March 16, 2018
There was a time when companies thought that voice search would fall out of popularity, but there is no sign of this happening. Therefore, if you want to make sure that your company will easily be found in online searches, you need to make sure that you have included voice search in your SEO strategy for the new year. In 2017, 40% of adults used voice search, making it the fastest growing way to search for new companies, experiences, and information online. First introduced in 2008, voice search has experienced a huge popularity surge over the past few years and is not showing any signs of slowing down.
What used to require special devices can now be done by anyone who has a smartphone thanks to Cortana, Google Assistant, and Siri. This means that you will miss out on reaching a huge number of people if you have not updated your SEO optimization. Even homeowners are using this function on Google Home and Amazon Echo instead of opening a browser and performing a more traditional search.
Studies have shown that voice search will only continue to grow in popularity. This means that if you want to stay visible to your customers and potential customers, you need to embrace voice search and make sure that your website is optimized to appear at the top of search results.
Feature Snippets Matter
When someone performs a voice search, the phone assistant will generally read out a little featured snippet that will relate to the search performed. If you want your company to be as visible as possible, then you will want to work hard to try to be the company that is discussed in the featured snippet. There’s no guaranteed way to help your company get featured in that coveted spot, but there are a few things to consider when working on blog posts which can help you in your endeavors.
If you generally write vague and open-ended posts, you will want to zero in on providing more specific information to people performing voice searches. You can do this by finding common questions that are asked, including the question in your blog, and then answering it concisely. If you use a lot of jargon and tricky language then your result will probably not be featured. Aim for a conversational tone and make sure that your writing is interesting so that it’s easy to pick up and interesting to listen to.
Pay Attention to Your Local SEO
It can be easy to get caught up in the big picture of improving your whole website, writing interesting and linkable blog posts, and making sure that you are reaching out to customers on social media, but if you neglect your business information, you are missing out on a golden opportunity for potential customers to find you. It’s imperative that your Google Business page has correct and up-to-date information including your contact info, your address, and your operating hours.
Doing this ensures that when someone performs a search for “pet shop near me,” your business is the top result. In addition, if your operating hours aren’t correct, you may miss out on sales since customers could come by when you are closed.
Speed Up Your Site
While lots of graphics may look great on your website, if they slow down the loading speed of your page, then users are very likely to quickly navigate away and visit another site instead. Attention spans have greatly decreased in the modern era, and you have to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices, since this is how most people will be using voice search. If your website doesn’t open quickly and completely, users are likely to open a different website to try to get the same information. Mobile users – the ones mostly likely to use voice search – are on the go and aren’t used to waiting for information.
Making users wait can mean that you lose their interest and their sale. You can check to see if your website is mobile friendly and then make any necessary changes to increase the speed and limit the amount of bounce backs that you experience. Remember that people are in a hurry and don’t want to wait.
Think Like Someone Performing a Search
Voice searches are generally longer and more conversational than traditional online searches. Additionally, the volume of the query is generally so low that they are excluded from the Search Console. This means that they have not been included in all of the search data that you can access here. Google is working hard to include voice searches in this information in the future. What this means for you is that you can easily see what kind of searches people are using to find your site.
When you know the exact queries that people use to locate your website, you will be in a much better position to optimize your SEO and help drive traffic to your business. It’s important that you’re ready for this information to become available so you can show up higher in search rankings. Until then, it’s a good idea to consider what customers may be searching for when they are directed to your site. While this may seem like a waste of time, until voice searches show up in the Search Console, you will be missing out on how to optimize your site to take advantage of all of those searches. Start now and you will be ahead of the game.
2018 is shaping up to be the year of the voice search, and if you don’t want your business to be left behind, it’s imperative that you change up your SEO and make sure that you are visible and searchable, and that you rank high in search results. The best time to start optimizing for this traffic was when voice search first began, but if you have not yet done this, then the time is now. SEO optimization does take work, but it offers a great payoff in the end and will result in more traffic to your site, a higher conversion rate, and a more successful company.
Gigi Sunghong is a Digital Content writer for Phoenix Media, a Digital Marketing Agency in Bangkok, Thailand. Fluent in English and Thai language she has been writing content around the growth and development of Digital Marketing in Thailand for the past three years.