4 Best Practices For Optimizing Voice Search

How To Help Siri Find Your Website
Voice search is quickly becoming the way consumers are searching for information they need – especially for business.  Landis Communications Inc. (LCI)’s digital marketing consultants, Mannix Marketing, have 4 great tips on how to optimize voice search with virtual assistants like Siri.
jessica_mannixBy Jessica Tracy, Digital Marketing Strategist, Mannix Marketing
If you are an iPhone user – or even if you are not – chances are you are familiar with Siri, Apple’s digital assistant. A built-in feature on Apple iPhone 4S and later models as well as some iPads and iPod touch models, Siri is an intelligent assistant with the ability to answer questions, execute iPhone tasks and engage with users’ voice commands. She is just one of numerous digital assistants developed by major technology companies like Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.
While Siri can assist with scheduling appointments, sending text messages, playing music, setting alarms and reminding you of things you need to do, she is also a source of information. Ask Siri a question and she will provide you with an answer. If she doesn’t have the answer on hand, she will search the web for the information she thinks you are looking for.
With voice command technology becoming increasingly popular and a growing number of consumers utilizing Siri’s assistance each day, making sure Siri can find your business’ website is absolutely imperative. However, because this technology is so new and constantly changing, many businesses (understandably) don’t know exactly how to go about optimizing their web presence to cater to Siri and other voice search assistants.
Optimizing Your Website for Voice Search
When it comes to marketing your business, search engine optimization (SEO) is very important if you want your organization to be found on the web. With the shift to voice search taking hold, ensuring that your website is optimized for voice search is more important now than it has ever been before.
So how do you go about optimizing your website for voice search? What should you do to encourage Siri and other digital assistants to include your business’ website in the search results they provide to users?
As is usually the case, there is no exact, definitive formula for getting found in Siri’s search results. But there are a few things you can do to optimize your website for voice search.

  1. Make sure your website’s design is responsive or mobile friendly

Currently, Siri is available only on mobile devices. As a result, if you want Siri to direct users to your organization’s website, you’ll want to make sure that your website is mobile friendly and easy to access on mobile devices like phones and tablets.
2. Utilize schema to help Siri find what she is looking for
Structured data is incredibly helpful for search engines and digital assistants like Siri. It helps to guide them as they are interpreting the information on your website. Implementing appropriate schema on your website can help to direct Siri to what she is looking for on your website when she is searching the web.

  1. Make sure your NAP citations are accurate and consistent

Voice command searches are often in-the-moment, local searches. Users perform general voice searches, asking Siri to find nearby parking or nearby restaurants, as well as more specific, targeted searches. So, when we work with Landis Communications Inc., we want local searches for the agency to show up when someone asks, “Siri, find me a San Francisco Public Relations Firm.” Making sure your business name, address and phone information is correct and consistent on any listings that Siri may encounter is very important.  You want to be sure that she is providing users with accurate information and directing them to your business appropriately.

  1. In addition to including traditional keywords in your SEO efforts, be sure your content is optimized for popular voice search phrases and Siri queries.

When utilizing voice command technology, users tend to search using phrases rather than simple keywords. Siri uses these voice queries to search the web for information if necessary. As a result, if you want Siri to find your website quickly and easily, you should optimize for popular long-tail queries that consumers are searching for. As an example, for Landis Communications Inc. (LCI), this means including phrases like “What are the best public relations firms in San Francisco?” and “Siri, what are the top PR agencies in San Francisco?”  These are in addition to the more traditional SEO keywords you might target with an SEO campaign.
The Future of Online Search
With an increasing number of users taking advantage of voice command technology every day, there is no doubt that voice searches will continue to gain popularity. Businesses will need to continue to evolve their digital marketing and optimization strategies, but these four strategies are a good start for those businesses wondering where to get started when it comes to voice search optimization.
While Siri and other digital assistants will continue to advance in their capabilities, keeping these tactics in mind is imperative if you intend to keep your business ahead of the curve – for now!
Thoughts? Please leave your comments below or email [email protected] or [email protected].

6 thoughts on “4 Best Practices For Optimizing Voice Search

  1. Jessica, thanks for a newsworthy post. Some industry insiders say that online Google searches will ultimately become less relevant as voice search takes over – but I fear many businesses haven’t yet tapped into this potential new way for consumers to get information. I’m going to be asking Siri to “Find me a San Francisco Public Relations Firm” and hope that as we continue to evolve, she’ll direct me to Landis Communications Inc. (LCI)! Cheers, David

  2. Jessica,
    Thank you for such an informative post, and for putting these excellent tips into language that we all can understand. For example, because I’m not an expert (yet) in digital search, it didn’t occur to me that a business would need to include “long tail queries” for people using voice search – but it makes perfect sense! I really enjoy learning about the world of digital marketing as it continue to evolve. Sounds like Siri and her counterparts will continue to evolve, – and we, as marketers, must evolve with them.

  3. Nice commentary, Jessica! I’ve been a user of voice search for more than a year now and am pleasantly surprised at how the technology continues to improve. It’s indeed another paradigm shift for users to become comfortable with it AND to learn how to use the service efficiently. But in due time, I think voice search will continue to gain popularity.

  4. Hi Jessica – this is a great blog topic and one I bet a lot of employers aren’t thinking about. We recently started using Amazon’s “Alexa” in my house. At first I thought I’d never use her and now I use her multiple times a day with all sorts of questions. Voice searches are definitely on the rise! Best to be at the forefront of this new technology capability.

  5. Jessica, thanks for the insightful post and outlining the importance of being on top of this technology. I haven’t used voice search much, but your insight has motivated me to start using this feature.

  6. I’m now just starting to use Siri and verbal texting – really amazing technologies. I’ve been using Google Translate verbally for quite some time and that is also amazing.

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