With machine learning and NLP algorithms advancing, it can be hard to keep up with all the technological change.
One of the new advancements in search engine marketing and SEO is voice search optimization. More and more,
people are talking to their smart devices to make life, and the need to know, a lot easier. Over 2 billions dollars of
sales have been generated from voice assistant devices. Furthermore, around 58% of consumers are using voice
assistants to find small businesses nearby. As a small business owner in 2023, voice search optimization is a must-
have for your SEO strategy. Today, we will show you how to get started with optimizing your small business website
for voice search, let’s get started!
Full Website Responsiveness
Having a responsive website design is key to optimizing for voice search. Lots of people use home voice assistants
such as Amazon’s Alexa and Echo Dot. However, more of us use our phones for quick voice searches. Having a
website that is designed to fit on mobile screens is the first step in optimizing your small business website for voice
search. When your website shows in a voice search, information needs to be readily available and easy to read.
Responsiveness should be held as a standard for all small business websites. If your website is only designed to fit
on a desktop screen, you may want to talk to a developer to update the responsiveness for tablet and phone.
People First content
Your content should be designed for people, not search engines. This means that if you are stuffing your posts with
relevant keywords, you should look to revamp your website. With the rise of digital media, many of us have become
reliant on short and fast responses. Therefore, you want to include content that has sentences with direct answers.
Be as straight-forward as possible, but maintain a people-first approach.
Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Computers use a procedure called natural language processing (NLP) in order to understand human writing and
speaking patterns. NLP is a part of artificial intelligence, which allows machines to understand and effectively
communicate with humans. With this being said, making your content as direct as possible helps AI voice
assistants determine the best response for a user’s question.
Another way to accommodate for short and quick answers to questions is by using structured data/schema
markups. Schema markup is an excerpt of code that can be read by Google to list important content from your
website on Google. Adding schema markup can generate “rich results” which are special SERP snippets meant to
better engage Google users. The main (and most supported) form of structured data is the JSON – LD markup,
which is inputted into your website’s CMS backend. Schema markup can be added to the main body file of your
website’s backend. For more information on how to add schema markup for local SEO visit our blog post here.
Examples of Structured Data
Google has a wide variety of accepted structured data types for your website. Depending on what niche you are in,
certain structured data will not apply to you as you won’t need it or have access to it. Let’s go through some
commonly used structured data mark-ups you can use for your website.
Structured data that lists key information about your small business. This includes contact information, logo, and
other branding elements that make your business stand out. Having a Local Business schema mark-up is a must for
small business owners. This structured data is a small, yet simple SEO boost that can improve the quality of
information in your business’ knowledge panel on Google. Local Business structured data is also good for giving
voice search users quick contact information as well.
Structured data that extracts your product reviews from your website’s product pages to show rich result snippets
for ratings, pros and cons of products, and review.
Structured data for navigation, breadcrumbs show rich results of the trail from a page on your website, back to the
main home page. This may help your target audience identify other content they are looking for on your website.
Having a frequently asked questions page is especially useful for voice search. Most of the questions we ask our
smart devices are “Who, What, When, Where, Why” phrases. FAQ pages are important to optimize as your content
on this page is likely in the same format. Your FAQ headings serve as possibly asked questions of your intended
voice searchers. Meaning, that the answers to your FAQs should best answer voice searched themes within your
If you are familiar with SEO you know what keywords are. If not, keywords (in this sense) are words used in your
website content that are relevant to daily searches. Long-tailed keywords are a series of keywords that are more
specific. Using more specific keywords that are relevant to the area you are in, may help people searching for your
small business in their area! Example: if you were a restaurant in Florham Park N.J. you would want to rank for the
long-tailed keywords “best restaurants in Florham Park”
Google My Business
A common Google feature associated with voice search is the Google Map Pack. One of the most common voice
searches are “Directions to nearest….” searches. Upon loading the results for these types of searches, often a map
pack appears with local businesses relevant to the search. As a small business, part of being seen in these map
packs is creating a Google My Business profile (and having structured data).
Consistent NAP Info
In addition to having a GMB profile you want to make sure your NAP info is consistent. NAP stands for (Name,
Address, Phone). Your business name, business address, and business phone number should remain consistent on
the web. Maintaining consistent NAP, will make it easier for your business to be located and presented for voice
Question & Answer Form Metadata
Question and answer structured meta heading and meta descriptions are another way to appear for voice search
SERPs. Similar to FAQ pages, question and answer formatted content and metadata are always useful for voice
Recap: Optimizing Your Small Business Website for Voice Search
Optimizing your website for voice search is about…
- Having consistent NAP information
- Easy to read website content
- Short and to the point content
- Having a fully Responsive Website Design
- Using structured data
- Question and Answer content
Using this approach, you will be able to fine-tune your SEO to accommodate the many clients/customers awaiting
your small business through voice search!
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