If you want to improve your Google rankings, what do you do?
You improve your on-page SEO, build backlinks, and try to improve your user metrics.
Those are the three main things you would normally do.
But there’s another super effective ranking strategy Google doesn’t want you to know about: Alexa Ranking but not the one you’re thinking about.
What is Alexa?
Alexa is Amazon’s voice assistant and the brain behind tens of millions of devices like the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show. The voice assistant provides capabilities that enable customers to create a more personalized experience. Alexa is designed for voice recognition so that when someone issues a voice command, Alexa understands and provides a reply to questions in a matter of seconds.
While Alexa is great at weather updates, playing music, ordering dinner for you, powering your smart home, or getting you out of the house, that’s just the beginning. More people are using Alexa daily to search for anything on the Internet.
That’s why many SEO experts are now optimizing their websites for Alexa ranking.
What is Alexa Ranking?
Alexa ranking is a technique of optimizing your website for voice search so Google can serve your content to users looking for information via voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa.
The convenience of being able to use your voice, rather than your fingertips to search, is what voice search is all about.
With Alexa ranking, you can rank really well on Google because the search giant now ranks websites that are optimized for voice search with voice assistants.
Want to learn how to optimize a website in 2020? You should read this: How to Rank a Website in 2020 (The Latest Approach)
Truth is, optimizing your website for voice search is one effective way to make your rankings climb. And that’s not because voice search is the next big thing. It’s already here.
Is this true or just an exaggeration?
Well, let’s look at some recent stats to answer that.
According to Google, 20% of all Google mobile queries are now made using a voice search, with experts predicting that 50% of all searches will use voice search by the end of 2020.
More people (41% of adults and 55% of teens) use voice search daily.
Why is voice search growing quickly?
You might be wondering why voice search is becoming so popular and growing so quickly.
First of all, searching with your voice is 3.7 times faster than typing, according to Bing.
So it’s no surprise more online users are beginning to use their voice instead of a keyboard to search.
Besides being a more convenient way of searching online, voice is the perfect choice for mobile searches. A study by Stone Temple suggests nearly 60% of mobile searchers use voice search at least some of the time.
It’s clear that voice search isn’t a hype after all. It has become a legit trend that is already impacting SEO.
Have you been optimizing your website for voice search? If you haven’t, then you’re lacking behind…
But because Digital Hama cares about your business success, read on to learn how to optimize your site for voice search and get more traffic.
How to optimize your site for voice search A.K.A Alexa Ranking
Make your site HTTPS compatible
As simple as it may sound, you may be amazed by the idea that having https enabled on your site could be your game-changer when it comes to voice search. HTTPS compatible websites dominate Google’s voice search results. So, if your website is compatible with the HTTPS framework, it’s much more likely to generate traffic from voice search.
Over 60% of the results from voice search come from sites that have HTTPS.
Google has stated that HTTPS can give your website a minimal boost in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
How does this apply to voice search?
A Moz report suggests HTTPS might play an even bigger role in voice search than in desktop and mobile search. In fact, 70.4% of voice search result URLs have adopted the HTTPS framework, compared to only 50% of Google desktop results.
With this stat, another question comes to mind: “Does Google consider HTTPS more important for voice search results?”
For now, it’s hard to tell but the bottom line is, if you want to rank in voice search, there’s no doubt HTTPS would definitely help.
Therefore, implementing HTTPS on your website is a surefire way to improve your chances of appearing as a voice search result.
Build an authoritative domain
This isn’t going to happen overnight.
You’re not going to be the next Forbes or Neil Patel. But you can still build authority within your niche.
Truth is, sites that have a lot of links, a lot of amazing content, social shares, and good user experience, are the ones that are getting the lion’s share of the voice search traffic.
And if you don’t have an amazing site or an amazing user experience and you don’t feel your authority, that’s okay. Just do something to fix it.
Make your content better. Make your design better. Outreach to people who link to your competitors and ask them for a link. Go above and beyond with your marketing to be the leader in your niche. If you’re not ready to be the leader, you’re not going to get the traffic from voice search.
It’s no secret that backlinks are the foundation of Google’s desktop and mobile ranking algorithm. And while you might be tempted to pay for backlinks, here are plenty of reasons why you should never buy backlinks.
But you might have your doubts as to whether backlinks play a role in voice search. I had my doubts too until I discovered that the average Domain Rating (DR) of a voice search result, according to Ahrefs, was 76.8.
If you work in the SEO industry, you know this is a considerably high DR.
Ahrefs also found that unlike with a traditional search, where you get a list of 10 blue links, voice assistants like Alexa gives you a single answer to your question. This means that Google needs to be extremely confident that it’s giving you accurate information.
Talking about ensuring accuracy, the voice search algorithm may rely on domain authority over page authority. In other words, once Google finds a credible voice search answer on a trusted site, it doesn’t care how many links are pointing to the page itself.
Make sure your site loads fast
It needs to be precisely 4.6 seconds or faster. That’s more than 50% faster than the average webpage.
So if your website loads fast, you’re more likely to get the traffic from voice search. And that’s because fast-loading websites appear to have an edge in Google’s voice search results.
MachMetrics found that the average Time to First Byte (TTFB) of a voice search result is .54 seconds (vs. the worldwide average of 2.1 seconds).
What’s more, Google recently released its “Speed Update“ that makes a website’s loading speed an important ranking factor.
In fact, according to Google:
And this might also apply to voice search results.
Think about this for a moment.
When you ask Alexa a question, you don’t want to hang around for several seconds or a minute waiting for an answer. You want a quick answer. So, it’s likely that Google’s voice search algorithm uses page loading speed as a ranking factor.
Therefore, if you want to rank in voice search, make sure your site loads as fast as possible.
Do you know how fast your website loads? Leave a comment below. If you don’t, go to Google PageSpeed, enter your website URL, and let us know what your scores are and how fast it’s loading.
Have short answers within your content
Here’s what I mean.
If you want to go after voice search, similar to normal SEO (not that voice search is abnormal or anything), pages with over 2,200 words perform way better than pages that are 300, 500, or 700-words long.
Truth is, the more content you have, the more Google can index your site for different terms, and the more traffic you can potentially get.
But it’s not just about having longer content. You want to make sure that within that piece of content, you have quick, short answers.
For instance, if you’re writing an article that breaks down SEO, maybe you’ll have a heading called, What is SEO? Then you can have a one or two-sentence answer to what SEO is.
That’s an example of in-depth content and how you can use headings and short answers in in-depth content because it makes it easier for Google to give people the answers they’re looking for every time they ask voice assistants like Alexa, “Hey, Alexa, what is SEO” for instance.
Also, FAQ pages are in a format that’s perfect for voice search: a conversational question and a brief answer right underneath it.
For one thing, Google prefers short, concise answers to voice search queries. The typical voice search result is only 29 words in length.
So if you’re optimizing your content to rank in Alexa, make your answer as short as possible. 29 words on average. But fewer is better if you can.
Optimize your content for Featured Snippets
Featured Snippets are short snippets of text that appear at the top of Google’s search results in order to quickly answer a searcher’s query. The content found inside a Featured Snippet is automatically pulled from web pages in Google’s index. Common types of Featured Snippets include definitions, tables, steps, and lists.
Appearing in a Featured Snippet may help you rank in voice search.
In fact, according to a Backlinko study, 40.7% of voice search answers come from the Featured Snippets.
For example, if you do a voice search for “How does Alexa work?” with Alexa, the answer Alexa reads out to you is:
Getting in the Featured Snippet is even more important for Alexa search results.
Alexa only gives you ONE answer.
So if you don’t rank in Featured Snippets, you’re going to be invisible on Alexa.
Final thoughts on Alexa Ranking
Over to you!
Which technique from today’s guide are you going to try first to improve your Alexa ranking?
Is your site HTTPS compatible?
Or maybe you’re ready to increase your site’s loading speed.
Either way, I’d love to hear from you. So go ahead and leave a comment below right now.