Site Optimization Checklist For Voice Search - Secrets From Semalt

By far, voice search is a trend that is gaining momentum. Western SEO experts insist that the share of voice search from mobile devices is 20%, and by next year this figure will increase to 50%.

Even despite the statistics, it is obvious that verbal communication for a person is the main and priority way of interacting with the outside world. We love getting answers to questions. Another reason why voice search is becoming more popular is speed. After all, asking is faster than entering a text query. Let's also take into account that voice search is more comfortable for people with disabilities.

Therefore, it is high time to make sure that Google Home, Siri, or the popular in the West Alexa preferred the content of your site to competitors. And don't forget that 35% of voice queries come from "Smart Speakers," who have no screen at all, and who will choose one of the 10 most relevant search results for playback.

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Why do you need website optimization for voice queries?

According to Com Score analysts, more than half of 2020 searches was made using voice search. In early 2019, Adobe conducted a study and found that 44% of mobile users search using their voice every day. In the course of SEO work, it is critically important to optimize the site for this direction.

According to analysts' forecasts, revenue from voice queries in the UK alone will amount to 3.5 billion pounds by 2022, and the US market will gain even more - 40 billion dollars, and this is only thanks to voice queries from search!

The English-speaking Internet has already appreciated the high importance of website optimization for voice search. In Runet, search engine optimization for voice queries is not a priority, although the share of queries from mobile devices exceeded, according to Yandex statistics, 52%. Given the projected growth in the popularity of voice search, we can confidently expect serious competition in search results for users who have chosen this method of typing a query.

For whom?

Voice search is essential for local business and service sites. The peculiarity of mobile content is that the delivery on mobile is focused on the current location of the user. For example, if you need to find a tire service nearby, then by request: "OK, Google! Tire fitting ", the nearest points with addresses and ratings will be shown.

The competition in voice search is not high now, there is a lot of targeted traffic, which is very valuable for SEO, but few business owners pay attention to it.

According to BrightLocal statistics, 28% of users who were looking for a local business prefer a phone call, 19% go straight to the place of the service and 27% go to the site.

Whether you're using SEO or running a contextual advertising campaign, it doesn't matter. The search results are adapting the results for voice search and it is getting more and more. It's time to start optimizing your site before competitors start doing it.

The competition will only intensify in the future, so it's important to optimize your site for voice search.

To do this, use the checklist below:

1. Classic SEO

Optimized sites according to the canons of classic SEO are already a huge base for improving ranking in the voice assistants' environment. Therefore, the primary task is to put the site in order according to the requirements of search engines. Good navigation, relevant metadata, domain authority, lack of technical errors, and other important aspects of SEO will help you win the ranking battle in voice search.

2. Site loading speed

This element of traditional SEO has a significant impact on voice search. According to a study by Backlinko, site load speed plays a large role in voice search rankings. Most likely, artificial intelligence predominantly selects sites that load as quickly as possible to satisfy the user's need for an instant response. This is also evidenced by the average page load speed from voice search, which, in comparison with a page from a regular search, is 2 times faster.

3. Site security

We highlight it as a separate item since the main feature of the Google voice search results is the secure HTTPS protocol (70% of all pages analyzed on HTTPS). Such a correlation may appear since at the TOP of the Google search engine there are sites with the HTTPS protocol, and (attention!) About 75% of voice search results are in the TOP-3 for regular search.

Anyway, it will not be superfluous to change the HTTP.

4. Domain authority

Similar to Google's crawlers, AI will prefer a site with strong link mass. The proof is the high domain ranking (over 75 by Ahrefs) on all voice search results.

Unlike regular search results, where we choose from 10 links, Google Home only needs to provide one answer. This means that the search engine will suggest a site that he is extremely confident about.

By the way, according to the latest research, artificial intelligence does not care about the weight of the link of the page from which it gets the answer. The main thing is the link power of the domain itself.

5. Structured data markup

A controversial point, as there is no tangible correlation between voice search and sites with tagged structured data.

It is worth adding it for at least two reasons.

This is a great opportunity to help robots understand what the page is about. Thus, the robots see what a certain set of characters really means and determine the relevance of a page for a given request faster and more correctly.

Google recently announced a new type of markup called Speakable, designed specifically to indicate portions of a page that can be read by voice assistants. Speakable markup is available to US users with English Google Home devices, as well as Google News publishers who publish content in English. Google will roll out this markup for other countries and languages as soon as publishers start actively using Speakable.

While traditionally structured data markup may not be a powerful ranking factor in voice search, Google already offers specialized markup. Take it into consideration.

We finished with the technical aspects, and let's move on to the nuances that are directly related to voice search.

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6. Answer the question

Given that search queries with voice technology are executed by constructing a question that is familiar to spoken language, it is obvious that we need to build on this. The more accurately we answer a user's question, the more likely it is that the answer will be included in the voice search results.

The FAQ pages are ideal for this. Based on the answer sources indicated by the search engine - 2.68% of the voice results were obtained from the FAQ pages. In addition to providing users with as much information as possible about a product or service, the FAQ page makes it easy to implement a format suitable for voice searches. At the same time, if any other page contains the exact answer to the user's question, it can also be selected as the optimal result.

For reference: in the case of voice search, it is not necessary at all to create a separate landing for a key phrase. According to Backlinko's research, a tiny fraction of the voice search results contains the relevant keyword in the title. More likely, artificial intelligence finds the necessary information in the content of the page.

7. Long-tail keywords

Longer keywords are more effective with voice searches. When people search with their voice, the question they ask is 3/4 longer than the texted question. The bottom line is clear - the longer the keyword phrase, the more likely it will be relevant to the voice query.

Therefore, build your content strategy around long question phrases.

8. Answer length

Even though the question phrase should be long, the answer will have to be written short and meaningful. Google made it clear that it needs concise answers to voice searches. For this, the search engine even provided a manual on voice search. Besides, in the course of the study, it turned out that the optimal volume of an answer to a search voice query is 29 words.

9. Readability of the text

Easy-to-read content is one of the main advantages of artificial intelligence. The reason is on the surface - easy-to-read text is easy to reproduce. Plus, it makes sense for the voice search algorithm to rank content that is easy to understand.

When adding text to the site, keep in mind that the information will be reproduced by ear - take care of users. Check the quality of the text using any online service.

10. Blocks with answers or Featured Snippets

Answer blocks are ranked at the very top of the organic search results at "zero position" and contain a direct and short answer to the user's request. Therefore, we need to work on optimizing Featured Snippets. Moreover, from these blocks, voice algorithms pull up responses in 40% of cases.

How to get into blocks with answers:

11. Local SEO

Local search optimization is also important for voice searches. Nearly half of voice search queries have strong local intent. "Google, what restaurants near me are open until midnight?" Is a typical voice query with local intent. This means that voice search is suitable for promoting local small businesses.

Optimize the dashboard of your company by filling in all the proposed fields. Whether Google chooses it as a search result depends on the amount of information in your Google My Business card.

Pay attention to the function in Google My Business - "Questions and Answers". This section is often left blank, but it can have an impact on voice searches as it creates a great user experience. Here the user will find the answer and learn full information about the business and services directly from the search results.

Work out other methods of local promotion, for example, registering in local directories or backlinks from local media.

12. Popularity on social networks

No, social cues are not a ranking factor for voice assistants. This point is about the fact that popular attractive content will be a priority in the formation of voice search results. The situation is the same as with the link mass of a domain - artificial intelligence prefers authoritative sources. Therefore, on average, a voice assistant selects content that has more than a thousand Facebook shares and about 45 tweets.

Successful ranking by voice search is guaranteed to sites that are in the TOP 10 of regular search results. Therefore, the main goal is to optimize the site to achieve high positions.

And again on the recommendations:

How to optimize your site for Google voice search?


Nowadays, the development of a company is possible thanks to a website. Thus, to make your activities much more visible, you must rely on the referencing of your website. Therefore, it is profitable for you to be among the first people to use new trendy methods such as voice search.

It is obvious that SEO is for the most part a technical work. To better promote your website, I suggest you use services such as Semalt which offers you a unique SEO solution.

By using Semalt services, you take the option of quickly obtaining the results you want and above all of benefiting from professional service and continuous monitoring.

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