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Google Voice Search Tips for Optimizing Your Website

Voice searches are not quite able to read your mind yet but it is getting there. Perhaps within a year or two it will become commonplace to perform very complex voice searches with your phone or computer. For this, you should be optimizing your site for voice search.

Top tips for optimizing for Google voice search.

Use structured data for all pages on your website.

There are many forms of structured data and it’s important you use the most applicable ones to improve search results.

  • Product or service pages: markup the price data, the business location, and the aggregate review ratings.
  • Homepage:  it should have local business structured data (location, contact info, hours of operation
  • Blog article:  author info, top comments,  aggregate review markup if you allow feedback in the comments.
  • Information pages: markup for questions and answers, FAQ markup, etc
  • About Us pages: people markup is important.
Sly tip: use the author box on articles and then link them to the about us page. This will help your site’s acceptance to Google News. Another untapped source of search traffic rarely talked about.

Choosing the correct information architecture for your site

Make sure you have a clear site structure in mind. Is it hierarchical? Are there pillar pages that feed into more specific pages? Is the site based on time-sensitive content? Is there a specific flow between pages that helps both user and Google understand your site?

Here are the most common site structures identified by SEO experts.

  • Hierarchical

This structure is logical and practical for almost all local websites with a limited range of services or products. A lawyer or a restaurant website should be in the hierarchical structure. The goal is helping Google understand your website without any confusion.

Image result for hierarchical site map
source: www.skyword.com
  • Sequential

For a website which requires customer consent before purchasing, this is the ideal structure. If signing of contracts before payment is part of your online business (for legal and customer service reasons) then sequential style of website makes the most sense. Although this probably won’t appear in Google voice search so easily, it is best to optimize a website for user intent before all other objectives. Google is constantly updating its algorithm and penalizing sites that attempt to confuse or trick users.

 sequential site map example
source: searchenginejournal.com
  • Matrix & Database models

These are most useful for very large sites. Either user-generated sites such as Etsy or Aliexpress or massive aggregators like reddit. For this reason, they are complex and often great for generating long tail traffic as the setup requires incredibly detailed metadata. Google voice search thrives on this kind of set up. Unfortunately, it is incredibly costly to set up and out of reach of most businesses.

https://slideplayer.com/slide/6347578/
source: https://slideplayer.com/slide/6347578

 

database website example
source: https://libguides.nus.edu.sg/c.php?g=332732&p=2236322

 

Just as site navigation is important for usability, so too for voice search. Google will not alert you which pages it cannot extract precision data from. Sometimes search console can provide warnings and errors but they do not give tips on optimizing your website for voice search as of 2019.

That structure would mean the dates determine which pages are at the top. Most recent at the top of the sitemap. Or is the site category dominant? A good example would be a travel blog that has top-level categories based on location. This is the cornerstone of the organization of the site. if it’s about mountains they could be categorized according to continents and the mountains in each country would be the secondary category. This is important for voice search because it allows Google to have a high degree of confidence what your site is about.

 

Keyword research is essential for voice search results.

People want to ask conversational questions when they are “speaking to Google voice assistant.”

“OK, Google, what is the best time of year to plant a vegetable garden?”

Google recently added supporting semantic questions to your search, you’ll see this on the search result page as “People also ask.”

Check these questions as to what you should highlight on your page with Htags and other forms of layout control you have on your pages.

SEO is important in this matter because there are popular keyword difficulty metrics such as Ahrefs keyword difficulty. A question you can provide the exact answer for should be emphasized so you can win the featured snippet.

Even for a competitive search term, there are long-tail possibilities. For example, you might not be able to rank for Best hotel in London, but there’s a pretty good chance you can gain the top spot for Best Hotel on Worthy Lane. make your content accurate and useful whenever possible. Overshooting your purpose in order to achieve higher rankings might not be ideal when it comes to optimizing for voice search.

How to identify Voice search queries through natural user behavior

Satisfying search intent, in this case, will get you far more traffic and generate more business for you. Spam doesn’t really work very well and Google is working harder than ever to ensure that users of search get what they really want.

If you are unsure what people are searching for in order to create questions and answers that satisfy searcher intent, try some of these techniques:

1. Check the related search terms

2. Check semantic search questions

3. Use search engines like answerthepublic.com

4. Perform social media surveys on topics related to the pages you are building. Either formal surveys or bring up the topic in Facebook groups or Reddit. Don’t spam forums though, this can actually penalize your SEO efforts.

Google My Business for Voice Search

Spell your services and brand correctly on your listing! Anything that helps voice automated search queries to be properly filtered in local search benefits your traffic. It was only a few years ago that directories were the best place to have your local SEO generate phone calls to your office. Things have definitely changed and now the #1 way to get more phone calls is to optimize your Google my business listing for the least sophisticated searcher.

Nowadays a significant amount of company sales comes through digital marketing. And while content marketing as a whole isn’t ideal for voice search (it’s far too nuanced and rarely answers strict questions), they can pop up with long tail voice search queries.

The amount of user data you can collect about your target audience is virtually unlimited on social media. Devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa are gaining massive popularity and already account for a rapidly growing segment of search queries.

In another post, I’ll cover how to collect user data on your site to create more relevant pages for your current and target user base.

So as you can see there are quite a few things you can do to prepare your site for Google voice search. Because let’s face it, the internet is convenient but it’s far from painless to achieve your desired search result, voice search is the next step in the evolution of  SEO.

 

SEO Questions Most Commonly Asked Online

Why do people hire an SEO consultant anyways?

Imagine a Tennis Coach. Not a great Tennis coach like the one Novak Djokovic recently rehired but one who feeds balls to your younger brother after school at the local park.

He’s not going to break any records in success by any means. But after a while, he’ll sense an opportunity to set up his own business. He’d been grinding away every day for ten years as an employee for the City parks and recreation department.

Not a particularly noble pursuit.

So Jeff, yes, most coaches are named Jeff, decides to set up a website and he calls it “Jeff’s Tennis Academy.”

Great, now all he has to do is wait for people to register on his site and pay for their lessons. The only problem is nobody is coming to Jeff’s site to book tennis lessons. Why?

His website is not properly optimized for people who are looking for tennis coaches.

Before SEO
Jeff isn’t booking new students through his website

Why make an example of Jeff? Because it’s the perfect scenario for hiring an SEO consultant.

What Does an SEO consultant actually DO?

Well if we stick with Jeff’s problem there are some very specific things to be done to get people booking on his website so he can feed tennis balls at the park and get paid fairly in doing so.

  1. Jeff’s website needs to be properly configured to load fast. Jeff was using a free template and server like wordpress.com. While this is great for a casual blogger or grandma who wants to share her photos there are certain things Google just does not like.
  2. Jeff’s Website needs to be easy to navigate so people searching for his service or his great tips on how to hit your serve like Djokovic are available without much effort.
  3. Jeff’s website needs to encourage people to actually book their tennis lessons through his site. It needs to be properly optimized for CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization).
  4. Jeff’s website needs to provide multiple means of reaching him via social, chat, email and telephone.

As you can see, an SEO consultant does a lot of rather specific but wide-ranging things to improve the search opportunities for Jeff’s website.

An SEO Consultant...
  • Optimizes your site for speed load
  • Ensures your site is easy to navigate
  • Finds the correct keywords to feature on each page
  • Encourages users to become customers once on the site
  • Finds other sites to link back to your site
  • Fixes errors that Google might penalize your site for

 

How to Get Jeff to Hire You As An SEO Consultant?

This is no different than any business where you are considered an expert.

An SEO consultant needs to work tirelessly so they can be recognized as an SEO expert.

The good news is there are many forms of SEO expertise and the type of consultant that Jeff needs is going to be exceptionally different than the one another much more famous Jeff would need.

Yes, Amazon is perhaps one of the most aggressive users of SEO consultants on the planet. After all, they are the go-to search starting place for 49% of buyer intent (also referred to as searcher intent) on the internet as of last year. It means that not only do you need to optimize websites and other branded social media properties for clicks but you need to research, where is the traffic likely to come from.

There are some great tools that can help you with that. Perhaps the best one is Google’s own search console. Here’s a super basic trick I use to find what people are actually searching for when Google suggests your site.

Steps to getting more chances on appearing in multiple search engines.

1.Open search console

2.Tick impressions

download google search impressions
Google is trying to match your site all the time with searches, just follow the info and let them be your guide.

3.Download the list of impressions Google matched to your site

4.Clean up the list (make sure there are no irrelevant keywords)

5.Filter these keywords by their value to your brand. Keep in mind the more competitive the more expensive and time consuming it will be to rank for those keywords in all search engines.

easy keywords to target
The highest volume lowest competition in the list.

6.Attack the “low hanging fruit” with multiple forms of content. Blog articles on your site, guest posts, videos, and reviews. This is the dirty secret to great SEO: THERE IS NO SECRET ITS JUST CONSISTENT HARD WORK 

 

So how to become an SEO expert again?

Practice!

Subscribe to the SEO Quora Feed where experts and wannabe SEOs from India often give tediously long answers to simple questions.

seo quora profile
(yours truly is guilty of this too!)

Write about very specific SEO issues that you observe in your own SEO research.

Test results when you implement strategies and refine them according to the data which you discover. Don’t be afraid to report on errors you’ve made in the process though.

Here are some of the best SEO studies I’ve come across on the web that have actually made me better at optimizing websites for my clients.

 

The Best SEO Experts Report their failures and successes

One of the best ways to develop a reputation as an SEO expert is to talk about your failures. Some of the world’s leading SEO experts have made millions talking to sold-out audiences about the mistakes they have been responsible for. One of my favorite new SEO gurus on youtube is Chase Reiner.

SEO failure
One of Chase Reiner’s most endearing SEO videos is about his failures.

This guy is fearless. He’s been broadcasting live while giving free site audits on local businesses for more than a year now and if you were to review some of his older videos you would see a very different type of SEO being practiced. I have to give him credit. He’s really opened my eyes to the value of self-improvement in the public sphere.

Now that Jeff finally found an SEO consultant that matched his budget and objectives, he’s now fully booked and enjoying life finally. He’s not training champions just yet but he heard about a kid who hits the ball like a freight train and just loves to play with fuzzy yellow balls. So if there’s a chance for Jeff in building a business online, there’s a chance for pretty much anyone.

After SEO
Jeff no longer teaches at the park after school. He books his own hours through his highly optimized website. His SEO consultant changed his business for the better.

 

If you are looking for an SEO consultant and you run a small business online, you should probably give me a shout.

I have some pretty interesting ideas about how to run an SEO campaign which will make you a lot more money online. Don’t just take my word for it, ask Jeff himself. Well, not Jeff, but take a look at this SEO case study on one of my oldest and most successful SEO clients.

searcher intent content

Develop Content for Searcher Intent

In my last post, I explained what searcher intent was. In this article, I am going to lay out exactly how to develop the content of searcher intent.

It’s important to qualify the stage that the searchers intent is at once they reach your webpage. In most cases, they are not ready to buy and require additional information. It is your job to funnel them to the appropriate page or place on the page to enable them to continue down the buying process.

Types of Content to Match Searcher Intent

Awareness of a product.

Here you write about the environment surrounding your product. Set the tone and customer avatar. Who is the most likely user of the product, what do they care about and how do they live their life? Integrating the product into the lifestyle can be established with content at this stage.

Forms of content include related news events, general topic posts to identify good and bad sides to a lifestyle choice and graphic media forms like infographics are popular at this stage. Information not sales are the best way to establish the awareness of the product.

Some example of Awareness Content:
  • “Are there marketing agencies for cryptocurrencies?”
  • “The emergence of cryptocurrency focused marketing agencies”
  • “The most well-known marketing agencies for cryptocurrencies”

 

 

Discovery aspects of a product.

Motivation is key in this second phase. You have to assume they are already thinking about how the product or service will benefit their life. Content should originate from this assumption in the discovery phase. They know they need this product but they are not sure of the exact specifications that will satisfy them.

It’s also important that they are in the correct place on your site at this point. They should not be on the homepage and they should probably not already be on the buying page. There should be sufficient information framing the product in an article or media format to keep them engaged and beginning to discover how exactly this product will enhance their life.

 

Some examples of content in the Discovery stage:
  • “Is Patreon right for my brand?”
  • “How does Patreon create a membership page for my subscribers?
  • “Take a look at what goes on inside the Patreon office place.”

Enabling purchase of a product.

At this point, the customer is ready to buy but you still might need to offer them a final push to get them to break out their credit card. They have either been in touch with how they can purchase or some specific issue about warranty conditions or problems they had in order to pay. Your content should reflect this understanding and head off every common buying objection that might arise.

They will have searched for something with a purchase intent such as buy+[your keyword], order+[your keyword], find+[your keyword]. It’s likely that they will respond well to an instant discount if you are tracking their movement on and off the site. Either a popup or a  live chat message would be a strategic possibility. This is veering more into conversion rate optimization, but it is still important to mention.

Some examples of content in the Purchasing stage:
  • “Should I buy my goose down coat online?”
  • Remarketing via facebook pixel: “10% off goose down jackets for the next 24 hours.”
  • Legitimate testimonials from affiliates and satisfied buyers: “Why you should buy your goose down jacket from Pixeo, they were amazing.”
goose down jacket on Kate Upton
source: Sports Illustrated. Kate Upton “validating” the purchase stage of content.

In summary, there are three important but distinct forms of content to develop supporting searcher intent. Make sure they are properly positioned on your site and in links built back to your site. Establish credibility with your buyers by supporting their psychological needs at each step in the buying process and you’ll be rewarded with a higher conversion rate.

If you’d like to discuss buyer intent or how to develop a high converting sales funnel, book an appointment or contact me directly through my social media channels linked just to the left of this article.

How to Find Searcher Intent

Before building a page to sell your product or service, you need to establish how people would search for your site. The main goal is to provide a solution to their problem so you have to frame the question in the most immediate and clear terms possible.

 

Let's define searcher intent first.
The purpose for someone’s search query to find a product or answer to their “problem”

 

What are the different kinds of searcher intent?

A featured snippet about customer avatars

People search for information. They ask Google direct questions and nowadays you can find the answer within the search result without any need to leave the google page. SEOs call this position zero or featured snippets.

Learn how to gain a featured snippet by contacting me today.
commercial searcher intent
Clockwise: 1.Location-based searcher intent 2. Product guidance intent 3. Brand based searcher intent 4. Idea based searcher intent

People search for products they want to buy now. This has become a massive market for Google the past few years. Google can now distinguish between different forms of buying intent. Do you want to buy locally or online? Do you want to buy from a shopping search engine (like google shopping) or from a direct website like Amazon? Google has learned to match the best result to your needs so it’s important you provide the correct metadata when building your website so you are easily found.

site based searcher intent
Have you gone to Google to log in to your Gmail?

People search for other sites. It might seem humorous to watch but a lot of people go to Google to find urls which are obvious to the more experienced internet users.

People search for products they are considering buying. The prevalence of sites which do nothing but send you on your way to Amazon (affiliate sites) is so pervasive, it’s almost certain that when you search for a product one of the top three sites will not actually be selling anything at all. For the most part, these sites provide a service. They inform you about the pros and cons of a particular product, but sometimes they are only motivated to get you to buy the most expensive product in the niche so be careful when reading reviews.

Building a Landing Page With Searcher Intent in Mind

This is the main point of the article. How are you going to build a landing page with the searcher intent properly framed to match your product or service? There’s no hard and fast rule about this. As the seller you have to understand your market and your customer. If you don’t you’ll probably fail in your business regardless if its online or offline. There are a few ways to illuminate what your searcher intent might be.

split testing for searcher intent
There’s no limit to what you can split test to determine effective searcher intent.
  1. Split test different headlines and presentation styles. Try something flashy, try something conservative. Change up the color orientation of the buttons and the shades of the product images. Observe which landing page performs best and further refine until your sales numbers are growing at the healthy pace.
  2. Explore different sources of traffic. Some products do better on social media while others perform better on Amazon. Some products even require you to give them away and get people comfortable with them before they would even consider putting up money (hello New York Times online!)
  3. Experiment with psychological marketing techniques. Scarcity, reward programs and different levels of customer service are all effective forms of discovering customer intent.
  4. Competitor semantics. Look at how your competitors speak to your target customer and apply a similar rubric.

If all else fails you can always just ask your friends and potential customers. How can I find you online? Where are you most likely to discover my product and how can I make you a satisfied buyer? You’d be surprised, a lot of the time all it takes is some open-minded listening and most people will be more than pleased to offer their priceless opinion on how you can take their money.

If you’d like to discuss searcher intent with me or argue anything mentioned in the article, leave a comment or contact me on facebook anytime. I am more than happy to discuss your marketing needs.

Have a common question about SEO? Have you checked my FAQ lately?

 

seo 2018 real estate

Condo Real Estate SEO: 2018 Version

The landscape for Condo Real Estate SEO has never been more challenging than it is in 2018.

Condo Real Estate Best Practices
Let’s cover the how the leading condo real estate sites in their areas are able to dominate the SERPS.

 

Update!
Check out the incredible opportunity created by tech in the blockchain industry which has transformed the real estate market into a DIY industry unlike ever before!

 

The Best Condo Real Estate Websites are making things personal.
Demonstrate local expertise with descriptions of unique areas and the subtle differences between the east side and the west side. Where things are going well and where they need improvement. This keeps people reading on the page and not clicking away. Be helpful instead of pushy on your real estate site at all times.

Use customer testimonials about local sales for both buyers and sellers.
This is an often overlooked aspect of websites designed to get leads for real estate sales. Just because you have a great property for sale, it doesn’t mean they will call.

Provide useful neighborhood info.
Build links back to your business on supporting industries such as restaurants, pet groomers, electricians, housekeeping services and other helpful connections. You are not direct competition and if they happen to send a client your way, you can reward them with a shared commission. Not sure how to optimize  SEO outreach in the community with regards to your website? Check with an SEO real estate expert.

Customize your IDX feed.
 Using a generic IDX will land you in a duplicate content problem with Google. Hire a custom programmer who understands CRO best practices. Invest your time in creating unique IDX listings on your real estate site. It will seem like an intense and costly endeavor but even a property you have long since sold or is no longer on the market can lead to other suggested properties which will have your phone ringing. Above all, keep an open mind when it comes to search engine techniques for online real estate search.

Update your main pages frequently.
Write articles, or outsource your copywriting, directly related to the concerns of existing clients. What questions are they asking? Answer them in multimedia format on your site and on other supporting sites.

Constantly check your site for technical errors
Broken links to pages which no longer exist, listings off-site which have been moved and bad reviews. Stay on top of these technical issues with a regular site audit.

real estate schema
Examples of meta description schema on a real estate search result.
Apply schema in your meta descriptions
While this is a little advanced for non-savvy real estate agents, this is very useful in highlighting your reviews, relevant page links, and upcoming showings. This is perhaps one of the essential updates from years past in the real estate SEO niche. People who see markup respond at a significantly greater percentage than those sites which don’t employ schema.

These are some of the most important issues affecting condo sale websites when it comes to optimizing the site for SEO.

If you have any questions about how to get your site to the top of the rankings, give me a shout anytime. I truly enjoy the challenge of making your site a success!

Not sure what I do for my clients? Check this SEO case study for a client who has seen amazing results using my SEO services.

great seo blogs

How to make an SEO Blog Post

Here I analyze exactly what it takes to make a great SEO Blog post. I break down the leaders in each of their respective niches.

Although you probably don’t have a great interest to be known in the SEO community, if we take a look at the leaders in SEO marketing, we can pick up a few excellent tips which you can apply no matter your target audience.

 

I have indexed the blogs covered in this article here for easier access:

 

Moz Blog

Header: includes an original graphic loosely related to the topic, the author attribution and the date.

 

 

Title Tag: The keyword rich title along with multiple category tags for easy filtering (ideal for larger blogs).

Intro Paragraph: Clearly wording the question and a small intro in what will follow. Also, the text color is easy to read but not too noticeable.

High-Quality Video: This in itself is the main reason the blog is so popular. The founder of Moz has a distinct presentation, his appearance, not to mention his easy delivery style makes the blog a winner. You probably don’t have the budget of a Moz Blog but you can create simple videos to complement your posts.

high quality graphic
notes from the moz blog
High-Quality Graphic: In this case it is simply the “notes” of his presentation. But this alone makes the blog post essential. This is the essence of content marketing here. Creating something of long-lasting value that your audience or customers will find useful.

1. On-page thumbs up     2.Comments on the article 3. Sharing icons

 

Engagement Icons: Although these are often overused and perhaps slightly cumbersome to avid blog readers, they provide a necessary element of SEO bookmarking which provides social signals to the search engines that people are interested in this page. Don’t leave them off but don’t make them intrusive either.

 

Backlinko SEO Blog

These are the parts of a Backlinko blog post. Perhaps one of the easiest to read blogs on the internet.

blog layout for brian dean's seo blog

Social Share Bar: One of the most remarkable things about the Backlinko blog is how shareable the content is. granted this is because of the massive research budget and the people skills of Brian Dean but there is also an easily accessible share bar on every blog page.

Click Bait Title: Brian Dean is a master at getting people to click. But he uses a fairly well-traveled formula. he explains it as a hook technique (I can’t say much more as it is part of his paid course which is a real no-brainer for diving deep into white hat SEO techniques for building your brand online in 2017).

Attention Grabbing Intro: He uses a short sentence technique that works extremely well in our sound byte age of dopamine seeking eyeballs. Some even use the Hemingway app to help lighten things up a bit in their posts (I suffer from longer sentences as do most people in SEO).

Modest Header: While he’s never going to win any style awards. He follows the basic rules, inform and stimulate but don’t distract.

Strong Call to Action: With great content comes a desire for people to want to diver deeper into your world. Backlinko must get amazing conversions with their content. Adding an email or phone number call to action to your stronger blog posts or pages is a no-brainer these days.

 

Search Engine Land News

These are the parts of a Search Engine Land blog post. Many consider this the first source of news when Google leaks information it wants the world to know about.

 

Matthew Woodward Affiliate SEO

Coming soon…