How to Optimize Your Copywriting for Voice Search
Do you own a smart speaker device like Google Home or Alexa? If so, you’re among the approximately one in eight Canadians who do, and that number is on the rise.
Voice-first devices are actually so popular that in the first year they were introduced, 12.5% of Canadians obtained one. For comparison, only 3% of Canadians owned a tablet the first year they came out. Even in Netflix’s first year, only 6% of Canadians had subscribed. Clearly, voice-first devices are making a splash that will have a lasting impact on your business.
It’s no surprise that voice-first devices are so popular because the convenience factor is so high. A study by Stanford University found that speech recognition technology is three times faster than typing.
However, now that we’re moving beyond short keyword searches into the long-tail keywords of speech, it’s imperative that you adapt your copywriting to accommodate voice searches.
Ok… How? What exactly should you do to optimize for voice search when preparing content for your brand? How can you make sure your content is living up to voice search requirements?
Here are several ways you can optimize your content for voice search:
Make your Content Question-and-Answer-Based
Voice-search queries are often more specific than typed questions. So, if you want Google to love your voice-search optimized content and rank it high on the number one page, make sure your content follows a question-answer approach that includes a variety of long-tail keywords.
When it comes to writing with a focus on question and answer, it’s about turning your content into a direct solution for a specific problem that someone would vocalize.
Think about the question that a user would ask Alex or Siri and use that as your title. For example, people might ask:
- “How Can I Optimize my Writing for Voice Search?
- “What are the latest Google Home-enabled devices?”
- “What restaurants are open late in Toronto near me?”
- “What’s happening in Vancouver this weekend?”
Voice search-friendly titles would follow the same format:
- “How to Optimize Your Copywriting for Voice Search”
- “What are the latest Google Home-enabled devices for 2019?”
- “What restaurants are open late in Toronto near the Danforth”
- “What’s happening in Vancouver April 20-22, 2019”
- Keep this approach in mind even for your subheadings and make sure your post directly answers the question being asked.
Write As If You’re Having a Conversation
Keywords are critical to SEO, but keyword stuffing is no longer a good SEO strategy. Instead, you should use natural language and long-tail keywords in your copywriting. When your posts answer questions in an easy to read way, your content will be seen as valuable, and it’ll rank higher on Google. Instead of keyword stuffing think keyword prominence. Your keyword should be prominently visible in the:
- Article headline and page title
- URL slug
- The first paragraph of the article
- Article subheadings
Voice search-friendly copywriting is all about aligning with the way a user speaks daily. That means you should use words like ‘very’ instead of ‘infinitely’ or ‘use’ instead of ‘utilize.’ When you sit down to write your copy, picture speaking the words out loud, this will help you produce content with a more conversational flow.
Make Sure Your Content is Mobile-Friendly
With Google Assistant on Android and Siri on the iPhone, more and more consumers are using voice search on their mobile devices. That means you have to make your content mobile-friendly or face the consequences of being left behind. Think about the smaller screen when writing your copy. This means you should try to use:
- Headlines with less than seven words
- Paragraphs that are no more than three-sentences
- Use subheadings, bullet points, etc.
Your audience will be able to skim and scan your content when you use these techniques, which makes it easier for them to digest even if they’re on the go.
Create Content Rich in Snippets
Have you ever scored a boxed search result on Google? That’s a featured snippet, and it’s a coveted spot for those who rank on top in Google organic search. To have a better chance at reaching this desired spot, and to rank higher overall, space your content into snippets and make sure to use more lists, paragraphs, and bullets.
For instance, if you’re writing a 2000 word article, make sure your content has at least six or seven paragraphs with subheadings that outline the different themes of each paragraph. If you’re writing about tips or tactics, your copy should include lists to make it easier to understand, both for the search engine and your readers.
It’s All About Long-Tail Keywords
We can’t stress enough just how important long-tail keywords are for voice search queries. To help you get a better idea of which long-tail keywords you should use in your copywriting, use tools like Google Auto Complete or Serpstat to predict natural speech searches.
For instance, if you’re writing about new smart home devices released this year, your article would be better optimized for voice-search if you use a long-tail keyword like “best smart home automation technology of 2019” instead of simply “smart home technology.” Long-tail keywords like this will help your article rank higher, while still giving prominence to the relevant shorter keywords like “smart” and “technology.”
Start Writing for Voice Search Now
It’s no easy feat to remain on top of the latest SEO trends, especially with new technologies like voice-search that continuously change the game. But, the best way to optimize your copywriting and stay ahead of the competition is to always think about questions that your product or service can answer and adjust your copy accordingly.
If you’d like to develop a content creation strategy with long-tail keywords, SEO, and voice-search optimization in mind give Barker Social a call today. We love helping businesses create a strategy that works, and we even offer a FREE consultation.