Voice search strategies are often overlooked by businesses with their search campaigns.
“What is the fastest car in the world?” “Where can I buy a Burberry Coat?”
Questions. Questions. Voice search is growing. We all know this. But, are we really adapting and ready?
Traditional search remains strong but it is breaking down as more voice search options become popular. Businesses that don’t adapt will not be able to compete. Are you using voice search strategies? Let’s example some statistics:
– 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information within the last year
– 46% of voice search users look for a local business daily
– 27% visit the website of a local business after conducting a voice search
– 76% of smart home speaker users conduct local searches at least once a week—with 53% performing daily searches
Source: BrightLocal Study
The growth in voice search could be attributed to several factors. For starters, voice recognition is becoming more accurate and so are the results. Due to the improved accuracy, consumers are finding it easier to search using voice queries than typing out questions.
As the popularity of virtual personal assistants grows alongside increased smartphone penetration, it is inevitable that voice is changing the way people search and will have significant implications for SEO.
Below are essential voice search strategies to optimise your business:
Build Content Using Long Tail Keywords
Effective voice search strategies will make your content more visible and relevant. Consider the type of questions people who may interested in your product may ask, and how they may ask these questions.
Your content should address the needs of the searcher who types questions and the one who uses voice query. However, these two types of searchers are distinctively different. Searchers who type queries may wish to make extensive research while those who use voice search may be looking for quick and immediate answers.
With this in mind, content built using long tail keywords will appeal to both types of searchers. Unlike short tail keywords, long tail keywords are more natural phrases used in voice queries. In other words, the use of long tail keywords makes content more conversational and becomes more relevant to your target audience.
Incorporating natural language into content is gradually becoming a mainstream SEO requirement for ranking and greater visibility in the search engines.
Zoom into the local market
Making it easy for search bots to crawl and index your website is an essential localisation strategy. It gives your content much-needed visibility in the search engines in response to voice queries.
Adding pieces of code including rich snippets, schema and micro data also helps to provide additional information about your business. This boosts the relevancy of your content in response to voice searchers. Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper is an excellent guide to adding a HTML markup in your site.
Other voice search strategies for local search include claiming your business and accurately listing it with up to date and local information on online directories. This includes Google My Business and Bing Places for Business.
Mobile-Friendly Content is Essential
Voice search is almost entirely conducted via mobile devices. This makes it necessary to optimise your content ready for mobile to attract, engage and retain prospects and customers alike.
Websites and content that is poorly optimised for mobile has a higher bounce rate, meaning your site is attracting suboptimal engagement and conversion. Your mobile optimisation strategy should place voice search front, back and centre.
In addition to building a responsive website, your mobile optimisation efforts should focus on your site load speed. Consumers using voice search are on the move and need quick answers. Google’s PageSpeed Insights provides up to date insights into improving the speed of your mobile site. Another tool is the Mobile Friendly Test by Google, which lets you see if your site adheres to Google’s mobile algorithm updates.
Lastly, the user experience is all important. Consider how mobile owners use their devices. Simple and easy to read content with upfront solutions to customers’ queries receive the least bounce rate and instead record higher conversions.
Leverage the Opportunities in Analytics
Accessing reliable metrics and analytics to build a solid voice search strategy is still not easy. However, some marketers are using paid search to assess impressions and to determine the queries that are conducted via mobile.
Presently, there is no mechanism for tracking which queries are specifically voice searches. However, by filtering the mobile queries you can identify which of these mobile queries were primarily voice searches based on the phrasing of the queries. By using paid search in this way, a marketer can create broad match modifiers so that an ad appears on search results when a searcher uses specific words in a query. Use of analytics will prove to be incredibly important in the formulation of voice search strategies that truly delivers results in terms of eyeballs, engagement and conversion.
Voice Search Strategies are Here to Stay
Traditional SEO is here to stay but as mobile penetration increases and voice technology continues to improve, voice search will significantly change the face of SEO. Content will need to be optimised for natural language searches to be able to provide users with information fast, in a great format for the user and whenever they need it.