Did you know that 71% of people in the USA prefer searching for stuff online using voice search rather than traditional search?
That’s a pretty powerful statement! If seven out of ten people use voice, then it is, perhaps, time to put more effort into optimizing our content for that type of search.
Ah, but we know what you’re thinking – voice search is still very wonky and not at all reliable!
However, consider the use of Cortana or Alexa. These are entirely voice-based technologies that are proven to work very well, even when spoken to in an organic speaking manner, without having to contort your voice and speech in order for the machine to recognize you.
So, with that said, it’s very clear that voice search is becoming increasingly more competent and more important. And with the advent of Magento 2 and its focus shift toward voice search, it’s time you learn how to optimize your Magento website for Google voice search.
Research Your Keywords
Now, don’t get frightened – optimizing your website for a voice search won’t be too different from doing basic SEO. The first thing you need to do is do thorough research of your most relevant keywords.
Of course, you already know how important keywords are for your rankings. The better your keyword fits a query, the more likely your website will be picked up by the search engine and displayed on the first page.
However, here’s something you might not have known – long-tail keywords make up 70% of all online traffic!
So, while short keywords will make your content relevant, they’re also very generic, and your website may end up being overlooked. Long-tail keywords (keywords consisting of at least 3 words), however, are much more specific, and optimizing your content for these keywords will push it to the forefront of SERP and get you those desired clicks.
This also ties in well with voice search optimization due to the nature of human speech. We don’t usually speak in terse phrases – instead, we tend to use long-winded words to get our point across as clearly and as precisely as possible.
With that being said, if you really want to make your content relevant for voice search, optimizing it for long-tail keywords should be your primary goal, as they’re the driving force behind this technology.
Optimize for the Mobile
This point cannot be emphasized enough – optimizing for the mobile is the single best investment for your website.
Why? Because 54.4% of all online traffic comes from mobile phones
And that’s very logical if you think about it. Just take note of yourself and your browsing habits – it’s most likely that you yourself use your mobile device to browse the net for hours on end.
Indeed, mobile browsing is so trendy right now that some websites skip the PC entirely and go straight to creating apps or optimizing for mobile straight away. Magento website development is also moving increasingly in this direction as well, and many development agencies view this solution as very smart and popular.
In regard to optimizing your website for voice search, mobile optimization is of great benefit. Over 50% of mobile users also frequently engage with voice search, so you can expect with great certainty that this is where all your queries and all your traffic will be coming from.
Luckily, Google itself offers a number of tools you can use to check the mobile-friendliness of your website.
For starters, you can use Google Mobile-Friendly Test to check if your website has all the features of a mobile-friendly design. You can also use Google Speed and Webpage tests to ensure your website loads quickly and is frustration-free.
Get Rank Zero
Rank zero, aka featured snippet, is the top result that is displayed as a direct answer to a particular search query. Rank zero is extremely important for both text and voice search, but it is especially important for the latter, as it directly feeds voice-based search, and the voice software will read it out loud, as well as the website that hosts it.
If you can get to rank zero, then that means your website is the most relevant for the given search query, which will drastically improve your visibility. Of course, getting to rank zero will require a bit of work, but it’s not as hard as one might think.
The key element of rank zero snippets is careful targeting of the specific keyword. This ties in with the first bit about keyword research – conducting thorough research will let you know what particular queries are people searching for and what keywords are the most relevant for those queries.
After that, all you need to do is create a small meta text that directly answers those queries with the keyword included in an organic, seamless manner, and you’re very likely to get featured in the zero position.
One caveat, however – rank zero is chosen from the top ten organic results in SERP, so make sure your website is well optimized to be featured in those top ten, or you’ll have no chance of getting featured snippet.
Prioritize Local Search
Consider this: around 97% of people searching online are searching for a local business. On top of that, 76% of users searching for local businesses do so using voice search at least once a week.
Again, this is a pretty powerful statement in favor of voice search. Thus, optimizing your Magento website for local search becomes not only prudent but a must.
There are plenty of ways you can optimize your site for local SEO, and most of them are fairly simple and straightforward. You’ll want to optimize for local long-tail keywords, as well as update your NAP and keep it regularly updated.
As for local long-tails, they’re like more generic long-tails, just with the addition of a location. For example, you can search for “affordable plumbing services,” but if you want to shop in the Toronto area, you can go with “affordable plumbing services Toronto.”
Considering most people prefer to shop locally, or if you have a small local, possibly brick-and-mortar business, targeting these keywords is essential in order to draw in customers and make yourself more visible to them.
When it comes to NAP (name, address, phone number), this is the basic information you want your customers to know. Having them displayed and neatly updated shows signs of your professionalism but also makes it easy for customers to get in touch with you.
Finally, make sure your Google Business profile is updated, and make sure you’ve claimed your business on popular online directories like Apple Maps and Yellowpages to be featured on the map pack.
And that’s all we have for you when it comes to optimizing your Magento website for voice search. As you’ve seen, the process is easier than you might expect, as many SEO practices that work for text-based searches also work for voice searches.
In essence, what we’re trying to say is that if you already have strong SEO practices in place for your website, you’ll probably be able to easily optimize for voice with only minor adjustments. That’s all there is to it!
Rick Seidl is a digital marketing specialist with a bachelor’s degree in Digital Media and Communications, based in Portland, Oregon. With a burning passion for digital marketing, social media, small business development, and establishing its presence in a digital world, he is currently quenching his thirst through writing about digital marketing and business strategies for LondonTransportHub.