Optimizing for voice search is different than optimizing for traditional search

According to research on Google’s SERP (search engine result pages, the first result returned receives over 35% of clicks. There’s an even smaller window in voice searches. When using smart home devices like Alexa, it only returns a single result. When using a voice search on a mobile device, it presents only three results.

It’s obvious that ranking at the top is crucial for voice searches.

In 2020, voice technology will drive nearly 50% of all searches. Because of this, all businesses need to prepare and optimize for voice search.

Voice Search Infographic

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Here Are 4 Crucial Steps to Optimize Your Business for Voice search in 2020.

1. Optimized Business Listings

This step for Google voice search might seem obvious but is neglected by many businesses. It’s absolutely critical to keep all business NAP listings up-to-date and consistent. Wherever you list your business on the web, make sure your name, address, and phone number are accurate and identical.

Businesses lose over $10 billion of revenue each year because they don’t stay on top of NAP data. Don’t be one of them.

2. Site Speed

In a mobile-first environment, don’t overlook site speed. Speed is important to voice search because mobile users are looking for immediate results to their questions. Google takes site speed into account for Google voice search rankings. A slow site will bury you in the results.

Work with your web developer to lower your page loading times to under three seconds. This is key when you’re optimizing for voice search results.

3. Focus Site Content on Questions

When utilizing smart home devices and voice search engines, 41% of users say that it feels like talking with a friend. Instead of plugging in keywords, they ask questions. Within your site content, use long-tail phrases that are conversational in nature. This helps your site rank better on searches that users present in the form of a question. Find the natural language phrases that your audience is likely to ask, then implement them into your site content and SEO strategies.

4. Provide Answers

When you optimize for search engines based on featured snippets, you also optimize for voice search. Approximately 41% of voice search results stem from featured snippets.

Here are a few ways you can do this:

• Focus on content that answers questions
• Keep content fresh and updated
• Mark up questions with H2 headers
• Answer the existing question from Google My Business
• Create questions about your services and products

Look at reviews to help determine what questions you need to answer in your content.

Voice Search Goes Beyond Mobile-First

It’s imperative to drive sites to the top of voice search results in 2020. It’s no longer enough to focus only on mobile search results. As more of the population uses voice technology to find what they’re looking for, it’s time to get ahead of the curve.

Use these four strategies to start building your voice search SEO efforts.