Voice search has given mobile users a sense of convenience that was once thought to be nothing more than science fiction. As smartphone users, we are a mere flex of the thumb away from the full force of the internet. So, what impact does this have on how users find you?
The numbers are not surprising — 40% of adults perform at least one voice search per day. Younger users perform more (like, way more). It’s powerful, it’s accessible, and it’s changing the way people write web content.
One of the most attractive aspects of voice search is its encouragement for users to be conversational. It would make sense the way our voice searches sound are quite different from how our written searches look in the browser bar. Most people simply do not talk the way they write, and websites that want popular voice search traffic have taken this into account.
The reason behind this change is related to SEO (search engine optimization). When searching for something on Google, results are shown based on the quality of links, and the way content is written on the webpages. So, sites compete to grab the highest rank by creating content with more relevant keywords and topics.
From here, we can see where voice search could easily be an important factor when creating content. If the keywords you use to attract visitors to your site are versatile enough to be spoken in a voice search, you’ll have an edge in the ever-changing, competitive world of SEO.
So, what are some practical steps you can start taking today in order to improve your site’s response to voice search?
Well, we’re glad you asked.
Start writing with voice search in mind.
As mentioned before, we do not speak the way we write. That said, when it comes to generating traffic from voice searches, it’s becoming more and more important to write the way we speak. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to toss out that writer’s voice you’ve developed. It also doesn’t mean you need to ditch the tone you’ve developed for your brand. It would just be helpful to have Siri and Alexa in mind when selecting keywords and major talking points. Think about being casual and conversational. If your goal to answer a question, how would that question be phrased if it were being asked in person?
Leverage the virtual assistant element.
There’s a ton of talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI), and it’s impact is easily seen on devices that employ voice searches – with each conversation the AI adjusts and gets, well, more intelligent.
Just answer the question.
Voice searches are question based. Go back to the 5W’s and H you learned in high school. The most searched phrases are “who…”, followed by “how…”. Solid voice search-friendly sites always have an FAQs page, affording the perfect opportunity to answer those questions that searchers will be seeking. Think like your audience and provide the answers to their questions.
Just like real estate, voice searches are local
Voice searches for “__(noun)___ near me” are up 130% year-over-year. Now, incorporating the right keywords is essential to being found in these local searches, but don’t go crazy stuffing your web content with this intent. Instead, your content should contain descriptions of local relevance, and your page titles and meta descriptions should incorporate location keywords.
Make sure your site plays nicely with mobile devices.
Just because you’ve talked someone into visiting your site does not mean you’ve capitalized on their business. Ease of use on phone browsers is just as important as drawing in traffic. Make sure you’ve got a mobile version that works well and is easy to navigate for your visitors. Part of this comes from design, and part has to do with speed. According to Google, 29% of those searching with smartphones will move on from a site if the needed info is not immediately available or if they have to wait too long for loading. And 40% of online shoppers will only wait as little as three seconds. So, much like a single woman in her 30s, mobile users know what they want, and don’t like to take things slow.
Spruce up your Google My Business listing.
This one is easy! When customizing your listing, Google provides all kinds of helpful tips for making your site as relevant and accessible as possible. Some of these include adding photos, marking out your location, and working on optimizing your description for SEO.
Bottom line, businesses can no longer discount the impact voice search has on their ability to be found. The information superhighway is broad, and unlike the Harlem Shake, voice search not a fad.
Confused about how to leverage voice searches on your current website? The team at Rock Paper Simple would love to answer your questions, assist in updating your site, or create an entirely new voice-search optimized site for your business. Please give us a call or contact us here.