Future searches will be more intuitive, natural, and vocal. Voice search has been around for years. Some claim that 50% will be done using voice.
This is likely a part of your daily life. Voice search functionality can be found in places such as:
- Windows 10 (Cortana)
- iPhone (Siri).
- MacOS (Siri)
- Android (Google Assistant)
- Google Home (Google Assistant).
- Amazon Echo (Alexa)
Voice can be used for controlling smart home devices, answering common questions, adding meetings to your calendar, and even ordering your favorite food delivery.
It also makes it easier for people with visual impairments or motor skills impairments to search for information and complete tasks. Making your website more accessible is a priority. Users will be able to search your site using voice, which is a great way to make it even better.
Voice is changing the way people search
According to PWC however, voice search is the most popular way to find basic information or simple answers. Voice search might be considered a top-of-the-funnel activity. You can use voice search to bring new customers to your store but it may not result in many sales immediately. You can get the most out of voice search traffic by having the plan to follow up with website visitors once they find you.
You can quickly add high-quality, useful content to your website. They are therefore more likely to be found in search results and to attract customers for the first time.
How to prepare your store for voice search
You want someone to search for the product or service you offer. What changes are necessary to ensure they find you?
If you are already focusing on search engine optimization, and providing a quality user experience, then you’re on track.
Voice search still searches. You will be more likely to appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs) if you rank higher. Google offers a great SEO starter guide
However, there are additional steps you can take to increase your voice search optimization.
1. Use Long-Tail Keywords and Conversational Keywords
Long-tail keywords have become more relevant than ever due to the conversational nature of voice searches. Long-tail keywords have a higher level of specificity than standard keywords. This means they are less popular but also have lower traffic volumes.
Many long-tail keyword tools are available online (e.g. Keywordtool, but you can also create them by thinking about what questions people might ask using voice search.
If you are selling candles, an example question might be “What are the most loved fall scents?”
Google Analytics can also be used to assess the impact of voice searches on your site, and generate keyword ideas. Although it can be difficult to find exact statistics on voice search traffic to your site, there are some things you can do:
- Conversational keywords – If you see a lot of conversational keywords in your keyword search data, these searches were likely performed using voice rather than traditional typing. For keyword data, you can also use Google Search Console.
- Longevity of queries – If your keyword data is not available, you can look at your trend for the average length query over the past few years. Logically speaking, voice searches should be longer because they are conversational.
Manually tracking your keywords targets and results can prove difficult. Instead, you can use software such as Moz Pro or Unamo which automatically tracks them and provides suggestions for keywords to target.
2. Restructure Your Content
Search engine optimization is all about content. Make it more conversational. Voice searches often take the form of questions. A strong FAQ page is essential and can even provide ideas for long-tail keyword targets. Find out how to create an effective FAQ page.
You can also create blog posts using an interview format. Instead of writing a blog post in third-person, by one author, you can have a back-and-forth between an expert reporter. Even a video could be created and then transcribed into a blog article. This will give you both written and video content that can be used in marketing.
Podcast content is usually conversational. Podcasts can be transcribed and shared on the internet.
3. Enhance Your Website Structure
Structured data is a way to provide information about your website that search engines can index. This strategy can be integrated into a larger SEO plan to improve search engine rankings. Google uses structured data more often than ever.
Review sites are an excellent example.
The schema markup used on the site resulted in this search engine format. This case clearly shows that both a scorer and reviewer have been provided. There are many schemas that you can implement; the official schema.org resource has a complete list.
This will require some technical knowledge. However, some plugins make it easier such as Schema, Schema, Structured Data for WordPress, and AMP.
Use the Structured data testing tool to test your schema. This tool will examine your pages and let you know if any errors are found. It simply shows Google how your structured data is viewed on your page.
Google recently launched Speakable (beta),. Google:
“The talkable schema.org property is used to identify sections of an article or webpage that can be read aloud using text-to-speech (TTS)” Search engines and other applications can use markup to identify content that can be read aloud using TTS on Google Assistant-enabled devices. Google Assistant can be used by web pages that have speakable structured data to distribute the content via new channels and reach more users.
Although this is currently targeted at news outlets only, it would not surprise me to see it expand to online shops and other types of websites in the future.
4. Google Shopping – List your Products
Customers may be able to search for products using Google Assistant (Google Home) and Google Shopping. Google Shopping is a great way to sell physical products.
It maps product data automatically, including variations and price, and updates you when there are any changes to your store. This will make it easy for customers to find you on Google and save you time.
5. Google My Business: Claim Your Business
Google My Business lets you provide Google with important information, such as opening hours, location, reviews, and reviews.
These results will appear at the top of the page for desktop searches, and at the top for voice and mobile searches. Although signing up is simple, verification is required. Don’t expect immediate results. Your profile should be kept current as users depend on accurate information.
6. Amazon Alexa Skills:
Amazon Alexa skills allow you to voice-command devices like answering questions and playing music. You can either create your own Alexa skills or hire someone skilled in software development.
Some supermarkets offer Alexa skills, which allow customers to add products and track their orders while they cook. This makes shopping online easy and provides a great user experience.
Not all Voice Search Is Equal
Many devices allow voice search. However, they may not all be the same, and not all of them use Google as their default. Although devices might allow users to modify their default search engine, the majority of users will not. These are the most common default browsers for voice search devices.
- Apple Siri – Google
- Microsoft Cortana – Bing
- Google Assistant – Google
- Amazon Alexa – Bing
There is no one strategy to prepare for voice search. A multi-faceted approach is required. It is therefore more important to be in the top results for your target search terms. Customers will only hear the top results if they read them.
Google, like traditional search engine optimization, is where you should be focusing most of your efforts. To determine where your focus should be, you can check the data on your site and the trends in your target audience.
Looking towards the Future
One thing is certain: voice search will not disappear. It’s expected to continue growing in the future. We may see more licensing of voice technology to third parties. Google already does this for Sony with their S50G speaker.
Voice search is hard to miss. It is convenient for its users, and the results are becoming more precise and accurate. Gartner states that by 2020 30% of all web sessions won’t require screens. You can reap the future benefits of taking action now!