Voice Search - What Is It & What Does It Mean For Your Business

Branding & Design


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 is Microsoft’s Cortana, and the Christmas must have Amazon’s Alexa and the aptly named Google ‘voice search’ all with one aim, to give you information when you ask for it.

“40% of adults now use voice search once per day” according to comscore

40% of adults now use voice search once per day Click To Tweet

Voice search is rapidly becoming popular for one reason…it is faster than typing! And with years of development having taken place, the results produced are accurate meaning the user can get an answer to most queries hands-free and quickly.

What does this mean for businesses?

Voice search capabilities mean that business owners have to look at their content and how they optimise their website. You can expect a change in keyword data with an increase in various long-tailed keywords coming through.

A recent article by Yoast suggests that most voice assisted searches are conversational with long complete sentences and 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?’ so the simple suggestion is to make sure that you are planning content that answers questions in this way.

Local SEO is going to be vital. Customers that are asking about ‘where to find the nearest supermarket’ will have their locations settings on; therefore local SEO will be more important than ever.

Context will play a role. In a nutshell, the location of your machine and the activities you may be performing on the 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 ‘interior design ideas for a small bathroom’ may be different if you are asking when you are in the office, then again when at home. They may also be different based on what you have searched for previously and which websites and pages you have spent time on.

Our top tips to get your site voice search ready:

  1. Do your research. Keyword research is going to be vital. Do not discount phrases with small search volumes. With this technology quickly emerging we would expect common search terms to rise in the coming months.
  2. Make sure your ‘My Business’ Page is as optimised and updated regularly. Check the information is correct, add new photos and encourage reviews. All of this helps give your presence on Google kudos, and nudge to Google 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 but consider adding a FAQ page or adding content of this nature regularly either within blogs or as a stand alone piece.
  5. Hummingbird. Not sure what we are talking about? This one of Google’s core algorithms that enforced some fundamental rules when it comes to the structure of content.

This is just the beginning. Voice assisted searches are becoming more common and website owners need to make sure that their website starts to tailor content to this technology.

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