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How to optimize your content for voice search

Google launched voice search technology more than a decade ago. And while it’s not new technology, it’s progressed significantly. Many in-the-home digital assistants, like Google’s Home and Amazon’s Echo, have been built around the ability to perform voice searches. Plus, with more than half of web searches being performed on mobile devices, a growing number of mobile searches are voice searches. Here are some things to think about if you want your web pages to rank, or provide answers, through voice search.

Build FAQ sections

One of the easiest ways to start building content tailored to voice search is by creating a question and answer section, or Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section, on pages where it makes sense.

How do you know what questions to include on your page? Enter AnswerThePublic. This is a powerful tool can help you generate ideas for questions around a topic or keyword. If you’re able, compare the data found from using this tool to questions customers have asked you when face to face. If your website has a survey with open-ended questions, you can do a deep dive on the responses to uncover questions visitors are asking about your products or services.

Once you have a core set of questions and answers, add them to the appropriate pages. It may be worth doing periodic tests on Google to see if your content is ranking on the search results, and make adjustments as needed.

Set up Google My Business

While not all searchers are looking for something local, many searchers are on-the-go and looking for services or products close to them. Voice searchers aren’t different. Because of that, you want to make sure your business has an opportunity to rank in the results for voice searches. One of the ways you can do that is by setting up, or claiming, your listing on Google My Business. Google My Business lists your location, phone number, hours, and website, so searchers have the information they need if they’re looking for a local shop or store. If you’re not set up on Google My Business, there’s a chance your business may not show up in search results, or there may be incorrect information listed about your store. Taking the time to claim your listing and set up your profile is worth it, because it puts you in a position to show people you’re open, and gives you an opportunity to turn searchers into customers.

Use structured data

Structured data helps Google understand more about your website and business. However, that doesn’t necessarily translate to a better rank or even more impressions, as structured data isn’t a ranking signal. Simply put, it provides context to search engine crawlers. Structured data isn’t the easiest thing to understand, and even if you manage to set it up, you still have to test it (using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool) to make sure it’s set up properly. So, why use it? Structured data helps your content stand out in search results. For example, you can use Local Business structured data to help search engines understand your business location, hours, phone number, and according to Google, “may display a prominent Knowledge Graph card with details about a business that matched the query.”

Josh Gellock

Josh is the principal SEO consultant at Expander Digital, an SEO studio he founded in 2014. He's been in the SEO space since 2011 and helps businesses manage their SEO through projects, consultations, and campaigns. When he’s not meeting with clients, you can find Josh spending time with his children or on a bike.

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