Voice search and assistance has come a long way since Siri was used as just a novelty voice that avid Apple users brought out to impress friends.
The rise and improvements in voice assistance technology has meant voice search is now a part of our every day. And considering predictions are 50% of all searches across the internet will be voice-based by 2020, it is time to assess your content and see if your website copy is voice search ready.
Why is Voice Search Different to Traditional Search?
You might be wondering why utilising an alternate method for Googling is something worth considering. Well simply put, using your voice to search for something, rather than typing it, creates a very different search query.
Think about it for a moment. Because of the effort typing requires, we look for ways to minimise the keys we press. We keep things short and to the point. This is especially the case if we are using our mobiles. There is nothing more tedious than trying to punch out a long-winded bit of text on your phone. Believe me, I have tried to capture more than one piece of blog inspiration via my mobile, and it is not easy. It is because of this that we end up with disjointed search queries like “weather Newcastle” or “marketing Lake Macquarie”.
But if we think about these search queries in the context of a personal conversation, I would find it hard to believe that you would ever say to a friend: “best café near me?” Hopefully, your conversations would be more in-depth than that.
Voice search prescribes to the natural way humans have conversations. Rather than just spouting disconnected questions at each other, we form sentences. Because talking takes much less effort than typing, we feel free to use more words to describe our needs. While it may seem odd, when conducting a voice search we essentially have a conversation with the device: “Ok Google, what is the weather like today in Newcastle?”.
Creating Content that is Voice Search Friendly
The nuances of voice search don’t necessarily mean you must complete a website content overhaul. After all, your content should be written with your audience (humans) in mind, and should elicit engagement just like a conversation. But there are a few things you can consider when reviewing your content for voice search suitability, particularly if your user is ‘searching’ on the move:
Consider Long-tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords should already be incorporated into your content as they are the way you generate organic search traffic. When considering that voice search enables the user to be more specific with their query, utilising the right long-tail keywords is now more important than ever. No longer can you simply drop in short, simplistic keywords and expect a good result. Your content needs to reflect the needs of your potential customer so they can find the answer they seek on your website.
Create a Conversation
I have already mentioned that users engage with voice search in a way that is much more conversational than traditional search. Sure, they may be talking to a device, but the freedom of verbalising their need over typing it means your content must adopt a natural, conversational tone.
Most good content will already have a conversational element, that elicits engagement and in some cases a response. But if you are unsure, try reading your content aloud to see if it flows like a verbal conversation might.
Voice Search Intention
When contemplating voice search in the creation of your content, you need to keep in mind the intent of the user. Understanding your customers’ intentions is always a smart move when considering your marketing options. But when it comes to the content on your website, knowing why they are conducting a search and how they are doing it will help to form what is included. Maybe they are on the move, or perhaps they are looking for a simple answer without the need of significant web interaction.
Either way, your content needs to reflect this need for fast, succinct information so Google can present your website, service, location or product as the answer the user is seeking.
If the intention of voice search users is to find something simple, like the opening hours of a store, including specific information about your business is key to ensuring your content is voice search ready.
By providing succinct, logical answers to questions on your website, you can help voice assistants and search engines find the best answer. FAQ sections are a great way to include actual questions and answers that people are searching for on your website. But of course, you need to ensure you write your questions in a conversational tone, include long-tail keywords, and keep the answers succinct. That way, search engines are more likely to recognise that you’ve provided an exact match for the questions their users are asking.
It is also a good idea to ensure important details like your business’ operating hours, phone number, address, etc. are easily accessible. Search engines will often extract this information and give it directly to people if it’s relevant to their search. Plus, these details add another layer of convenience, not to mention making it easier for users to get in touch with or visit you.
Talking Voice Search
While we are not quite at the point where typing is obsolete, and we are all walking around chatting with our phones, we need to be aware of and responding to any new trends in search. By understanding the what, when, where, why and how of voice search, you can ensure your website content is providing the answers your potential customers are searching for.
If you are keen to get ahead of your competitors, nikkij can help you assess your current content and improve it for voice search. Get in contact with me today.