Google is constantly upping its search game and one of the most recent additions to its search algorithm is an expansion of the evolving voice search market. As an increasing number of users are embracing the Google Assistant platform through the use of voice search, the search engine mogul has implemented a new update that allows publishers to get more bang for their buck through Google Actions.
Google Actions allows online marketers and publishers endless opportunities to refocus and even rebrand some of the existing content on their websites to gain more ranking visibility, occupy the coveted zero position on SERPS, and effectively establish themselves as industry authorities. Existing content can and should be regularly updated to maintain relevance and accuracy. Businesses can use schema markup as a means of updating their existing content and boosting their SEO strategies in the process.
What Are Google Actions and How Do They Work?
Google Actions are apps that are specifically developed to work in tandem with and support Google Assistant. These apps cover a wide range of industries, individual businesses, and search types.
From pizza delivery services to ridesharing, fitness apps, local search, wayfinding solutions, and more, voice search has revolutionized the way in which people search for information. Whether it’s trying to find a local business or asking Google for information, Google Actions is essentially the user’s way of calling upon the search engine to perform a certain action and retrieve accurate and relevant data, answers, or solutions to specific queries using voice search.
Google Actions can be accessed from any device that features and is compatible with the Google Assistant app including smartphones, speakers, and Google Home to name a few. All Google Actions are performed within the cloud. To ascertain that relevant information is found and presented to the user, Google uses its sophisticated word recognition capabilities to determine the intent of the search and carefully crawl top-ranking websites for the most applicable solutions.
So how can you make sure that your website is chosen for the top ranking position in specific searches? The solution is to marry schema markup with Google Actions to execute a cohesive and comprehensive SEO strategy that targets voice search specifically.
How to Combine Schema and Google Actions
Also known as structured data, schema markup is essentially the language that web developers use to communicate with search engines like Google. When search engines are scouring the Internet for answers for specific search queries, they crawl websites that contain certain keywords or belong to companies in related industries for that information. Website schema markups signal to search engines when they’ve struck gold.
Web developers use a certain code to help search engines like Google understand the content of a website and match it directly to each individual search query. This also helps Google better understand the intent of the search, although intent recognition is a constant work in progress and it may not always be precise.
Accurate and clear schema markups make it easier for Google to identify relevant website content that directly answers the user’s search query. After carefully crawling each website for certain keywords, Google verifies that the information is relevant to the search query by matching the context of the content to the intent of the search.
Through Google Actions, only rich snippets are presented to the user. For that reason, it’s important to create a carefully crafted and well-planned out schema markup or structure your website content in such a way so that Google can easily understand it and deliver the information to users who are actively searching for it.
This gives content creators greater control when it comes to ensuring your content reaches your target audience.
What Type of Content Should You Target Using Schema for Actions?
One of the biggest advantages of combining a solid schema markup with the Google Actions platform is that it gives your brand even greater marketing opportunities in otherwise very limited spaces, including:
FAQ pages are a great source of information for subjects related to your business or your industry in general. Not only can you include business-specific information like your organization’s practices, policies, product information, service information, hours of operation, and any other information users might find useful, but you can also use these pages to establish your authority in your industry as a whole.
By creating FAQ pages that address specific topics in your industry using simple and concise language that the average user can comprehend, you can obtain more visibility on SERPs.
How-to guides consist of step-by-step instructional content including text, blogs, infographics, images, and videos that teach users how to do something. Whether it’s how to tie a tie, how to complete a DIY project, or how to cultivate a garden year-round, the possibilities and range of topics are endless.
However, how you structure how-to guides matters. For instance, while recipes can technically be considered in the “how-to” category because they’re teaching people how to make a certain dish and users need to follow instructions, they don’t fall under Google’s definition of what a how-to guide is.
Another important note to keep in mind is that in order for the how-to guide to be classified as such, the entire piece of content must be centered around the instructional component, not just one section. Also, how-to guides can’t be used as an opportunity to advertise your brand; they’re a genuine instructional piece of content meant to inform users.
Implementing a structured data schema to your news articles helps them gain more traction and visibility on SERPs, so that they visually stand out to users. To make your news content more accessible across a broad spectrum of devices, you need to create an Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) schema markup.
Whenever users search for news regarding specific topics, Google presents them with a number of top-ranking options in a visual and textual format like carousel, thumbnails, visual stories, top stories, and more. The most recently posted articles will appear in the top spots.
Need Help Ramping Up Your SEO Strategy?
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