Voice Search and SEO: Is Your Business Ready?

With SEO constantly changing, it has become more challenging than ever to keep up with trends. Now, the addition of voice search has complicated matters even further and as the popularity of voice has exploded, so has the necessity to use voice search to your advantage.

As an Austin SEO consultant, I help businesses adapt to the ever-changing world of optimization. I have a few tips to help you develop an effective strategy that incorporates both text and voice searches for your business.

Is Voice Search Really Important?

You might be reading this thinking, “Is this really an essential topic in the grand marketing scheme of things?” The answer is yes, and if you don’t believe me, check out what the numbers say.

The introduction of voice search by Google in 2011 and the Google Hummingbird update in 2013 significantly changed the way information was optimized. Instead of stuffing keywords into content, marketers had to begin considering the context of the text, addressing the needs of their audience so they could crack the search engine hierarchy.

In 2016, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that 20 percent of all Google users were hunting for information using voice search. In addition, one-quarter of all Windows 10 searches done on desktops were also performed via voice. By some predictions, as many as half of all searches will be done by voice by 2020. Voice search is that important and the sooner you learn to incorporate it into your SEO, the better off your business will be.

5 Factors to Ramp Up Your Voice Search Results

Let’s look at five factors you can use to take your voice search results to the next level:

1. Rich Snippets

Rich snippets add information to search engine results that allow for a better understanding of what it contains. The goal of rich snippets is to help users find the information they are looking for more efficiently. For businesses, the correct use of structured data markups could lead to rich snippets, which in turn increase your visibility in searches and the likelihood users will go to your website.

2. Longtail Keywords

Longtail keywords help you to bridge the gap between voice searches and traditional SEO techniques. These keywords use longer, more conversational phrases to minimize competition and increase the odds of precise search results. To ensure longtail keywords are voice search-friendly, you need to create them like people would talk or ask a question. For example, instead of searching for “best coffee shops in Austin, you might plug in, “where is the best coffee in Austin?”

3. Conversational Words and Questions

Think about the words that come out of your mouth right after, “Okay, Google…” It is likely your requests are worded conversationally, as you would talk to another person rather than type in a keyword on a device. The style needs to be reflected in your content if you want searchers to connect with you. Since most queries to an assistant are worded as a question, keywords structured in a similar fashion will also perform better overall.

local seo voice search

4. Structured Data

Structured data helps search engines better understand what is contained in your content. Since context is the key to successful voice search SEO, this data is critical for helping users find you by voice searches. Structured data is also the first step in achieving those rich snippets that are so important in helping search engines and users understand the content you offer.

5. Local SEO

Voice searches are frequently localized to a specific area, so optimizing with your geo-locale is another essential feature for best search results. Also, local reviews and a Google My Business (GMB) listing can help customers find you more efficiently. Make sure your location, hours and contact information are updated so interested customers can get in touch with your business.

Voice and Text: The Ideal Union

Combining your optimization to encompass both traditional and voice searches is the best way to make sure your business gets found today. As voice search is only going to increase, the ability to optimize for these searches now will mean more robust marketing for your business later.

Looking for expert SEO advice in Austin? JS-Interactive is ready to help you take your small business marketing to the next level. Contact us today to learn more about our SEO and web design services.

Get Better SEO and Visibility with Schema

Upping the ante for the search engines is a constant goal for any business owner. The higher your ranking, the better your visibility. However, this ramping up process can be a whole lot more challenging than it sounds, especially for those that don’t speak Google’s language.

That’s where Schema becomes an invaluable tool in your SEO quest. Schema is the outcome of a collaboration between Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Yandex to get search engines the information necessary to better understand the content on your site. As an Austin SEO services provider, I have found Schema to be an integral part of many successful SEO campaigns.

What is Schema Markup?

Schema markup is language that will not be visible to your human visitors. It consists of an underlying code that is only viewed by the search engines. The tool takes structured data, used to give search engines context for your content, and puts it into a language that the primary search engines have agreed to follow.

At this point, schema markup is not necessarily making your website rank any higher. However, it is generating more traffic to your site, and more traffic means more prospective customers are finding your business. While most websites are using some version of schema and structured data, not all are using them as effectively as they could. Now is the time to rise above your competition by understanding this tool and using it to your advantage.

Benefits of Schema Markup

The simple addition of schema markup to your content has the potential to reap a host of benefits:

1. Improve crawling

When you include structured data or microdata, it makes your content more accessible for search engines to understand and recognize. This, in turn, makes your content more visible in organic search results.

2. The potential for “rich results.”

Rich results go beyond the standard link to catch the eye of your prospect. Some of the attributes that might enrich your results include rich snippets, star ratings, images, styling or details about your content.

rich snippets clickthrough rates

3. Enhance social platforms

Some social platforms like Pinterest recognize schema markups, to increase the power of your pins. This can also improve your visibility overall.

What Can Schema Mark Up?

The microdata used for schema is versatile enough to mark up all types of information. Some of the most common subjects this tool can enhance include:

  • People
  • Places
  • Products
  • Events
  • Organizations
  • Reviews
  • Creative works

Within each of these subjects lies the ability to provide additional information and more detailed descriptions. As your results move to the rich results category, you see more traffic from the search engines.

Will Schema Help with Voice Search?

Voice-activated searches are growing at a record pace across all demographics. Users are tuning into the fact that they can talk faster than they can type, and voice searches are a more efficient way for them to find what they need quickly. As voice search becomes more integrated into all our technologies the question of how to optimize a site for voice search is becoming more critical. Schema has been shown to improve SEO for both traditional and voice searches, as long as the information people are looking for is readily available on your site.

Streamlining the System with SchemaPro

Today, schema is not optional for business owners that want to score on the search engines. However, the idea of adding schema can be intimidating if it means a manual process of integration. WordPress lovers will be happy to know there is a simpler way. SchemaPro, a tool I use in my own Austin SEO company, does the tough work in three easy steps, making the process of adding eye-catching schema as efficient as possible.

If you are looking for expert Austin SEO services to bring your site to the next level, JS-Interactive is ready to help. Contact us today and find out how we can help you get the traffic you need to build your business.