 9.56% higher than on desktops. Mobile users – and especially those using voice search – are likely to be on the go, and won’t have time to hang about.