With an increase in mobile device usage and the surge in voice-controlled smart speakers, voice search should be on every marketer’s radar. Users are forgoing the keyboard and asking their devices questions in natural language, from “what will the weather be like tomorrow?” to “what are the best burger restaurants near me?” These devices are changing the way people listen to music, plan their days, and even the way they gather information. Voice search gives users a single answer rather than several pages of search results, so it’s important to take steps to help your brand be that single answer.
According to a recent study, 41% of U.S. adults now use voice search once per day - and this number is sure to increase as the cost of smart speakers and other devices drop. Voice search isn’t just for smartphones, tablets, and smart speakers, however: even desktop computers are getting in on the action as Microsoft reported over 141 million monthly Cortana users in 2017. So how do you make sure your content is available to answer voice search queries?
Your business’ keyword strategy is a good place to start. The research you’re already doing to boost your organic search engine ranking will require a few tweaks as you begin to work in more conversational search queries. Expand your focus to include more long-tail keywords (or groups of two or three keywords) that follow voice patterns, and work these into your website’s content to attract natural language search queries. A Frequently Asked Questions page is a great place to do so.
Featured snippets are the “page one” of voice search - these are the blurbs that are read aloud in response to a voice search query. That conversational long-tail keyword strategy comes into play here, but the work you invest will pull double duty as the snippet will also be pulled into the featured result when users search via traditional browser.
Local Search Queries
“Near me” is an increasingly common search term as users focus on finding information on local businesses. For travel and tourism organizations, this is even more critical, but even manufacturing and other B2B companies can benefit by enhancing their local presence. Keeping your ‘Google My Business’ page up to date is a good place to start.
Make It Mobile-Friendly
While other devices are picking up steam, mobile devices remain the primary tools for voice search. This makes it even more important for your website to be responsive and to improve the overall mobile user experience so that once searchers find your site, they’re able to seamlessly finish conducting their research.