Voice Search Optimization is the way to go!  5 changes you need to make to your website in 2019

Posted on Feb 14, 2019

Voice Search Optimization is the way to go!  5 changes you need to make to your website in 2019

Who can believe that it is nearly 8 years since Siri came into our lives? Immediately, we all loved it, finding the new technology fun and practical, albeit with a few funny results at times!  And the truth is, we probably thought that it would stay where it was, never growing into being a major digital trend that would affect all types of user searches.

Voice search is here to stay

Siri has now been joined by Alexa, Cortana and a few more and is now consistently being used on mobile devices. The use of voice assistants is certainly growing when it comes to being able to use simple commands and the potential for this to transform into search marketing is huge.

Google tells us that since 2013, voice recognition accuracy has improved by 95%. Their research shows that people use voice search because it is so easy.  It enables them to multitask, receiving answers much faster and not having to waste time typing.

Voice search optimization and marketing

This brings us to businesses.  Voice search optimization is hugely important as people often use it to ask questions about a business they need to locate or identify.  Whatever type of company you have, you should be looking to optimize your website in order to deal with voice search queries.  Whilst it is possible to get your existing website optimized for voice search, it is much easier to do it from the start.

Stand out head and shoulders above your competitors by focusing on voice search optimization when developing your website and content from day one.

Here are some changes that we recommend you make.

  1. Keyword research and voice search

Queries are not going to work in the same way.  You need to consider semantics and the way that people speak.  A verbal question is going to be totally different from a search engine typed request i.e.

Typed:                  best TV buy 2019

Spoken:                what is the best TV to purchase in 2019?

Think about the questions that will be asked and tie these into your content, focusing more on natural language than on keywords. The trick here is to capture long-tail SEO as a lot of searches made via voice are much longer than text searches.

  1. Website structure and content

When discussing changes to your site with your web designer and content creator, make sure that they know that you want to maximise your new website for voice search capabilities.  Think about the questions that will be asked by voice and then map them out in accordance with what the customer will be looking for on their journey through your website. A good way of doing this is to include FAQ pages into each main section.

  1. Structured data optimization

Always remember that unlike text search, which provides multiple responses, voice search only provides one answer. It is therefore crucial that your content is as attuned as possible to the likely voice queries. Your site also needs to have a sitemap that is submitted to the Google Search Console.  Google also likes it if you use structured data.  Your web designer will add this to the page’s HTML mark-up.  Google then uses this to produce rich snippets i.e. small pieces of information that show in search results.  This can boost your voice search results by ensuring that answers are extremely relevant to the question being asked.

  1. Create Google Actions

Your web designer will likely do this automatically once they begin to focus on voice search optimization.  By creating Google Actions, your content will be made more accessible to the Google Home Assistant.  Similarly, this can be done for Amazon Alexa.  This makes it more relevant when voice commands are used and will make it easier for users to interact with your site, having productive conversations related to your content.

  1. Being mobile friendly

It is worth remembering that the majority of voice searches come from mobile devices. It therefore follows that if you optimize for mobiles, you are also doing so for voice searches.  Being mobile friendly involves such things as improving your site speed. Many voice searches are also location based so always refer to the address of your business as well as the area of coverage. It is also a good idea to list your company via Google My Business. By optimizing your site for mobile SEO, at the same time you will be ensuring that it is ready to cope with an influx of voice related queries.

  1. Be ready for the future

So, is it possible that voice commands will one day take over from written search queries? There is no way to know at the moment, but it is clear to see that voice commands are going to impact upon search marketing in a big way. If you take search engine marketing seriously, then taking steps to optimize your site for voice search should come naturally. Whatever type of business you have, getting your site optimized for voice search should be high on your agenda for things to do.

Staying ahead of the competition

Home voice assistants are going to become even more popular and, as a result, people are tending to use more voice commands on their mobiles.  All the big players are looking at developing new features and capabilities as the demand for voice search increases. Google is already looking at adding data for voice queries to Search Console so this is one new area of technology that will be incredibly useful, providing valuable insight into how users are using your site via voice search.  If you are ready for these future developments and work with a web designer that is always on the lookout for new trends and technology, you can be one step ahead of the competition.

With research showing that by 2020, 50% of searches will be done by voice, you cannot afford not to get your site optimized for voice search.   With the sales of smart speakers, wearable tech and other IoT equipment also escalating, it is clear to see that we are heading into a voice-oriented realm. The way that consumers search has changed incredibly and is on the move again. Just like we moved into a mobile-first arena, voice search is now catching up.

Your next step

If you want your business to keep up with the times, then it is necessary for you to get your website attuned for voice search, whilst optimizing your content at the same time. Voice search optimization may not be the same as traditional SEO, but it still follows the same principles and taking account of it will ensure that your website is able to cope with both voice and wearable tech searches.

By taking note of the information that we have given above and including these approaches into your voice search optimization plans, you will be ready to take advantage of new voice search traffic as it continues to grow.