Seems like every home has some kind of device hooked up to Alexa these days. As people become more accustomed to having these devices in their homes, the more often they’ll use them for tasks other than simply building a to-do list. That means someone may be searching for a product or service you offer by asking Alexa. Is your website optimized for Alexa?  Here’s how to be sure.

Understanding what optimizing for voice search means

voice searchWhen you’re trying to determine if your website is optimized for Alexa, what you’re really trying to determine is if your site is optimized for voice search, whether it’s for Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana or Google Assistant. What is voice search? Voice search is a speech recognition technology that allows users to search by saying terms aloud rather than typing them into a search field. It’s a more conversational way of searching, and is usually done vocally, not by typing. In other words, if you start a search by saying, “OK Google”, “Alexa” or “Hey Siri” you’re conducting voice search.

How to optimize your website for Alexa and other voice search platforms

Chances are, if you’re well-optimized your website for your target keyword phrases, you already have a leg up on voice search. However, there’s more that you’ll need to do in order to ensure your site is properly optimized for voice search. Here are the key areas you need to optimize for.

Use long-tail keyword phrases

keywordsWhen people use voice search, they are speaking in a more conversational tone, so their searches tend to be full sentences (usually questions). For example, few people will ask Alexa, “Alexa, small business marketer near”. Instead, it will likely be more conversational such as, “Alexa, who is the best small business marketer near me?”. Because speaking a longer, more specific search query is easier than typing one, voice search will often give more context about searcher intent, meaning search engines can deliver more specific, relevant results in response to a query. As such, it’s important to really research and incorporate long-tail keyword phrases into your website.

Understand searcher intent

Searcher intent is the reason behind a person’s search. There are four types of searcher intent: informational, transactional, navigational and commercial. It’s based on why a person is searching. Informational search intent is when someone is looking for information or a solution. Transactional search intent is based on an action, like buying a product, signing up for a demo, or signing up for a newsletter. Navigational search intent is when someone already knows the website or brand they want. Commercial is when the search is broad; the searcher is still researching. Make sure your site is optimized for all four searcher intents to garner the best traffic.

Keep natural speech patterns in mind

Depending on the device, someone may have the same intent, and yet say it two or more different ways. For example, a talk to text message might say, “Meet after work?” while a conversation might be, “Do you want to meet after work?”. Nuanced, but there is a difference. Again, if your site is well-optimized for various voice search options, you’ll do well in search results.

Don’t forget about local SEO

local SEOA good amount of voice search tends to be location-based. According to Mozvoice searches are three times more likely to be local based than text search because most smartphones today typically search for local listing results. Why? Most phones know your location and will offer up search results based upon your location when appropriate. In addition to making sure your NAP (name, address and phone number) or clearly marked on your website, also make sure your site is optimized for local search, incorporating your 5 W’s: who, what, where, when and why.

Understand Alexa Rank

Alexa rank is a measure of website popularity. It ranks millions of websites in order of popularity, with an Alexa Rank of 1 being the most popular. Alexa Rank reveals how a website is doing relative to all other sites. There are several tactics that will help improve your Alexa Rank:

  • Create original content for your website
  • Get more quality backlinks to your website
  • Optimize your site for the correct keyword phrases
  • Follow good SEO practices

If you’re not sure how to do any of the above, work with a qualifies small business marketing professional to show you how.

Making sure your website is optimized for Alexa does take a bit of effort, but once your website is correctly optimized for voice search, you’ll garner more of the voice search inquiries and attract more and better traffic to your site.

Patty Hughes
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