Search marketing has changed a lot in the last few years. Have you ever asked Apple’s Siri for the best salons near you? How about Google OK and Amazon Alexa or the latest, Samsung’s Bixby? If you know one of these voice-powered digital assistants, you will definitely have an idea of what we are going to discuss in this post. Voice searches are getting popular and this means that doing Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for voice search is now a necessity and not something to do later.
Today, we are going to discuss the 5 things you can do to optimise your website for voice search. Let’s start.
Voice Search Queries: Key Characteristics
Before going a bit deep into the concept of website optimization for voice search, it is extremely important for you to understand the basic differences between voice search and text-based search queries. Here are the key characteristics of voice search that make them different from traditional text-based searches:
The Voice Search Queries are Longer
The most telling difference between the two is – the length of the search query. When users search for something using voice search, they are likely to use a conversational tone and frame it as a question. For instance, when finding an ice cream parlour nearby, they may search, “Which are the best ice cream parlours near me?” On the other hand, for the same information through text, the query may be, “Ice cream parlours near me”.
To put it simply, voice searches tend to be longer and asked in a conversational tone than traditional searches.
The Voice Search Queries are Usually Localised
Voice searches are often localised. This actually makes sense because people use this smart feature to make on-the-go search. This has been made possible because search engines such as Google provide users with a convenient feature – Near Me. This encourages people to search for local businesses.
Voice Searches are Time-based
Voice searches are time-sensitive. The searcher will immediately move on to other options if they do not get the information they are looking for. In several cases, many users won’t even click and open a website after performing voice searches. They generally expect to get information directly from the Search Engine which is often read by the digital assistant on their phone.
Important Steps to Optimise Your Website for Voice Search
Now that you know the essential differences between traditional and voice search, we will discuss the essential steps you need to take to make your website voice search friendly.
We look at the top four steps:
Step 1: Start with the Google My Business Listing
If you haven’t done it yet then it is time to set up your Google My Business listing. Keep it up-to-date to stay on the top of search results in local search (people are more likely to use voice search for local information).
With an updated listing, you have better chances of being ranked at the top and discovered by voice search users whenever they use the ‘Near Me’ feature on Google. Add contact details, operational hours, address and some high-quality photographs of your business in your listing.
Step 2: Use Conversational Language in Body Text
When writing content for voice search, it is extremely important to use conversational tone and use words that people use when talking to each other. This is because when it comes to Voice Search, people ask questions as if they are talking to a person.
You have to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. This will take a bit of your time but will pay off in the long run. While these questions may be long in terms of number of words used, the will help you to target long-tail keywords also.
Step 3: One FAQs Page is Not Enough
Yes, you can create an FAQs page and include content based on the questions your potential customers ask but it is important to include questions (and answers) on other pages on your website to truly take the advantage of voice search. This is the most natural way to use such keywords without awkward phrasing.
In addition to creating an FAQ page, invest some time in posting content that addresses trending questions. No, we don’t mean trending topics that are not related to what you are selling. For instance, talking the ice cream parlour example above, you can use trending topics on summer, health, dieting, etc. to market your ice cream.
Step 4: Think Beyond Google.
It is a fact that Google is not the only player offering voice search feature to its users. Amazon has Alexa, Apple has Siri, Samsung introduced Bixby and Windows has Cortana for voice search. All these digital assistants search the internet, not just the Google Search Engine, to find answers for your customers. So, you need to optimise your website for voice search for other search engines also.
One small hack here before you go bonkers trying to figure it out – find out the number of mobile phone users by brand. You can go with the national stats, or simply do a survey of the first 100 customers every month. And then optimize.
Also, for your reference , here is what each digital assistant uses as its search engine.
Search Engines Used by Different Digital Voice Assistants to Give You Voice Search Results
Ready? Here we go.
- Amazon Alexa and Amazon Echo – Microsoft Bing
- Apple Siri (Apple iPhone, HomePod use Siri) – Google (since 2017)
- Google Assistant and Google Home – Microsoft Bing (yes, we are kidding)
- Microsoft Cortana – Make a wild guess (Bingo if you say Bing)
- Samsung Bixby – Proprietary search (Kngine)
According to latest trends, voice search is not just a fad. It is here to stay. In fact, it will become even more powerful and popular in the years to come as search engines get smarter at understanding user’s speaking style and language and finding answers in content published on websites. From that viewpoint, having a website and content optimized for voice search is more than a necessity to stay ahead of the competition. Here are major takeaways for you from this post:
- Focus on localised and conversational content based on phrases and questions your potential customers use
- Understand the importance of optimising for local search
- Make the most of ‘Frequently Asked Question’ page and put some bits of it in other internal pages. Provide answers to questions that your potential clients may use more often than not
- Think about other search engines beyond Google
By keeping these essential steps in mind and staying updated with the latest trends in voice searches, you can put your business one step ahead of the competition. If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed and need any sort of assistance, then you can give us a call at +91 8800 596 502.
At IHuS Research, we specialise in digital marketing including SEO, Voice SEO, SMO and other related areas. We would be happy to help you in taking your business one step further. Get in touch with us today. Call +91 8800 596 502 or email [email protected]