Content With Answers
Almost half the web searches now (48%) are done by people speaking to a device. Is your content ready to supply the answers to those searches?
People are talking to machines and you need to know how to create content that gets noticed by search engines to deliver immediate answers. Humans are interacting with devices. Talking to a device is easier than typing. Voice assistants are helping people lead daily life. People are accustomed to speaking to devices. Remember when that happened in science fiction, but not in real life? Now people expect to ask a question by voice. In fact, 71% of searchers would rather use a voice assistant than manually type a query.
To prepare content for voice search you need to think human, concise, and natural language, not stilted or full of industry jargon.
What is Voice Search Optimization?
You’ve heard of SEO or search engine optimization where you work with content to improve search results. Voice search optimization is voice-centric SEO. Digital marketing practitioner, Jason Barnard, calls it AEO, or Answer Engine Optimization. Because voice assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa, and Cortana receive questions, your goal is to optimize your content to provide the answer.
Shifting your content strategy to provide answers involves rethinking content priorities about how you connect with potential customers. Echo the phrases they use to connect them to your solution.
Follow these straightforward strategies to improve your content to be discovered in voice search to make that customer connection.
Shift from Keywords to Long-tail Keywords
People ask questions that pertain to their personal situation. An older typed version search might have been dog collars. Now, someone may ask, “Where can I get a collar for my German Shepherd?”
Tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner and SEMrush keyword tool reveal sources of related long-tail keywords.
In your content, you want to have phrases that echo language that people use when speaking. Think about the questions your customers ask. Incorporate those phrases into your content.
When you type in a word in the search bar, Google provides a list of autocomplete suggestions. These are the most relevant and popular phrases used to query the keyword. Use the list of suggested phrases in your content to resonate with popular searches. Google autocomplete is a rich source of long-tail keywords to use in your content.
The concept is to develop a list of phrases that people use when asking questions that you mirror in your content.
Related phrases are alternative words and phrases that appear as an alternate suggestion when people search for an answer. Related queries appear in “People Also Ask” and “Related Search.”
Take notice of related phrases to include them in your content. Your answer may be just what that person asking a voice question will need. Using related phrases gives your content deeper meaning and allows your content to provide the answer for a variety of questions rather than one keyword.
Broaden your related phrases using Google Trends to find additional related phrases. Answer The Public provides the actual phrases people use when searching for a topic. The more related phrases you use, the deeper your content and the more Google can use your content as an authoritative answer.
Refresh Your Website
Bring new life to your website and make it more current by updating old articles to answer more questions.
If you have a lot of content, start by looking at the pages and articles that get the most traffic. Use Google Analytics to discover the top-performing pages. Boost their strength by adding related phrases and long-tail topics to the content. Also, by doing this, you indicate to search engines that your content is up to date and high-quality. That is what search engines want to find: relevant, updated, value-added content.
Here are some suggestions for updating top-performing cont
- Does the first introductory paragraph compel the reader to continue reading?
- Is the content short and needs additional material?
- Can you add relevant content with additional tips and current updates?
- Does the content contain relevant long-tailed keywords?
- Are there inaccuracies?
Add relevant and related long-tailed topics by writing additional paragraphs highlighting these phrases. You will increase the length and add authority to the page. And, you will improve discoverability for voice search.
Check the formatting. Eliminate long paragraphs which are difficult to read by dividing them into two or three separate but related paragraphs. Break up text with subheadings, bullet points, and images. Old content will get a strong boost from formatting for skimming and readability.
Strengthen your headlines. If the headline is more than 70 characters, rewrite it to shorten and make it concise. Use your topic/keyword and include a benefit. Stir curiosity and make sure you have a promise for the visitor.
Focus On Customers and Your Brand
Top-level thinking about content for voice search encompasses, knowing your customers and presenting your brand as the answer they need as a solution. It’s easy to get lost in details without thinking about the overview of connecting with customers.
Jason Barnard said,
The single most important thing in AEO and in SEO is communicating about your brand, protecting it and promoting it.
The ultimate goal of your content is to connect customers with your brand. Tailoring content for voice search connects with customers by providing immediate answers. Following the guidelines here enables search engines to find that immediate answer and deliver to your potential customer.
Use the phrases used by future customers to reflect their concerns. When your content uses popular phrases, you speak your customers’ language. They feel you understand their concerns by speaking in the language they use.
Preparation, phrase research, natural language with no jargon, short paragraphs, and strategic formatting will make your content a connection. By answering questions in customer language and demonstrating your brand as the answer, your content becomes the right answer.