Are You Ready For Voice Search?
Posted: September 26th 2019
It is expected that as soon as next year, almost 50% of web searches will be conducted through a voice search rather than a keyboard. Searching by speaking to a device has become more and more popular in recent years, and it's something we as marketers simply can't ignore.
What Is Voice Search?
Voice search is essentially users speaking to a device to make a query as opposed to typing it. A popular example of a voice search on an iOS device is: 'Hey Siri, what's today's weather forecast?'
When you search via voice-only, you can browse the internet without having to scroll through sites on desktops and mobile devices. Audio technology recognises queries with extreme precision, and delivers results through device speakers. It's a much more conversational way to research, and it provides a smooth and easy user experience.
How Do We Prepare For Voice Search?
The world of SEO is constantly evolving, and sticking to the basics is never enough. With so many users taking advantage of voice search, we'd be mad not to prepare our strategies for the year ahead. With this in mind, here are some key elements of your SEO strategy that will contribute to a more versatile campaign and accommodate for all kinds of searching...
Consider Featured Snippets
Wherever possible, the Google Assistant will try to give voice searchers a response in the form of a featured snippet. To offer a featured snippet, you'll have to be at least on page one for the search in question, and your content should be optimised to answer common questions. If you're unsure where to start, there are tools out there to help you. For example, you could do a little research on Answer The Public.
When you're putting together your page content, think about how your potential web visitors will search. What will they want to hear? How can you help them? Try to keep your content as structured and concise as you can. This way, you'll give yourself a better chance of giving a helpful featured snippet to voice searchers.
Think About Keywords
When you're creating your page content, try to think about long-tail keywords people may use to find you when making a voice search. If you're typing a query into Google, you'll likely be a little more blunt with your wording. For example, if you were searching for a web design company based in Middlesbrough, we'd expect to see a keyword like 'web design Middlesbrough'.
Voice search is a little different. If you were to ask Siri about a web company, you're likely to say something along the lines of 'Hey Siri, tell me some great web design companies in Middlesbrough'. It's a different way of searching, and considering both techniques will benefit your campaign in the long run.
Focus on Mobile-Friendliness
Naturally, the vast majority of voice searches are made on mobile devices. People often use the voice function when they're on the go or have little time to make a search. It's been important for years to ensure your website looks and functions fabulously on a mobile device, but it is now more important than ever.
Check what your website looks like on a range of different smartphones and tablets, making sure it always works seamlessly. You should take into account things like your site speed, page responsiveness, navigation, image optimisation and overall ease of use.
Keep Local Searches In Mind
According to Search Engine Land, 40% of people using voice search are looking for local information. The term 'near me' is extremely popular in voice search. This is something to keep in mind when looking at your strategy, both off-site and on. Your meta data should reflect your location where possible to give you the best chance of reaching local visitors. Think about the keywords that will be most beneficial, and use them where you can.
Furthermore, it's also a good idea to ensure your address and contact information on your business listing is up to date, as this is another of many factors that will help your local SEO efforts.
Want us to take a closer look at your SEO strategy and ensure you're fully prepared for voice search? Drop us a message - we would love to chat.