Hey Siri, play my summer playlist. Alexa, add eggs to my shopping list. Ok Google, find some quick and easy dinner recipes. If this sounds familiar you’re probably part of a household that uses a smart speaker. And you’re not alone. In fact, a quarter of UK homes now own a smart speaker.
Voice search is fast becoming part of people’s routines. But have you considered the benefits of voice search for your digital marketing strategy?
What is voice search?
Voice search allows a user to ask questions and give commands. You can find out about the weather, shop online, play music, find local businesses, and more. Compatible devices include smartphones, tablets, computers, and smart speakers like Amazon Echo or Google Home.
In 2020, 30% of web browsing sessions were screenless. This has created a shift in how consumers interact with brands online and highlights the importance of including voice search in your digital marketing strategy.
How does it work?
Without getting too technical, voice search works by converting speech to text. The software then analyses the text to detect questions and commands. The device then connects with external sources like a search engine or media player to complete the user’s request.
Machine learning is an important part of how voice search is capable of fulfilling a user’s intent. Improvements are constantly being made to make the technology more reliable and efficient.
Why is voice search important for my business?
According to consumer reports, around 43% of voice-enabled device owners use their device to shop. This trend shows no signs of slowing down. It’s predicted that by 2022, 55% of households in the US will own a smart speaker. There’s no doubt that Alexa is becoming part of the family in households across the world.
It’s important to act early if you want your business to benefit from the increasing popularity of search and shopping via smart speakers. 58% of people have used voice search to find information about a local business.
Make sure your Google My Business is up to date
Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to manage your business’s online presence across Google’s platforms. This means the correct information about your business appears in Google search results and maps. If you want your business to rank well in search results, it’s vital that your Google My Business profile has all the correct information.
The same goes for voice search. Let’s use pizza as an example. When a user asks their voice assistant for nearby pizza restaurants, the device will find the information that’s available to it. You could be making the best pizza in town but if your online information is out of date or missing, no-one (not even Alexa) will be able to find you.
How to optimise your content for voice search
The best way to make sure your content is optimised for voice search is to find out what questions your customers are already asking. A good place to start is with the questions you already rank well for. Once you do your research, the next step is to figure out how you can include answers to these questions within your content. This will require some creative thinking and brainstorming.
Focus on long tail keywords
We’ve talked about long tail keywords in relation to SEO before. And they come in handy when it comes to the content you’re creating when you want to optimise your content for voice search. Long tail keywords are phrases that contain three or more words. ‘Digital marketing agencies in Leeds’ is an example of a long tail keyword.
The reason long tail keywords work so well for voice search optimisation is because when someone asks their voice assistant in Leeds to find digital marketing agencies nearby, your business will be included in the results. The same principle applies whether you’re selling ice cream, running a law firm, or designing websites.
Ensure your website has a FAQ section
When using voice search, most of the questions start with either “what,” “who,” “when,” “where,” “why” or “how.” When you’re building an FAQ section for your website, create questions in the same way a user would ask a smart speaker. Include common questions that are relevant to your business and industry. You can do some research by trawling through your emails to find out what kind of questions you’re asked most often.
Keep your content conversational
As a result of the growth of voice search technology, there’s been a massive increase in conversational search. When you think about it, how you search for something using your voice will be significantly different to how you’d search for something using text only. When you use voice search you’re more likely to ask a question in the same way you’d ask another person. This means the language you use in your content needs to be conversational.
Using contractions, shorter sentences, and reading your content out loud can help you achieve this. The benefits of using a more conversational style when creating content aren’t limited to voice search. Your audience will feel like they’re being addressed personally when you take a conversational approach to your content.
What does the future look like for voice search?
The smart speaker market is expected to exceed $30 billion by 2024. Users are increasingly becoming more comfortable with the prospect of doing their shopping using a voice assistant. The popularity of voice search is only going to increase and the time to optimise your content is now. Businesses that see voice search as a fad aren’t future focussed. As a business, it’s vital to stay ahead of the competition.
Talk to us today to find out more about how we can help you develop a digital marketing strategy that can harness the power and potential of voice search.