Hey, Siri! 7 Copywriting Techniques To Optimize for Voice Search
There are almost 40 million voice-first devices in homes across the US. That’s a whole lot of families asking Siri, Cortana, and Google questions.
We’ve compiled a list of seven copywriting techniques to optimize your content and/or copywriting for voice search.
What Is Voice Search?
Voice search is when you use your physical voice to ask search engines a question.
A common query is ‘Alexa, what’s the weather like today?’
While voice search hasn’t yet dominated and replaced standard search engine activity (i.e., going onto a search engine’s website and typing the query in), it’s making its mark.
Why Do I Need To Optimize My Copywriting and Content For Voice Search?
As many as 71% of consumers prefer to search for a query verbally than the traditional typing method.
If you choose to ignore it, you could be driving customers straight to your competitors.
Remember, too, that smart speakers that use voice search don’t allow for paid advertising. So, this is an excellent opportunity for organic growth without concerns about paid competition.
7 Copywriting Techniques To Optimize Your Content For Voice
1. Long-Tail Keywords Are Best For Voice Search Optimization
Long-tail keywords are simply a collected group of keywords rather than a single, isolated keyword (short-tail keywords).
When we conduct verbal queries to Alexa (or other robots), we ask in complete sentences. It’s our natural method of asking questions, and we see voice search as a two-way conversation — even though we’re speaking to robots.
Consider the difference between these two queries:
- Typing into Google:
Weather New York
- Speaking to Alexa:
Alexa, what’s the weather today in New York?
Meeting your searcher’s queries with the answers they need requires keyword research, so carefully consider the long-tail keywords you select.
2. Keep Your Tone Conversational
If you’re able to be quoted back to the searcher by Alexa, you’ll need to maintain that informal, casual atmosphere.
Above all, avoid keyword stuffing. This is identical to good Search Engine Optimization practices. The whole point of voice search is to mimic spoken language.
3. Location, Location, Location!
82% of people who search on mobile are searching for location-based answers. So, if your brand is a location-reliant brand, such as a beautician, it’s essential to optimize your content based on location.
4. Set Up Your Business On Google My Business
While there are other search directories, Google My Business is the most frequently used.
Make sure you optimize your listing, paying close attention to location.
Consider and communicate your brand’s tone of voice, keywords, and benefits in as few words as possible.
5. Focus On Featured Snippets
Moz defines featured snippets as “selected search results that are featured on top of Google’s organic results below the ads in a box.”
To optimize your content for featured snippets:
- Keyword research is crucial: Keywords need to be incorporated into your featured snippet. Identify the words and phrases for which your searcher is looking.
- Answer questions: Allow your brand to be the brand with all of the answers. Your chances of displaying your content as a featured snippet dramatically increase.
- Focus on readability: As with traditional SEO, you’ll need to structure your content with readability in mind.
6. Create Answer-Based Content
Considering that searchers are looking for answers to questions, utilize this by giving them the answers they’re searching for.
Take a look at AnswerThePublic to search for the questions that are being asked within a specific industry or in relation to a keyword.
A great way to answer questions about your brand is through an FAQ page. Create content that answers questions through blog posts and product videos with descriptions.
7. Focus On Optimizing Your Product/Service Descriptions
MoffettNathanson predicts that, by 2022, the percentage of consumers who use voice search to buy will rise to 50%.
Combine this with Google’s report, where the company found that 52% of voice-activated speaker owners have opted in to hear information about deals, sales, and promotions from specific brands.
Optimize your product or service descriptions by:
- Using long-tail keywords
- Leveraging local buyers by optimizing your copy with location in mind
- Keeping your FAQs up to date regularly
- Optimizing your image descriptions and alt text keywords
- Organizing your headings (H1, H2, H3 etc)
- Keeping your design mobile-friendly
Voice Search Is The Future, So Leverage It As A Business Owner
Many brand owners see voice search as a ‘nice-to-have,’ but the brands who are knocking it out of the park make it a priority in their marketing strategy.
In fact, PWC has created a document titled Prepare for the Voice Revolution.
With the world being so busy and focused on convenience, speed, and minimal effort required, voice search is the answer to many searchers’ prayers (whether they know it or not).
If you optimize your copywriting and content for voice search, you can expect a higher rate of conversion. You’ll also gain a wider, more extensive brand reputation, and communicate to your demographic that you’re ahead of the times.
So, make sure you use the seven copywriting techniques that optimize your copy and content for voice search, and incorporate them into your marketing strategy.
Liz Slyman is the founder of Amplihigher.