The voice search revolution is marking its place in the SEO game, and the trend will continue to rise. You have just jumped on the train and are ready to make your content voice search friendly. But be careful not to slip and fall.
Not to worry, in this article, we will be discussing the mistakes that you should avoid when making voice search friendly content.
What Is a Voice Search
Have you heard of Siri, Alexa, and Cortana? No, they’re not the girls next door, but virtual assistants. Just like the Google Assistant, they respond to verbal commands. We usually communicate with them for online search, online shopping, or when using smart home devices.
That is what you call a voice search － a speech recognition technology that lets users search for information on the web using voice instructions.
Voice search is becoming widely used because it’s easier and faster than typing. It’s more convenient for users who need to multitask. You will also get instant answers from the virtual assistants.
You can check out the article about voice search on PRable for an in-depth explanation.
Mistakes to Avoid
One way for your website to rank high on the SERPs is to optimize the content for voice search. To do that you should avoid the mistakes we’ve compiled below.
High Reading Level
The web is used by people around the globe, and not everyone has English as their first language. No one would want to read an article that is written with sophisticated and smart-sounding words that are hard to understand.
The average reading level for voice search results is at about the 9th grade. Therefore, make sure that your content is easy to read and simple. Try to avoid using fancy words and jargon. You can use the Hemingway Editor to keep track of your content’s readability.
Using Formal Tone
People talk as if they’re communicating with a person when they use voice search. In other words, in an informal way of speaking. Try not to write content using a formal tone. Write as if the reader is your friend looking for answers.
Visitors will feel welcome if they come across your content and of course, will stay longer to read more of what you have to say. Using an informal tone when writing also reduces the reading level of your content. So it’s like killing two birds with one stone.
If your content tends to be shorter than the average word count of Google’s first page results, then the voice search might not catch it. Yes, writing longer pieces don’t ensure that it will be picked up on a voice search. But longer content can fit in more related keywords.
The more keywords you have in your content, the higher the probability of them matching with a voice search query.
No Longtail Keywords
As we’ve mentioned before, when using voice assistants, it’s as if you are talking to a person. Thus, most people will use long phrases and not short and choppy keywords. You need you to use conversational keywords.
This is where longtail keywords come in. You can phrase them in the way people speak. For example, turning them into questions and putting them up as headings or setting them as your target keywords. Not only its a good practice of traditional SEO but also voice search optimization.
Low Site Speed
The time needed for your website to load influences whether or not your content will come up in the voice search results. People who use voice search are usually on the go or multitasking. Therefore, they need information fast.
You won’t be able to reach those searchers if your pages load pretty slow. You can check your site speed at PageSpeed Insights. The tool will tell you if your page is loading fast enough and gives suggestions on how to make it faster.
Keep in mind that mobile site speed is important in voice search optimization. This is due to the fact that voice search is mostly used on mobile devices.
Not Mobile Friendly
Continuing from the point above, if your website is not mobile friendly, then the structure will reduce it’s loading speed on mobile devices. Visitors won’t stay long on your page if they see that the layout isn’t organized to fit their mobile device screens.
It will result in low ranks on search engine results page, making it hard for your content to pop up in voice search results.
The use of voice search is currently on the rise as it’s much easier and more convenient than typing. Website owners should take the opportunity to make voice search friendly content to attract more traffic. However, try to avoid the mistakes that we’ve listed above to voice search optimize your content effectively.