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Written by Adrienne Pooley | VP of Marketing + Growth
Want to put hundreds of millions of robots to work on behalf of your brand? Then hop on the Voice Engine Optimization (VEO) train so Alexa, Siri and their robot friends become your unofficial brand ambassadors.
So what is VEO and why is it important?
VEO is the practice of optimizing your website content to become the first response in voice search results. Here’s why this is such a big deal. The use of voice assistants is SKYROCKETING in the U.S. According to Microsoft, 72% of consumers are using voice search, and one of the primary reasons is to find a business, product or service. Awesome, right? Unfortunately, this swell in voice search adoption has added a new set of SEO challenges for marketers. Simply put, voice search returns only one to three results (depending on the device) vs. 10 results per webpage with traditional text search, making it crucial for businesses to be at the top of their VEO game to be heard.
And now for the how. Employ these three tactics to increase your VEO ranking.
Use conversational, long-tail keywords with an emphasis on local as part of your ongoing SEO plan
Long-tail keywords are three- to five-word phrases designed to mimic natural language. Think about how you would ask a question to your friend or neighbor. Instead of “coffee Minneapolis” or “coffee near me” – you would say, “Where can I get the best cup of coffee in Minneapolis?” These conversational keywords are more specific and produce better, more closely aligned results.
Create pages or modify content on your website to answer the who, what, when, where, why and how
Using the same premise of natural language, think about the types of questions someone would ask that could lead them to your business. Then develop FAQs to specifically answer those questions. This will help increase your ranking with Google. Make sure to cover off on the big six: who, what, when, where, why and how. Using the “best coffee in Minneapolis” example from above, a FAQ could be, “How do we make the best coffee in Minneapolis?” with the response being a statement that covers both the brand name and additional keywords. For example, “To make the best cup of coffee in Minneapolis, ABC Coffee first starts with our organic, fair-trade coffee beans which are available for purchase online or in store so you can make the perfect cup at home…”
Schema markup – if you don’t already incorporate it into your website, make this a priority
Schema markup is data vocabulary that can be added to HTML tags to give more context to your website content. Adding schema will improve the way your page displays in search engine results by enhancing the rich snippets shown beneath the page title. This will ultimately help increase your ranking in both traditional and voice search results.
Who needs to pay attention?
Virtually any business can benefit from a solid VEO strategy but there are categories where it really pays off. Again, think local first. Would someone ask for your business or product with the phrase “near me” at the end? If so, then a VEO strategy is for you.
- Food and beverage industry (restaurant, grocery store, bar, coffee shop)
- Immediate or emergency services (hospital, plumber, veterinarian, salon)
- Convenience factor – “closest to me wins” (ATM, gas station, self-storage, car wash)
As the world changes and technology advances, marketers need to advance right along with it. Voice is the new currency. Are you ready to cash in?