Optimizing Websites for Voice Search

Day or night, my cell phone is usually by my side. Though, it’s rarely used as a phone. Rather than track down a tablet or laptop, I rely on my phone for quick help with the name of a movie I saw 20 years ago, get an updated weather forecast, learn what to do about my dead lawn, and check out M&C’s Strutt With Your Mutt team page.

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Okay Google, how

do I make a donation?

With phone in hand, it’s easy to skip the typing and just talk. After all, Google Assistant is on stand by ready to help. Say “Okay Google” and ask a question. Or, ask Alexa, Siri or Cortana (Microsoft’s assistant). They’re all listening. ComScore, an analytics company, predicts in 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches.

When a prospective donor is asking for your nonprofit or inquiring about a good cause, you want to be mentioned.

5 Optimization Tips

There are numerous strategies for optimizing your nonprofit’s website and content for voice search. Don’t feel bad if you find it overwhelming. It is. And, it can be time consuming. However, we have 5 tips to help streamline the process and get you started:

1. Create content that talks back, recommends Betsy Rohtbart of Vonage in a recent Forbes article. A typical text search is 2-3 words. Voice search is conversational. Read your content out loud. Is it stiff and formal? Adding abbreviations and contractions will help.

2. FAQ pages cater to voice search optimization, according to Performics. A good starting point is to create a Q&A page written in a casual style featuring commonly asked questions by prospective donors. Include who, what, where, when, and how in constructing your questions.

3. Focus on long-tail keywords is a tip from Yoast. Weave into the website’s content conversational phrases, including focused keywords (a topic we’ve previously covered on the M&C blog.)

4. Infographics should compliment content not replace it. Bots crawling your site aren’t able to read the content on images. It’s important to give the image a descriptive file name and include keywords in alt tags. Otherwise, your creative visual messages will be missed with both voice and text searches. Search Engine Journal has additional tips for images and SEO.

5. Mobile-friendly design has an advantage with Google’s algorithm. Use a responsive design that automatically resizes images/videos and stacks content. Also, develop a writing style that includes headlines, a quick opening sentence or two, brief paragraphs, bullet points, and call to action.

When you are ready to talk structured data and how it plays into optimizing voice search SEO, give us a call. We’ll help.  

Susan Mertz is a Content Specialist at M&C. She specializes in website development, search engine optimization and enhancing user experience.