Once considered a frivolous gimmick, voice search applications are becoming an increasingly popular tool among web users. Thanks to impressive growth in sales of smart home assistants and the ever-improving accuracy of voice search results, around 50% of internet searches are now thought to be voice-based. In this quick guide, therefore, we will explore the best ways to use voice search in digital marketing.
What is voice search?
Voice search is a function built into a range of internet-enabled devices that allows users to operate search engines such as Google through spoken commands. This eliminates the need for typing, offering a quick, convenient and hands-free way of obtaining useful information quickly.
If you need to find the nearest Italian restaurant in your area, for example, you can simply say “Italian restaurants near me” and the relevant search engine (typically Google and occasionally Bing) will come up with a list of helpful results.
Other than the way in which search commands are executed, there is little difference between voice and typed searches. However, people often formulate search queries differently when using their voice compared to when they are typing. This means you will need to adapt your digital marketing strategy to include voice search engine optimisation.
How does voice search optimisation work?
As you may have already guessed, the recent boom in people using voice search will have significant implications for the digital marketing landscape. If you’re a little unsure about how to optimise for voice search, however, you can rest assured that it is easy to master once you have learnt the basics.
Voice search optimisation works in a similar way to SEO for typed searches. However, unlike traditional SEO, it takes into account the kinds of search terms involved when speaking into a device, as well as the specific varieties of search engine results pages (SERPs) that appear after using voice search. To help you understand how to optimise your site to suit the new marketing landscape, we’ve collated some voice search SEO tips right here:
Voice search SEO tips
1. Conduct some keyword research for voice search
Generally speaking, people write and type very differently from how they talk. This means that you will need to think about the semantic specificities of voice search keywords. For example, if a person is shopping around for a new dining table using a traditional keyboard, they are likely to type something like “dining tables” into a search engine. If they are using a voice-activated assistant, however, they will probably say something like “Show me the best dining tables”. This is an example of a “long-tail” query, a search term that incorporates natural patterns of speech.
In this way, you need to come up with a list of long-tail keywords tailored for voice search and incorporate them in your web content. If you’re struggling to come up with relevant keywords, feel free to use an SEO tool such as Answer the Public to source popular keywords and phrases that are likely to reap positive results.
2. Adapt the structure and content of your site
With web users now asking fuller questions, it is a good idea to include plenty of informational content on your site that will boost your chances of reaching voice search users. This could include, for example, how-to guides, customer service information, FAQ pages, product guides and stories, press releases, and store locations.
3. Make your content as targeted and relevant as possible
Many voice search applications only return one search result to users, meaning you need to make your content as relevant as possible to keep your website at the top of the rankings. One way to do this is to make sure your pages are very easy to crawl. If necessary, create a new sitemap and send it over to the Google Search Console.
4. Remember that most voice searches are conducted on mobile devices
Most voice searches are carried out using mobile applications such as Siri or Cortana, so you will need to make your website as mobile-friendly as possible. This could involve improving the speed of your site or tailoring your content for local searches.
Prepare your website for the voice search revolution
With voice search on the rise, there is no excuse to ignore it when coming up with a digital marketing strategy. As we have seen, optimising your content for voice search doesn’t have to be a chore and will probably make your site even better than it was before. Don’t hesitate – get started today!