Voice Search – Is your website ready for it?

Now that a lot of us have smart phones, the way that we are searching on the web has changed. According to Hitwise, nearly 60 percent of searches are now made on a mobile device. Many mobiles now come with AI assistants, like Cortana or Siri, meaning we use our voice to search. As this is the case we need to think differently about optimising the content on a website for SEO.

Since search engines came about in the 1990s users have become accustomed to entering keywords, such as Plumber Pocklington, into search engines to get relevant results.

Using OK Google, Cortana, Alexa or Siri is like talking to another human being. This makes for a more natural way of interacting with the device and subsequently a more conversational tone of voice. Because of this more conversational tone, voice searches are often longer than the typical keyword search terms we are used to using on a desktop computer.

Internet Trends Report 2016 states that an estimated 22% of people using voice searches are searching for local content and information. Which if you think about it does make sense, search terms like where’s the nearest taxi rank? What are the local cinema times? How do I get to ……? Where’s the nearest petrol station? Are all search terms you could see are more likely to be made on a mobile device, while the user is out and about.

So, what should you do to optimise for voice search?

Setup your Google My Business listing.

As it seems a good number of voice searches are for local searches, having a Google My Business listing increases your chances of showing up in the search engine results.

If you already have a My Business listing, make sure it is up to date and as complete as possible. Make sure you add the category of business you’re in, your address, phone number and business hours.

Review your keywords.

As voice searches have a more conversational tone, keywords are no longer just keywords, they are long, and in some cases, very long phrases. Make note of the questions that customers ask you on the phone, the exact words if possible. Once you have this list you can then start creating content on your website that focus on these questions/keyword phrases.

Create content around these new keyword phrases.

Adding an FAQ page is a great way to create the content for the search terms as mentioned above. Perhaps use some of the questions you found came up often in your research. Make sure you use the conversational tone; does it sound natural? Search terms are also likely to become more specific, as its now easier to ask these, make sure you anticipate these questions. Provide short to the point answers.

Another way of adding the voice optimised content to your website would be to create blog posts around your newly researched terms. This means you would be creating the pages you need, while not upsetting the structure of your website. Blog posts are also more open to being written in the conversational tone that we need.

Case studies can also be a great way of targeting these more specific keyword phrases, a case study lets you talk in depth about a specific project and at the same time show of your work.

It’s here to stay.

Voice search is going to become more prominent as technology evolves, it’s easy and humans will always take the easiest option. Creating content optimised for voice search my seem like a daunting task but it’s worth putting in the work now to makes sure you are not left behind.