With the constant rise in voice technology, from Alexa to Google Home, Alice from Yandex and AliGenie from Alibaba, website content needs to reflect the change in searches that are taking place. Customers are using their voice technology devices to search for what they need, rather than typing it in on their phones, tablets or laptops and this changes the way in which they ask for what they want to find.
Speech and text are very different mediums and many consumers, when asking a voice technology device to carry out a search for them will ask a question, rather than say certain keywords or phrases. For example, if someone was looking for a plumber in Maidstone they might search: 'plumber Maidstone', but if they are talking to their Alexa, they might ask: 'Who is the best plumber in Maidstone?'
This doesn't mean that you should throw all of your toys out of the pram and completely change the content on your website. Though voice recognition technology has both greatly improved and is used more often, it's certainly not the be all and end all of your keywords. Integration and addition to what you already have is key; below are some options of how to improve your website in 2020 to make it easier to find for voice search.
Questions and Answers
The simplest way to help optimise your site for voice search is with question and answers, whether this is in the form of an FAQ, or just within the text. Google has always been keen on quality content and aiming to get your website in snippets is a valuable goal, now implementing questions and answers into your text will help on a number of levels.
For starters, it will help with voice search, giving potential customers the answers to the questions that they ask. It will improve the keywords and keyword lengths in your text, meaning that your website will pinpoint more to long-tail keywords, such as going from "shoes" to "red Nike mens running shoes".
Alongside this, using "natural language" in your content will help as well. Essentially, writing your content how someone might speak, inserting questions and answers and not necessarily hacking away with sales jargon. Conversational, even slightly colloquial language, might work better than heavily technical and straight-laced content.
Compared to regular websites, e-commerce sites are much more likely to have customers that find them through voice search. There is a massive 62% of voice speaker owners that have made their purchased using their virtual assistant, with 40% of millennials using voice assistants before making their online purchase. This means that optimising your website for voice search if it's e-commerce is extremely important, even more so than normal websites.
Doing this is the same as you might for any website: ensuring that you have questions and answers in your text, an FAQ, a conversational manner in the way that you lay the content out and text that acts as a strong information point in your industry. You want Google algorithms to see you and your website as a hub of information that is relevant to the questions that customers are asking. Employ those long-tail keywords and you'll be heading in the right direction.
Fast Loading Pages
Making sure your website is running and loading as fast as possible is key, but especially when it comes to ensuring your site is as accessible to voice search customers as possible. Optimising the images on your website is also important and even more so in the wake of increased voice search, as well as Google algorithm changes in light of this.
Google Voice prioritises quick-loading websites, so making sure that yours loads fast in every possible way is so important in regards to optimising for voice search.
Google has been increasing the importance on local searches and local information for a while now and it's just as important when it comes to voice search. With voice technology, an increased emphasis has been put on the local search, as potential customers are three times more likely to search locally when using a voice technology device. Continuing with that, 58% of consumers in the last year find local businesses using voice search, which shows that you need to make sure your site is optimised to draw these local customers in.
Websites need to be optimise for "near me" voice search queries, such as "plumber near me" or "builder near me". Local SEO is an important component of your website and you can see why, and how, in one of our previous articles.
Optimising for Voice Search
It can seem daunting, but optimising for voice search won't take too much time or effort. Making sure that you have all of these features present on your website is the first step; from there, you can continue to twist and tweak, thinking about what you might ask for if you were searching for something local. Ask your own Alexa or Google Home device for plumbers, roofers or builders locally and see what comes up. The results might surprise you!
Though this is a guide for 2020, voice search will continue to become a growing industry and something that every website should be keeping an eye on. Optimising for voice search will become more and more important, so you should start now to get ahead of the game.
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