It’s 2020! Is your Site ready for Voice searches?
Google search has become an integral part of our daily lives, so much so that most of us can’t get through our day, without ‘looking something up’ on our favorite engine. As marketers and site owners, just when most people were beginning to master the art and science of search engine optimization, a new elephant has entered the room, and it’s called Voice search!
If you haven’t considered optimizing your website for voice searching yet, now would be the best time to do it. Although it was developed in 2010, by 2015 voice search began to gain traction and by 2017 over 60% of users trusted voice search as much as they did text-based queries.
Today, over 50 percent of all online searches are voice-based but sadly, most business and site owners and even brands are yet to consider these new methods of optimization seriously.
If you are reading this, you probably want to know more about ensuring that your business is voice-search-ready. Let’s take a quick look at how businesses as well as site owners can revisit their strategies and marketing methodologies with voice-search in mind!
For Google Voice
It all begins with a wake phrase ‘OK Google’ and your google assistant comes to life. It is activated through voice commands on most mobile phones and desktops depending on the operating system, but you also have the option to simply ‘tap’ the microphone icon next to the search bar.
Compared side by side, you wouldn’t find much difference in the results yielded by queries done through voice or by text. Although it all started small as a product developed by Google labs around 2010, today Google voice search is compatible with most Google products and thus provides an immersive experience.
Keep it simple!
To optimize your site, revisit the URLs and keyword structures to make things as simple as possible. Think about search terms that you would speak rather than you would type.
Tip: Think simple and concise keywords when starting with voice search of long-tail complex sentences. Long-tail keywords are still very much relevant so don’t shy away from using them throughout your content.
Having a permalink structure has always been helpful in ranking regular text-based pages for keywords, but now more than ever, you need to structure your site in a way that makes it easy for Google and other search engines to crawl and index you.
Content Content Content!
Fill your site with good quality original content, and do it consistently!
Great quality content not only keeps the readers and site users coming back for more, but it also helps you gain brownie points from a search rankings perspective. Search engines reward quality content sites, all you need to do is to make sure that your content is linked and labeled correctly and of course, provides value to the reader!
User Intent and Semantic search
As algorithms and search engines get more and more data, especially after the semantic update where the ‘user intent’ takes the forefront of the search query rather than the actual words/texts that are used to make the search.
This becomes more apparent when after the first initial search, you start asking further relevant questions to the search query without including the initial search term, and yet you can see (in most cases) that your search engine will update the query based on your intent.
Have we reached the pinnacle?
Voice search increased exponentially between 2015 and 2018 and as per current predictions more than half of all searches generated online will be voice-based by the end of the year 2020, but have we seen the tip of the iceberg? As per speculations from Google Now, Apple’s Siri, and Windows Cortana, this doesn’t seem to be the case.
At least when it comes to the adaption of voice search as at least half of the users report using voice search for the first time in the past 6 months alone.
While Google Now takes the cake in terms of voice accuracy and recognition, thanks to its state-of-the-art natural language processing technology, Amazon, Apple, and Windows seem to be dedicated to growing their voice search universe.
Soon advertisers and marketers will be able to target people based on who they are instead of generic user behavior. ‘Near me’ based search queries will soon yield personalized marketing and ads that were designed exactly for you.
Google Voice search data will eventually allow search engines to not only recognize our voice as ours but also to map it to our behavior and liking in order to show us tailored and personalized ads. This is especially good news for all the advertisers out there allowing them to target relevant ads unique specific users.
This feature of ‘learning’ your voice and patterns are not yet available for Alexa users at the time of writing, but we are sure that they are bound to follow suit with their Apple and Google counterparts.
Get ready for ‘Near me’ & Google Business listing
If you haven’t already done so, update your Google business listing along with your location information, the Google Maps pin, and business opening hours to ensure the people nearest to you find you easily.
Adding pictures of the place and direction markers will also help you stand out.
This step is mentioned last but it may be the most vital and the easiest to implement.
Getting an up to date business listing that is also optimized for voice search may simply be a deciding factor for your customers to choose you over a competitor.
Voice search is not the future, it is the present and it is here to stay! The soonest you and your website get ready for it the better for your business and bottom line. Thankfully it is not nearly as difficult as it was in the early days of search engine optimization.
We hope that this post not only clarifies the usage and the potential of voice search but also equips with you tools and techniques to quickly set things up and enjoy the benefits of a voice search optimized site!
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