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6 ways to rank for voice searches

According to the Smart Audio Report 2020, “52% of voice-assistant users say they use voice tech several times a day or nearly every day”. With this statistic in mind, making our websites voice-search friendly has become a priority. Voice search is when people speak into their computer, mobile device, or smart speaker to search for something.

This type of search can be divided into two types of searches:

  • Voice search is when someone searches for information on a topic they are interested in.
  • Voice action is when someone searches for something and wants to do something with the information like purchasing a takeaway, going to the nearest shopping centre, or booking an appointment.

Here are six ways to rank for voice searches

1. Be conversational but concise

Before voice search became popular, people would type in a few keywords to look for information. They might have typed “best restaurant Johannesburg”. Now with voice search, people would say “What is the best restaurant in Johannesburg?” Therefore, it is important to write content in a more conversational tone and ensure you include the little words like “a” “an” “with” etc. Another aspect to remember is to keep the content concise. When creating content use subheadings and try to keep your answer down to about 29 words.

2. Use structured data

This information is not visible to your customer, but it helps search engines to better evaluate the content on your site and rank your website according to a variety of content types. You can learn more about structured data here. If you want to test if your structured data is correct for the content types you want to rank for, you can test it on the Google Schema Validator.

3. Design to be mobile-friendly 

This should be a step you have already taken with your website as over 36 million internet users in South Africa use their mobile phones to be online. If you have designed your website on WordPress, you need to make sure your theme is responsive to the different devices it could be viewed on. You can test your site here. Another item to focus on is making sure your website uploads quickly.

4. Claim your listings

The smart speaker device that someone uses will impact which search engine is used to retrieve your information for their query. Looking for local places has become popular with voice search. It is important that your listings on Google My Business, Bings Places for Business and Apple’s Places on Maps are accurate and filled out correctly. Your name, address and phone number for your business should be correct across all places where your business is listed.

5. Create an FAQ page

One of Google’s favourite ways to answer voice searches is to use answers which are about 29 words long. By creating a page with frequently asked questions (FAQ) in the way that your target audience asks, you will be able to rank higher than your competitors. Listen to the questions used by your clients and use them on your FAQ page.

6. Try to be a featured snippet

Because many smart speaker devices will only read the featured snippet, it is crucial to be featured. You can do this by being one of the top 10 pages in a Google search as this is where the featured snippet is taken from. If you look at Google Analytics, you can see which keywords your customers use to find your page. Lastly, look at what else people are searching for when they search for the keywords you are looking at and try to write content for these searches as well.

By implementing one of these six ways you will be well on your way to creating a website that will rank well for voice searches.

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