The Era of Voice Search: Is Your SEO Ready?

 

Posted on Aug 14, 2017

AI-powered hands-free voice search is fast becoming the next big technology sensation. We want to have access to the world wide web at the tip of our tongues as ask what, where, how, why and when. Statistics show that 50% of all searches will be voice searches and about 30% will be done without a screen by 2020, making the voice recognition market worth $601 million by 2019. The world's biggest technology brands have found potential in this new trend and have launched their respective Smart Speakers, building a completely new market to compete in, which has become a big success with consumers. With this large change in the way consumers search brands, it is very important that SEO changes with it!

 

 

Currently, four digital assistants are leading the voice search market: Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana, which can be used in majority of the each company’s devices. However, there is one device that is leading the market when it comes to voice search, smart speakers. Amazon released their Amazon Echo smart speaker, becoming an incredible success since day one, selling over 4.4 million devices in its first full year of sales. Google launched its Google Home device this year, which distinguishes your voice from others in your home giving a completely personalised experience. Apple has also joined the smart speaker craze, announcing the release date of their Homepod a few months ago and sparking rumours to be the one to wait for. But there is more to the smart speakers than just fun, as these bring incredible opportunities for businesses and can only be done through SEO changes. Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, stated that 20% of searches from their app and devices were voice searches, and with these and smart speakers on the rise, it plays a key part in local digital marketing.

 

In order to optimize your business through voice search, here are the SEO strategies that your website should follow.

 

Use informal content or language

Writing content in a natural, conversational way will help users find your business. Your website needs to speak the consumer’s language they will use when using voice search. The search engine will look for linkages between the words used by the voice search user and website. The closer the words are, the higher the chances for the device to mention your business when answering the command. According to statistics, mobile voice-related searches are 3 times more likely to be local-based than text, so this is a great opportunity to attract local targeted consumers to the business. This can also be done by using personalised long tail keywords, which gives a more personal feel to the text.

 

Incorporating FAQs to the website

Voice searchers ask questions that start with Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. If you add a Q&A page to your website, you can answer the typically asked questions in a conversational and informal manner that people would use in a voice search.

 

Mobile friendly website

We have spoken about the importance of mobile in many of the news stories we post in our website, and when it comes to voice search, it is not an exception. The majority of voice searches come from mobile devices or smartphones, currently 25% of 16-24 year olds use voice search on mobile. If the website is difficult to navigate on a smartphone, it causes a negative experience when using voice search, and for this reason, a good mobile experience is crucial.

 

Near me…

 

Many of the searches conducted by consumers use the phrase “near me”, and the results will be based on the physical location of the searcher in relation to the company or business. For this reason, it is essential to optimise your business listings on Google My Business, which will allow your business to be listed in the correct business category and match your business to the relative searches.

Making changes to your website will go a long way to improve your business’ success in voice searches. Currently, nearly 50% of people use voice searches when researching products and 40% of adults use voice search at least once a day. It is becoming increasingly challenging but brings incredible potential and opportunities to attract new customers. The content needs to be written in a way you would describe it to a customer by thinking of the questions that people may ask related to your business, service or product.

 

Why Media Account Director, Claire White comments about this new trend:

“Voice search is here to stay, and so it is important to incorporate the right strategies in order to ensure businesses are voice command friendly. For websites, it is not about formal and elaborated phrases anymore, the power will be in conversational language.”

 

Are you looking for help with optimising your website? Or are you thinking of listing your business in Google My Business? Then email Claire@whymedia.co.uk and we can help you achieve your online goals!