As a web designer, you need to know about a lot more than just the HTML coding used in creating a site. After all, even if your site is technically perfect, there's no guarantee that it's going to be SEO-friendly.
Sure, you're not a marketing expert — you're hired for your expertise in coding, not for your skills in SEO. Unfortunately, today's consumer is much more demanding than before. They have a lot of options in choosing a web developer. They can also build their own sites with the right software.
While these more generic sites are not going to be the flashiest around, they are good enough to pass muster. This means that as a web developer, you need to be able to offer more than just the technical know-how.
If you can create a site that both looks great, and performs well in searches, then you're offering an even more valuable service. But creating an SEO-optimized site involves several aspects. We can't possibly cover all of them in a single article.
That's why this article focuses solely on creating a site that's ideal for voice search. The bonus is that the steps that help optimize a site for voice search are also great for general SEO. Are you ready to find out what those steps are? Then let's get started.
Ensure Fast Page Load Speed
Why is page load speed first on the list? It's simple — 47% of web users expect a site to load in no more than two seconds. If your site doesn't load quickly enough, users probably won't bother to stick around.
Before you start throwing in all sorts of extra features, ask yourself how they will affect page load speed. If these elements are going to slow down the page significantly, are they really worth adding in the first place?
Add a Frequently Asked Questions Page
The way someone phrases a voice search varies in comparison with how they phrase a written search. A written search is more work. They have to type in each letter, find the right words, and make sure that the spelling is okay.
All this work translates into being more economical in language. Think about it: who wants to type out ten words when three would do the trick? This makes it easier for SEO professionals as it allows them to target certain keywords and phrases.
Voice search, on the other hand, makes things more complex when it comes to SEO. The searcher doesn't have to type anything, so they can phrase the query in the same way as though asking someone else a question.
That's what makes things trickier for the SEO pro. Now you have to consider a wider range of search phrases and potential keywords, with queries being posed in natural language. Incorporating an FAQ page is one easy way to more precisely match potential queries.
Naturally, there should also be questions peppered around the other pages of the site as well, but the FAQ should be considered a must-have. Do use natural language in the content, and do use long-tail keywords rather than single keywords.
Use a Mobile-First Design
Here you're probably thinking that's a no-brainer, but we're talking about more than just ensuring that the site reads okay for a mobile search. Many people running voice searches will be using their phone.
As a result, it's essential to make sure that your page works well on mobile. If you design it for mobile first, then you can be sure that it will also display well on a desktop. The same cannot be said if you design it for desktop viewing and then try to optimize it.
Use Structured Markup
Google and all the other search engines got together to create www.schema.org, which was designed to give developers insight into using structured markup. Why should you care? Because this is what tells the search engines exactly what is going on when it comes to your site.
It helps create a better-organized structure and affords you the opportunity to tell the search engines the most important pieces of information. It also allows search engines to draw rich snippets from the site.
These become especially important when a search engine creates a summary of the search results to present to those who are conducting the search.
Our Bonus Tip
Our final, bonus tip is aimed at local businesses. If you want to rank well as a local business, you need to ensure that you claim the Google My Business page and that you include more local content on the site.
As a developer, completing the GMB page is something you could do in your sleep. Offer it as a value-add for your clients as you're also ensuring that their site is more discoverable.
There are subtle differences between optimizing a site for voice search and standard SEO. That said, the same tricks that help with voice search will also improve the ranking of your site, so all of the above-mentioned tips should stand you in good stead with all kinds of searchers.
About the Author
Catherrine Garcia is an experienced Web Developer at WPCodingDev and a passionate blogger. She loves to share her knowledge through her articles on web development and WordPress.