It’s estimated that 50% of all searches will be voice in 2020. It’s no wonder that so many brands and websites are refocusing on voice search optimisation as a priority.
Today we can use our smartphones to find instant information on the go, like the opening hours of a new restaurant or what the weather will be like tonight at 6PM. Voice search is quick, effective and constantly evolving. So it’s easy to see how it’s quickly becoming a daily routine for 72% of smart speaker owners.
Optimising for voice search keeps your brand relevant and prominent across an emerging medium.
So how can you prepare your business to be in the best position to capitalise on this trend? Keep reading to learn more about the fundamentals of voice search.
Understanding the nature of voice search
Voice search enables users to retrieve results by simply talking, instead of manually typing into their device. This means queries are typically longer, more conversational and interrogative.
Search engines still need to correlate a spoken search query with written content on the web, but if you can tailor your written web content to mimic the style of a spoken search query, this makes it easier to match to any voice searches.
Here are some factors to keep in mind as you start your SEO journey into voice search.
Conversational: Online content is becoming increasingly more colloquial. Try to tailor your content to reflect the way your audience might speak out loud about a particular topic – using the same phrases, terminology and language style. But don’t go overboard with an overly casual or irreverent tone as this may compromise on the clarity and quality of your messaging.
Long tail: The average voice search is longer than a typed text search. So, you should be optimising for phrases with five or more words and focusing less on those with only 1-4 words, as search engines won’t weigh these as heavily. Think about how many words it takes to ask a question. Searchers are more inclined to say more words than they would write because talking simply takes less effort and guarantees a more accurate result. For example, people who search for the term “Best PC computer maker” might say, “who makes the best PC computer?”.
Questions: When you want information from another person in real life you ask a question. Voice search is based on a natural way of speaking, so formatting your content in the form of questions will get the best results. For example, to find an article like this one you might type “voice search optimisation tips”, but when searching vocally you might say “how do I optimise my content for voice search?”.
Provide information for every stage of the buyer purchase cycle
Consider the type of queries clients might have when speaking on the phone. These same questions should be answered on your website too in an easy-to-find FAQ section. Each question could potentially feature as a voice search result, which leads to more informed customers and improves your company’s reputation. So, it’s definity worth reviewing your FAQ page to see if both the questions and answers are phrased in a clear, conversational tone. Think about whether they read like a natural conversation that you might have with a client or customer.
Optimising your content for voice search is all about making it as easy to find as possible. But your messaging still needs to do the work of selling in your product or service, therefore, the same basics of marketing apply. There should be clear, succinct information at every stage to build credibility for your business.
Finally, users expect brands to provide information that they actually need in that moment. In fact, a high volume of searches are spontaneous, in-the-moment requests. Accommodating these needs via voice search ensures your business is visible and relevant.
Voices searches are three times more likely to be local than text-based, which is perfect if you operate across physical locations. Customers will be searching for actionable information, such as what the opening hours are, and types of products and services offered. 50% of local mobile searches are executed by people who plan on visiting the store in question the same day.
Understand search intent
Analysing user intent is vital to offering the right content for voice search. If you can go deeper and figure out why searchers are asking a particular question, then this will help you provide additional useful information that they might not have explicitly searched for but need to know before making a buying decision.
To really tailor your questions, you can also ask your frontline staff about what the common questions people are asking or view popularity of topics on your own website.
Top search engines are rapidly evolving their voice search algorithms and the number of smart device users is growing too. Voice search is rising in popularity faster than many companies think, but it’s an exciting opportunity. If you are one of the pioneers in your industry to tackle voice search marketing, then you’ll be ahead of the curve and achieve better results
Want to learn more about tailoring and optimising your content for voice search?
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Contact us today, we’d love to hear about your plans and how you have been going with voice search so far.