Google, which claims the overwhelming majority of search engine user’s love, processes 5.6 billion search queries every single day. That’s an almost unimaginably massive number of searches being streamed through one search engine alone. The fact that we’re obsessed with searching online is old news, but how we’re going about doing it has changed.
Maybe you’ve heard the statistic floating around that by next year, at least 50% of search queries will be initiated through voice. It’s arguable that we’ve not only already reached that point but surpassed it. Voice search is huge and understanding how to appear in voice search results is becoming more important for gaining any significant traction from an SEO perspective.
Wait, there’s a difference between traditional SEO and that for voice search? The answer is yes, and it involves focusing in on differentiating your SEO strategy for the nuanced differences between voice and text-based search engine users. This includes a combination of keyword differences, geographical targets, and locally focused content marketing, among other strategies – like voice search schema markup.
What Is Schema Markup for Voice Search Optimization?
When asked, 71% of people say they prefer to use voice assistance for search queries rather than typing in the search themselves. Voice is easy, hassle free and can be done from pretty much anywhere at any time. The increased use of voice search has put new demands on businesses that are hoping to connect with their audience through search engine optimization.
The simple fact is that the mechanics of a voice search are different from that of text-based inquiries. One way that you can adapt to these differences is through schema markup.
Schema markup, also called structured data or schema, is a form of HTML data that gets built into your webpages. The point of using schema is to help your site be more easily discovered by search engines. Schema provides search engines with a more complete picture of what your website is all about and your intent.
Think of it this way, search engines like Google have advanced to the point that they’re pretty intuitive about picking up on intent, but they still need some help. Schema markup is akin to providing search engines with instructions on how to best understand your intent, target audience and the value you provide to search engine users. This makes it easier for search engines to align your website to relevant search queries. In other words, schema markup is incredibly important for boosting your online presence.
Since the way voice users search online is different from that of text users, search engines are also going to look for different indicators of intent and relevancy. By adapting schema markup to appeal to voice search users, you essentially providing Google with a road map that leads voice users to your digital doorstep.
How Do I Optimize My Website for Voice Search?
Understanding why schema markup is important for voice search is one thing but adapting your current approach for voice search optimization is another. You wouldn’t be the first business to find themselves a little confused and unclear about how to approach schema to most effectively optimize their website for voice users.
If you’re already familiar with schema markup, or work with a digital marketing professional that helps with the process, then you’re already a few steps ahead in the game. Still, there are a few things everyone – even those with a limited base of knowledge of schema markup - can do to easily optimize their website for voice search.
In practically every case, voice search involves a more conversational tone than text. With text, we’ve become accustomed to using a type of shorthand and typing as few words as possible to get our point across. The language of a text query is typically broken or very primitive. On the other hand, voice users tend to speak in their natural language patterns, which means search engines are going to be looking for something entirely different when connecting them with results.
To optimize your site for voice search, your website copy should have a more conversational tone, and this includes schema markup. For example, the meta data for each page, alt text and captions used for videos and images should all have a more conversational tone to them.
Start Slow and Build Up
You don’t need to go over the top and worry about adding voice optimized schema to every single page of your website. It’s perfectly acceptable to start with the most important pages, like the ones that have a history of driving the most conversions.
Look for Speakable Snippets
A quick scanning of your content for speakable snippets to include is a good starting point for ways to optimize your schema markup. By speakable snippets, we’re referring to chunks of content that could easily be said aloud.
These snippets would have a very conversational tone and not sound robotic if read aloud. Examples might include an intro to a video or a summarizing paragraph of one of your most popular blogs.
Ask for Help
Search engine optimization is always in a state of flux. Search engines are constantly switching up their algorithms to adapt to the changing demands of their users. This can create a challenge, not to mention headaches, for businesses that want to maximize their online presence.
Voice search isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and businesses need to take steps now to reach out to this growing audience. Businesses like yours can get the most traction out of their digital marketing strategy by working with a partner who specializes in voice search optimization services.
A Trusted Partner in Digital Marketing Services
Knowmad is a trusted partner in digital marketing services that include providing you with voice search optimization services. When you’re ready to maximize your presence online, contact Knowmad and let us help you develop a strategy that meets the demands of today’s voice search user.
Diona is a managing partner at Knowmad. Her areas of expertise include digital marketing strategy, project management, brand management, search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click advertising, inbound marketing, content marketing, conversion rate optimization, social media marketing and website design.