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Voice Search: What It Is and Why Your Website Needs It

“Voice search” means to perform a voice-activated browser search via Google, Siri, Alexa or Cortana on any and all smart devices, i.e. smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops and smart speakers (think Google Home or Amazon Echo).

On average, there are 960,000 voice-activated searches on Google every minute.

If you are interested in keeping your business competitive in today’s very vocal market you are, hopefully, asking yourself, “How does that affect my website?”

Well …

Imagine, for a moment, that your website is an actual brick and mortar store.

Now imagine that your store doesn’t have a sign and there are no markings in the windows.

Now imagine that your building is at the end of a very dark street stuck behind other buildings.

When customers do a voice-activated search for your business, that’s what your website looks like if it isn’t optimized for voice search.

Basically, your website is ignoring your customers.

After the July 2018 Google Update, some of the focus needed to get your page high in the rankings shifted but the #1 ranking factor for Google is still Content. What’s new is that Google now factors into the Content ranking how websites react to voice-activated searches. In other words, your website needs to be optimized for voice search or even great content won’t be found.

In much the same way that Search Engine Optimization helps with text-activated searches, Voice Search Optimization prepares your site for the unique demands of voice-activated searches.

There are two goals that any business with a website wants, and needs, to achieve to be successful:

Goal Number 1 – when a potential customer voice searches for a business, such as “laser eye surgeon near me” you want your website to appear in the box, or “big three”, above all the other search results.

Goal Number 2 – when a potential customer asks a question, you want your website to appear in a Featured Snippet. A featured snippet is an answer to a user’s question that appears above the “big three” and the rest of the search results. This is called “Position Zero” and position zero is where every business wants to be.

Effective Voice Search Optimization means:

• Optimizing for Google’s “Featured Snippets”

• Creating a Google “My Business” page

• Including FAQ pages that use conversational speech

• Embedding long-tail keywords

• Optimizing for “________ near me” searches

• Using filler words – a, the, and – in question keywords

The term “Voice Search Optimization”, VSO, will soon be as ubiquitous as Search Engine Optimization, SEO. Understanding what goes into having a website optimized for voice search will go a long way toward helping you better understand the importance, the expertise required and the value of voice search optimization.

Because of the rapid changes in, and quickly growing consumer use of the technology, voice search could already be negatively impacting your business. The good news is that you can change that with Voice Search Optimization.

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I spent the better part of 2018 researching and studying VSO to become one of the best Voice Search Optimizers in the country. I knew this was the new frontier in SEO back in July 2018 when Google began lowering the rankings on all websites that are not optimized for voice.

I am also an experienced Web Designer and Developer with extensive knowledge of HTML5, CSS3 and Adobe Dreamweaver as well as experience with Adobe Illustrator, Edge Animate, Fireworks, InDesign and Photoshop. This training gives me the insights, knowledge and expertise needed to analyze your company's website, fix any issues and lead you to the top of Google's rankings for all searches; voice and text.

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