Natalie Charles

When Google’s 2013 Hummingbird update introduced semantic search, it completely overhauled the entire search landscape as we knew it.

Google’s enhanced understanding of user intent and contextual meaning accelerated the rise of voice search and gave us the ability to talk to Google in a similar way to how we’d talk to a human – more or less.

Fast forward 5 years and here we are, living with the likes of Siri and Alexa – our very own digital assistants – pretty cool, right?

Now that search trends are moving away from keyword-based queries in favour of more conversational, specific queries, your content needs to be on point if you ever hope to make it into that coveted featured snippet.

Check out these 3 quick tips for optimising your content for the voice search revolution…

1. Write question-based content

The majority of voice search queries are question-based, and that means your content needs to answer those questions in order to gain some serious search engine brownie points.

Think about what people would want to know about your product/service – and common questions they might ask – then provide them with helpful information that answers those questions.

Implementing a thorough FAQ section on your site is a great way to boost your chances of making it to those top SERP spots.

2. Write naturally

Many web writers overlook this technique, and see their content suffer as a result. Your first goal is to write valuable content from one human being to another. Your second goal is to optimise that content for the search engines.

Black hat SEO techniques like keyword-stuffing won’t help you now. Google rewards user value, so make sure your content is valuable. This means your content should be:

  • Relevant
  • Well structured
  • Straightforward
  • Engaging

Use conversational language – just like people using voice search are doing – and try to avoid industry-specific jargon. Thanks to the Hummingbird update, we’re living in a time when search engines are learning our language, not the other way around.

3. Write shareable content

Content with high levels of social engagement have proven to perform better in voice search. With that in mind, you should aim to write as much share-worthy content as possible.

The trick to this is keeping your writing in perspective; ask yourself why people might want to read and share it. In most cases, widely-shared content demonstrates one or more of the following qualities:

  • Advantage – showcase life-changing benefits like there’s no tomorrow.
  • Controversy – don’t shy away from fuelling the fire, but do it in an informed way.
  • Comedy – everyone loves to be entertained, add a touch of humour to your writing.
  • Novelty – new ideas are interesting, at least at first – so be as forward-thinking as you like.

It’s not always easy to implement one or more of the above, as it’s heavily dependent on what you’re writing about. Just remember that whatever the topic, there’s an audience out there somewhere just waiting for your juicy piece of content.

Don’t get left behind

Voice search technology is becoming more advanced by the day, so if you haven’t already, now is the time to review your SEO strategy for voice search.

Learn more about upping your SEO game for voice search – check out our NEW guide:

Optimising for voice search – Forward-thinking SEO strategies

Find out about:

  • Identifying user intent
  • Optimising for local search
  • Content optimisation
  • Technical considerations

Download your free guide today!

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