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How To Make Your Website Voice Search Friendly

Natalie Welch
Natalie Welch

Voice search and voice-assisted browsing is not a new thing.

Siri has been around since October 2011, helping Apple users out with their queries (and providing a few laughs). Then there’s Microsoft’s Cortana, the Christmas must-have Amazon Alexa as well as the Google Home all with one aim – to give you information when you ask for it (most of the time).

20% of searches in Google App are now voice search

Think Google

Voice search is rapidly becoming popular for one reason…it is much faster than typing in this new time poor generation. With years of development and accurately produced results, this has enabled the user to get an answer to most queries hands-free and quickly.

What does this mean for businesses?

The machine behind voice search

Voice search capabilities mean that business owners have to look at their content and how they optimise their website. This links with Google’s newest family member MUM.

MUM supersedes BERT and stands for Multitask Unified Model.  BERT was brought in to centre users and their search behaviours to give them results that might not match their exact phrasing, but learning about the intent of the search phrase and producing results that may also be useful. Where as MUM is thought to be:

1,000 times more powerful than BERT…MUM not only understands language, but also generates it.”

How to optimise for voice search

A previous article by Yoast suggests that most voice-assisted searches are conversational with long complete sentences. They tend to start with how, what, where, when and why. For example

  • What is the weather going to be like today?
  • How many dollars would I get to the pound?
  • Why hasn’t my sourdough risen?
  • Where is the nearest chemist?
  • When is the next general election?

A simple suggestion is to make sure that you are planning content that answers questions in this way. 

In 2020 25% of users were searching at least daily via voice and 78% at least weekly. 13% were searching specifically for a product information.

Voxly Digital

Local SEO is vital

Customers that are asking about ‘where to find the nearest supermarket’ will have their location setting on; therefore local SEO is now more important than ever. 46% of voice search users look for a local business daily, of which 27% will continue to visit the website. (*)

History plays a role

The location of your device and your search history on each device (when activating a voice search) will determine the results.

To put this into context for you, the results you receive when you ask for ‘why are my chickens laying small eggs?’ may be different if you are asking when you are in the office versus when at home. They may also be different based on what you have searched in between each search and which websites and pages you have spent time on.

This is because MUM is listening and learning.

Tip tips to improve your voice searchability

  1. Do your research. Keyword research is vital. Do not discount phrases with small search volumes.
  2. Make sure your Google business profile page is optimised and updated regularly. Check the information is correct, add new photos and encourage reviews. All of this helps give your presence on Google and lets Google know that you are the business that they should recommend.
  3. Plan content tailored to voice search with conversational search queries (and answers) in mind.
  4. But beware of making your content too broad or, dare we say it, boring. Consider adding an FAQ page or adding content of this nature regularly either within blogs or as a stand-alone piece.

 

BUT, these tips will only work if your site is optimised to a standard already.

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