“OK, Google, what’s the best cream for dry skin?”

Now, imagine that if you had an online store that sold face creams and body lotions, you would want your site to appear high in search results for this query. More specifically, you would want your site to be optimized for voice search.

Voice search is becoming more and more popular. According to a 2014 Google survey, 41% of US adults and 55% of teens are using voice search more than twice a day. Other studies suggest that the use of it will double in the next five years.

Whether you like it or not, it’s clear that in the near future, people will be verbally asking search engines about your products and services rather than typing into a search bar. Voice search is about to change how people search for information online, how Google handles search queries and our attitude towards search in general.

So, are you ready for this change? Here’s how to optimize your site for voice search.

Keep User Intent in Mind

Whenever someone performs an online search, whether it’s through voice or typing, they are trying to accomplish something. Regardless if their query is informational, navigational or transactional, there’s always a goal associated with a query. That’s user intent.

It’s paramount that you think about user intent when optimizing your site and content. Think about all the possible questions a user might have about your products or industry and answer them in your content.

Start by ensuring that your NAP (name,  address, phone number) is easy to find on your site. Next, think about your products or services and determine what information your prospects need to make an educated decision.

Use Schema Markup

Schema markup is a code that you can use to provide search engines with additional information about your site. It’s an excellent way to describe your website in a more comprehensive way and help web crawlers understand your data better. Although schema markup can boost your visibility considerably, it’s one of the most underused SEO practices.

Target Long-Tail Keywords

One of the most important things you need to consider when targeting long-tail keywords is how people speak. Unlike a regular search, voice search is more conversational.

Here’s an example: if you’re searching for something on Google on your phone, you’re not going to type “how to make pasta Alfredo.” That would take too long. So, you type the exact keyword: “pasta Alfredo.”

With voice search, on the other hand, you use complex sentences and phrases to search for the information you are interested in. By targeting long-tail keywords, you increase your chances of ranking high for voice search queries.

Optimize Your Site for Mobile

Most people use voice search on their smartphone. So, if they click on your site in search results and end up on a page that it’s hard to navigate, then you can rest assured that they won’t think twice before heading back to the results page.

That can increase your bounce rate and, consequently, affect your ranking. If you want to optimize your site for voice search, make sure that your mobile experience is flawless.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about how voice search is going to affect SEO. One thing is for sure, though: voice search will continue to improve and adoption of this technology is on the rise. So, you better be prepared.

If voice search optimization intimidates you, call Sprout Media Lab at (800) 617-6975 and let us help you tackle this challenge.