Even though digital assistants only recently gained the capacity to understand human speech (with a decent degree of accuracy), they have already left an imprint on our lives. I find myself relying on Alexa and Siri throughout the day. Call me lazy, but keeping my hands free and talking my way through playlists, traffic checks and weather updates is great.

Surely, I’m not alone in my love for voice search. Whether you can relate or not, your audience comes first. ComScore estimates that more than half of searches will be made with voice search by 2020. Knowing how to optimize your content is crucial. To stay ahead of the curve, here are the most effective ways to optimize your content for voice search.  

Use More Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are longer keywords that are written in a conversational tone. Unlike head keywords that target a broad topic, long-tail keywords are specific. For example, a head keyword might be “pizza parlor” while a long-tail keyword might be “where’s the best pizza parlor near me?”

Here are a couple of ways to begin incorporating more long-tail keywords into your content.

  • Write specific articles. Consider specific topics to write about rather than general ones. If you’re not sure, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and brainstorm the questions they might ask. A keyword tool can help you identify groups of keywords.

  • Use a conversational tone. Write your articles in a natural tone. Read the sentences out loud to see if they make sense. The best keywords are long and conversational, increasing the chance that they’ll appear in voice searches.

Understand User Intent

Search intent is more important than ever, as queries are becoming shorter and more specific. Your audience expects you to know what they are asking for, so take time to understand the types of queries they’re making. Intent usually falls into one of three categories:

  • Informational. Users are searching for information on a product or service.

  • Navigational. Users are looking for a specific product or destination.

  • Transactional. Users are ready to purchase a product or engage with someone.

Prioritize Local SEO

A large percentage of local searches are done through voice because people are on the go and looking for a quick response. To ensure that your store shows up in the search results, optimize your content with local keywords. Use long-tail phrases that include the city, state or region of your location.

In addition to local keywords, also make customer reviews a priority. The more good reviews you have, the higher you will rank in the search results. Don’t forget to follow the best general SEO practices as well, such as having optimized product images, a strong internal linking strategy and quality content.

Voice search is fast, easy and convenient; it’s no wonder why more and more people are using it! To ensure that your content is turning up in your customers’ voice searches, be sure to optimize your content using the tips above.