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Optimising Your Content For Voice Search: 3 Points To Remember

It’s no secret that voice search has become a trending topic within the content marketing world. As we step further into a digitally dominated tomorrow, ‘hands-free’ browsing could become the new norm for online consumers.

Currently, a whopping 55% of smartphone users use voice search to access Google on their mobile devices. Therefore, if you want your e-commerce brand to stay relevant amongst a new wave of voice-activated searches, it’s imperative that you transform your content to adapt to new consumer expectations.

“As we move more and more into the digital age, it is imperative that your strategies update with the times,” says Jason Hall, founder and CEO of FiveChannels. “Voice search and AI both extend to search engines and shopping apps and can bring people the best results for their shopping experience. By optimizing both for your platform, you can make it easier for customers to purchase your products and ideally see increases in your profit margins.”

With nearly half of Google Home and Amazon Echo users now rating voice search as a ‘necessity’ when entering an online space, here’s how to make sure your content still appears at the top.

What is Voice Search Optimisation?

Defined by experts at Hubspot, “Voice search optimisation is a set of SEO techniques that make your content more likely to appear in voice search results. The goal of voice search optimisation is to address common verbal queries in your content so that voice search technologies and virtual assistants present your page to users in voice search results.”

What was once a craze is now a reality, especially as 71% of consumers now prefer to conduct searches using their microphones rather than their keyboards.

(Image Source: Oberlo)

Voice-activated search is powered by speech recognition. With the ability to use AI to transcribe human speech in seconds, it feeds back answers to frequently asked questions for a hands-free user experience.

In fact, smart speaker-based purchases could surpass 200 million by 2024 alone, making them a vital component to think about in any successful SEO strategy.

How Should Content Marketers Respond?

40% of the US use a voice assistant monthly, primarily through the use of Smartphone Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.

With more people than ever before tapping into voice search, businesses that prioritise their VS SEO will find themselves ranking highly for both voice search queries and regular queries too. Opening up your content to hand-free browsers gives you access to a whole new cohort of potential conversions.

Search engines like Google also favour websites that prioritise user experience. If you demonstrate that you can accommodate all search types, you’ll see your domain authority rise.

Learn How Your Audience Tap Into Voice Search

One of the easiest ways to get started with voice-activated SEO is to take a step back and review your current search patterns. If you gain greater knowledge of how your demographic use voice search and, more specifically, what devices they use, you’ll create content that speaks directly to them.

For example, if your audience is primarily using their smartphone to tap into voice search, they are likely asking quick-fire questions on the go. This could be, “Where is the nearest bakery?” or “Where is Bond Street Tube Station?”

These quickfire searches require quick-fire responses. Meaning that it’s time to remove the content waffles and get straight to the point in just a few lines.

However, if your audience are primarily smart speaker searchers, it’s likely that they are after a more in-depth answer.

Moving forward, the key here is to segment your voice search audience and decide which areas of your website are likely to be accessed via a quick-fire voice search as a pose to a detailed answer voice search. This gives you a head start as you prepare to adapt your content for a voice-powered algorithm.

Target Question Keywords

Secondly, it’s time to start targeting question keywords. 99% of the time, voice searchers will only tap into Google with a question. Therefore, your content needs to answer that.

“One of the biggest opportunities with voice search and AI platforms is that research is usually performed in the form of a question. After most people say, “Hey, Google” or “Hey, Siri,” the next statement usually comes in the form of a question,” says Hall. “As such, your optimized website and keywords will need to reflect this. With voice search on the rise, optimizing for these types of questions will become increasingly important.”

Another thing to remember is that voice searches are worded differently than traditional text alternatives. They are longer and are more likely to resemble full sentences. The key here is to write your content with a conversational tone in mind and respond to a question using conversational keywords.

Introduce Local SEO

Did you know that a voice search is three times more likely to be locally based than a text one?

On the back of the release of popular AI-powered smartphones like the Google Pixel, voice searchers can now tap into Google on the go, making them the most likely to ask where the nearest coffee house is or search for a perfect restaurant in their area.

This is a real opportunity for local businesses to increase their conversion potential. Taking time to use your content to promote where your business is could lead to more locals walking through the door.

“Local SEO follows the same principles as regular SEO, and the key thing (that many websites neglect) is consistently telling people you’re a local business,” comments Neil Patel, CEO of NP Digital. “Make sure you’re creating content that’s relevant to your local area and integrating local keywords into your copy.”

The key here is to ensure that your contact/about pages also remain up to date with clear directions to brick-and-mortar locations as well as start optimising page content to flag up for ‘near me’ type searches.

What’s Next?

For businesses looking to adapt their content for a digitally native audience, voice search is a great place to start.

As AI chatbots get smarter and more devices than ever before facilitating voice search, it won’t be long until our browsing habits are forever changed. In order to keep ahead of the curve, regularly update your content and stay on top of trending keywords that are likely to dominate search trends going forward.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Dmytro Spilka .

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