So far in this series, we’ve set the scene: voice search is no flash in the pan or technological curiosity. It’s the new normal, and something that all brands should start thinking about.
We know how quickly usage is increasing, who the main users are and how the tech itself works. Now to get to the important stuff and look at how content creators can adapt. The good news is that voice search doesn’t represent a radical change of approach. It is essentially a continuation of the trend towards prioritising relevance and usability seen over the last few years.
Here are some of the ways we can start optimising content for voice search today.
The primary way people interact with voice search is by asking questions, so it makes sense that your content should look to provide the answers.
Take the following question:
Now, let’s look at two potential answers:
The text in bold shows the answer to the question that the user has asked. In the second example, the answer provides them with the information they wanted straight away. It’s also much easier for the Natural Language Processing that underpins voice search to interpret.
As we talked about in the first part of this series, voice searches tend to be longer and more conversational than keyboard queries. Overly formal and long-winded language isn’t going to work in this situation. Instead, you should use a more conversational tone. For example, we’d recommend writing “at the same time” instead of “simultaneously”.
The best way to make sure your writing is conversational is to read it out loud. This quickly shows when language sounds unnatural and helps to produce a better flow.
With regards to keywords, stuffing them in is not an option. Instead, focus on keyword prominence and trying to get the right words and phrases in headlines, URL slugs and the first paragraph.
FAQ pages are also an easy win for brands looking to take advantage of voice search. You don’t have to worry about being too functional with the language, and you can fill this page with long-tail keyphrases.
One of the most common phrases used for voice searches is ‘near me’. If you haven’t created content that caters for local SEO, then you could be missing out on this search traffic. This is another area where an FAQ page can provide a lot of value, allowing you to answer key questions.
It is also a good idea to claim your Google ‘My Business’ listing. It’s a great way to make sure that Google has all the additional information it needs about your business including your industry, phone number, address, opening hours and more. By keeping this up to date, you are increasing the chances of appearing in voice search results.
The majority of voice searches take place on mobiles. This means that making your content hard to read on a smaller screen can be a costly mistake.
In particular, you want to keep an eye on:
The goal of good content is to communicate information in the most useful way. Nowadays, search engines are the first choice for users to find the answers they want, and digital content writers need to keep this in mind.
When it comes to voice search, there are three specific areas to focus on.
The foundations for good content writing won’t change drastically as voice search becomes more embedded. But making small changes and focusing on structuring your content around user questions will give you the edge over your competitors.
In our final post of this series, we’ll show you how to fit voice search into your brand’s content strategy going forward.
The full list of posts are below:
Content writing is in our DNA. We’re a copywriting company with a team of expert writers, content strategists and project managers. Get in touch for copywriting services that bring your brand and values to life.