[TUTORIAL] Voice Assistant Schema Markup for Your Website

How to Add Voice Schema Markup to Your Website

Google recently announced the beta of Speakable, a schema markup that allows you to identify sections of your content that is most suitable for text-to-speech audio playback.

This new schema markup will help you to deliver news content over Google Assistant, the voice assistant used by Android devices, including Google Home.  Use of voice assistants is growing significantly and this structured data markup will help Google Assistant and Google Home devices to deliver voice content from news website to users.

It is important to note that as of July of 2018, the speakable schema will only have an effect on news sites.  Google has stated clearly that a website will have to be part of its news publisher program in order to deliver voice content using speakable schema.

How is Voice Schema Structured?

Naturally, there are a few different ways to implement your speakable schema markup.  It is important to consider the application and what would make the most sense for your content.

Here are two different ways to implement your speakable markup:

{
“@context”: “http://schema.org/”,
“@type”: “WebPage”,
“name”: “Jane Doe’s homepage”,
“speakable”:
{
“@type”: “SpeakableSpecification”,
“cssSelector”: [“headline”, “this is a summary of the data”]
},

“url”: “http://www.janedoe.com”
}

TYPES: speakable
PRE-MARKUP:
An example of ‘speakable’ markup (JSON-LD only, initially).
MICRODATA:
TODO

RDFA:
TODO

JSON:
{
“@context”: “http://schema.org/”,
“@type”: “WebPage”,
“name”: “Jane Doe’s homepage”,
“speakable”: [ “#myhead1”, “#thesummary”],
“url”: “http://www.janedoe.com”
}

Test Your Structured Data

Google provides a tool to test whether you’ve implemented the speakable schema properly.  You can find the tool here.

A Few Tips to Optimize Your Content for Voice Assistance

Remember to “Keep it Short”

It is important to ensure that the content that you mark up with “speakable” microdata be concise.  Amazon provides the following advice at https://developer.amazon.com/designing-for-voice/what-alexa-says/

One-breath test

When writing what Alexa will say, read aloud what you’ve written. If you can say the words at a conversational pace with one breath, the length is probably good. If you need to take a breath, consider reducing the length.

For a response that includes successive ideas, such as steps in a task, read each idea separately. While the entire response may require more than one breath, make sure you only take breaths between and not during ideas.

Make Sure It Makes Sense and Feels Natural

Do not mark up sections of your content that won’t work well with voice assistants.

Imagine listening to Google Assistant as it reads a timeline, or goes through a bunch of photo captions on your site.  Read aloud what you are marking up and ask yourself if it sounds like something that a human being would say in response to a question.  If it doesn’t read naturally, expect people to stop the playback and move on.

 

 

 

 

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