Voice search is evolving. It’s becoming more reliable and users are feeling a lot more comfortable asking their devices for assistance. They are using voice search on their mobile phones and on virtual assistants in their homes, even their TVs. It’s becoming more commonplace and it’s no longer restricted to asking Google for directions to the nearest garage.
There’s no ignoring the fact that voice search is going to have a big impact on SEO. Therefore it’s essential that businesses are getting to know the technology and how they can optimise for voice search. If you’re thinking that voice is too new to worry about, remember that in 2014, 55% of teens and 41% of adults were using voice technology on a daily basis. Teens are definitely early adopters of voice search and they also use it for their homework. Adults use it to avoid using devices with small screens and keyboards and for dictation. All of that information was collected before the arrival of personal assistant devices.
We’re sure you’ve already heard of Amazon Alexa and Echo and Google Home. The Echo was the bestselling product in 2016. These devices are predicted to sell over 24 million units this year alone. Furthermore, the personal assistants are now included in all modern smartphones.
Why is Voice Search Used?
People are steadily becoming used to using voice search and with improved technology more people are using it on a regular basis. One of the main reasons it’s growing in popularity is down to the convenience of the tech. The benefits include:
- It’s a lot faster than typing
- It’s easy and can be performed instantly
- There’s no need to use a keyboard, it can be personalised and context driven
3 Ways to Prepare for Voice Search
There are been reports that 50% of searches will be performed by voice by 2020. Google has already reported that in 2016, 20% of the mobile queries to the search engine was performed by voice. So it’s clear it’s already taking hold.
It’s time to prepare. Here are three ways you can optimise your website for voice search.
- Optimise your content for mobile. Responsive websites are a must but you must also improve the loading times of your pages, get rid of drop down menus, ensure videos are formatted for full-screen playback and remove interstitials (everyone hates them). This is important as most voice searches will be performed on mobile devices. Users landing on a website that doesn’t work on mobiles will not want to stay on your website. Google will also push your website down in the rankings for not being mobile friendly.
- Use long-tail keywords. Users of voice search use longer queries compared with typing. They are more conversational in the language they use. Begin using these long tail keywords naturally within your website content.
- Improve your featured snippets. These snippets are what is read out to the user to answer their queries.
When you optimise for voice search you’re also optimising your website in general. It’s always a good idea to ensure your website SEO is up to scratch. By working on the three points above you’ll be improving the overall SEO of your website as they’re ranking factors. Need assistance? Get in touch and we’ll find the right SEO services to meet your requirements.