As we become increasingly comfortable with speaking to our electronic devices the number of people using voice search is growing. This shift in the way people search means businesses and websites need to adapt their online strategy in order to stay ahead of the game and thrive.
Just as you thought you were getting to grips with how to optimise your website for typed search engine queries, technology advances and gives you a new dimension to learn about!
According to a survey by Comscore, 40% of adults now use voice search once per day. If your business hasn’t started to at least consider how to optimise your website for voice search then you could be at risk of getting left behind.
What is voice search?
Voice search is a basic form of AI, you probably know it best as Siri on the iPhone, Alexa on Amazon’s Echo, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google’s own voice search feature.
How is voice search changing digital marketing and SEO?
First of all, it’s important to understand that voice search is not taking over from typed search, so don’t panic, all previous digital marketing and SEO work undertaken is still relevant!
In order to adapt for voice search businesses need to add a new dimension to their strategy rather than changing anything existing.
Voice search requires a different SEO approach to typed searches as users deliver their queries in a different way.
Think about what you may type to search for a hairdresser versus what you might say via voice search.
For the majority of people a typed search will be 2-3 words long, written in ‘computer speak’ and narrowed down to just a few essential keywords. Whereas when we use voice search we expect the technology to be able to understand full sentences, so we tend to talk as though speaking to another human being.
Common features of voice searches
- Longer query length
- Generally these are question searches
- We ask as though speaking to another human
- More frequently performed on mobile devices
- Queries often have greater intent
- Often used when speed is of the essence
- More likely to be used for local-based queries
How to adapt online for voice search
Eager to get your business’ online presence optimised for voice search? We’ve come up with a few tips on what to consider and changes to implement to keep your business one step ahead when it comes to voice search.
Research, research, research!
Keyword/phrase research for voice search is essential. Find out what questions people are asking on voice search in order to discover your business. Once you’ve got some idea on what kind of phrases and questions are being used, identify which ones are your highest value questions.
Remember that generally people using voice search tend to use more specific search queries that are capable of revealing their level of intent a lot more accurately than with text search.
Update content accordingly/create new content
Once you’ve identified which voice search queries people are using to find your website you can begin to tweak existing content or create new high quality content around these questions and queries.
Of course if you’re able to identify the highest value queries and long-tail key phrases, then it makes financial sense to adjust your bids on any Adwords campaigns that you may have running to reflect your findings.
Update local business listings and ads
Due to the speedy nature of voice search, a high percentage of searches performed this way are local searches, meaning that local businesses that adapt will reap the rewards and have the advantage over competitors who are slower to adapt.
People performing local searches on the move often want quick answers with minimal actions before a decision is reached.
This is why local voice searches often trigger business listings/ads in search results, making it essential to keep business listings up to date. Local voice searches often have high intent, resulting in searchers bypassing business websites and instead taking action directly from the search results by using the ‘call now’ or ‘book now’ call to action buttons.
With new and emerging technologies like Amazon’s Alexa Smart Home becoming more popular and wearables like smart watches now being released by popular brands like Michael Kors, speaking to our devices is becoming more and more commonplace.
Businesses with their finger on the pulse should begin adapting their online strategy now if they haven’t already in order to stay ahead of competitors and save themselves a bigger job down the line.
Need some help or advice with optimising your online presence for voice search? Get in touch with our team of experts here at Aqueous Digital by giving us a call on 0800 285 1424.