Do you use Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Cortana, Bixby, or Google Assist as a consumer? If you’re using any of these AI platforms regularly, then don’t you think your potential customers might be too? Whether you’re asking a question or issuing a command to a device such as your phone, laptop, remote control, tablet, or car navigation it means you are actively using voice search capabilities as part of your everyday life.
Technology continues to evolve, driven by customer behaviour patterns, and as business owners, we need to be prepared for the shifts. Understanding how our potential clients are searching for content impacts our marketing as well as our ranking with the search engines. The larger brands are transforming the way they interact with their customers, and we need to follow suit. Our clients are talking, and we need to be listening.
Statistics show that over 50% of all searches in 2020 will be voice search queries, and if your business website isn’t optimised for voice, then you could be missing out.
While the younger generation (18-24 year olds) handle voice technology with ease and are taking to voice search much faster, it’s thought that the 25-49 year old bracket are using the AI personal assistants more consistently. (Source: Survey carried out by PWC)
What does this mean for your business?
Part of the PWC survey asked the 1000 people on the trial how frequently they used their voice to carry out basic tasks. 50% confirmed they bought something online using voice search every month (40%) or daily (10%), and 89% said they searched for something they would typically have typed into a search engine every month (57%) or daily (32%). It’s interesting to note that on average, 80% of consumers who shopped using voice assist were satisfied.
Recognising that your customers are actively using voice search and updating your content to optimise for that need should be top of your marking to-do list.
Here are some of the SEO Angel’s top tips for optimising for voice:
Know your audience
We speak on average 150 words per minute as opposed to typing at 40 words per minute. It’s, therefore, more time-efficient for your customer to use voice search to ask a question.
Voice queries are different in their format and length. What questions are your ideal clients asking, and how can you answer them with your content? Would your potential customer ask ‘when should I submit my tax return?’ or ‘is there a mindfulness workshop in my area?’ When Google Assist tries to find the answer to these questions, it uses snippets or knowledge graphs. If you provide quality question-based content in the form of FAQs or how-to guides, then you’re more likely to be found by search engines.
Sites such as AnswerThePublic are great for finding out what questions your target audience are asking.
Consider how your audience searches
Once you understand the questions your customers are asking you then have to consider ‘how’ they are asking them. When typing into the search engine, your target audience may use a shorter phrase, for example, ‘making an omelette’, but when using voice search, they are more likely to use the phrase ‘how do I make an omelette?’ Although they are practically the same term, the search engines will deliver two different search results. In this example, Google would have searched conversational keywords and matched content with audience intent.
It’s also worth noting that Google tends to provide more videos in response to voice searches. Our omelette example from above means the search engine would also provide how-to videos as a higher ranking search result.
When optimising your content for voice search think about it in one of four ways:
- I want to know
- I want to go
- I want to do
- I want to buy
Keywords are still key
When creating your content, be sure to add three or four keyword phrases associated with your business or industry. To make sure these phrases are voice search optimised, you must know the questions your audience is asking. Where possible, use the queries as headers on your site and provide the answer in your content just below.
Think about the times you use voice search. Most of the time it will be when you’re either driving or walking somewhere. How many times have you asked Google to find you a hairdresser or coffee shop in your area using the phrase ‘near me’?
58% of consumers use voice search to find local businesses, so you must be optimised for local search results. Completing your Business Listing Information on your Google My Business page is a great place to start.
Render on all devices
Smartphones changed the way we work, shop, and browse. Optimising your website for mobile use is going to be of benefit to your business. Check that your site renders on your phone and tablet. Images and videos should load quickly, and text should be easy to read.
Choosing a suitable web host for your site is crucial as they offer you the speed and resources you need to provide your clients with a positive online experience.
Lets sum up
Optimising your site for SEO is intrinsically linked to voice search. You shouldn’t have one without the other. When you optimise your content with voice search in mind, you will automatically help your general SEO. Hopefully, this post has answered any questions you may have about voice search SEO and optimising your content, but feel free to get in touch with any queries you may have.
Need more help?
I offer SEO coaching to guide you through the steps you need to take to optimise for voice search or advisory packages to hold your hand through the ongoing process. Get in touch for more details or book a 60-minute power hour call today.
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