If someone told you a decade ago that you’ll be conversing with your phone one day in the near future, you would probably have laughed at the sheer stupidity of the thought. And yet here we are talking to our phones, watches, TV remotes, speakers, and whatnot. In fact, nowadays I talk more to my phone than I talk on my phone.
Using voice is fast, easy, and convenient and there is no doubt that this trend is on the rise and will keep on increasing. Here are a few statistics to tell that voice search is here to stay.
- 72% of people who own smart speakers say the devices are part of their daily routines.
- 55% of households in the US are expected to own a smart speaker in 2022.
- The projection is that by 2022, voice search for shopping needs will have turned into a $40 billion industry.
Voice search is different from text search. Voice searches are longer and more conversational in format. Users need immediate and ready-to-use information. Also, most of them are about local content. This means that the majority of the customers search for “near me” facilities through voice.
Thus with the rise of this technology and a shift of consumer behavior in terms of information search, it is critical to align our marketing and SEO strategies accordingly. Let’s dive deeper into 4 of the most efficient ways to ensure your company is at par with the now.
1. Focus on Longer Keywords That Resemble Natural Language
Traditionally, when we search for something on Google, we write shorter keywords. For example, if I have to search for Jeff Bezos’s age, I’ll be typing “Jeff Bezos age” in the search bar. With the advent of voice, people are more likely to search through conversational sentences like “What is the age of Jeff Bezos?”
Unlike a typed search query, spoken voice searches are usually conversational and reflect how people speak in everyday life. By targeting long-tail, conversational keywords and phrases and answering questions your prospective customers are likely to have, you stand a much better chance of ranking for these queries and appearing prominently in search results.
Therefore, it will be wise to start bidding on longer keywords because they are not only cheaper right now, but will also improve your chances to be found by Alexa or Siri.
2. Create People-Based Content
People-based marketing is, as its name suggests, a marketing methodology that allows advertisers to target users based on who they are, rather than purely by their behavior. As machines are becoming smarter at understanding us, everything that we consume on the internet will become highly personalized and we can already see most of this happening.
As Google learns more about us, we could see a profound shift toward increasingly personalized marketing based on not only our browsing history and shopping preferences but even our voices. This means that over time Google will not only learn the unique characteristics of our voices and the way we speak, but also our behavior, browsing interests, and other personal information.
Therefore brevity, context, and relevance are essential when optimizing for voice search. It is absolutely important right now to understand your customers to their core and create highly personalized content.
3. Build an FAQs Page on Your Website
You need to identify the questions that your customers are most likely to ask in a voice search and then go about answering those in a quality manner on your website. These could be simple or complicated. Voice searchers are in need of immediate relevant answers.
A query such as, “Find an Italian restaurant near me,” with the user’s location-enabled can return precise results for users. Business owners would therefore want to optimize their websites and content for intuitive but specific queries. As mentioned, this would require you to research the kind of questions your target audience most frequently poses to digital assistants and produce content around those queries.
As long as your content answers customer queries in the best and most useful manner possible, expect Google to take notice of it and rank the website/mobile site accordingly.
4. Optimize Your Website for Local SEO
It is a clear trend among voice searches that people use it for “near me” services the most. This means that people are more likely to ask Siri for “the best Chinese restaurants near me”.
For a Chinese restaurant owner, this would mean including accurate opening hours in their Google business profile, the precise location of the shop, and optimizing the content on the website to be found via keywords such as “best Chinese food” or something more specific, such as “best sushi”.
More than ever, it is important for businesses to register for a Google business profile and have a well-informed online presence.
If done right, voice-activated content is the easiest content for consumers to access — easier than a mobile app, easier than a mobile website, easier than email, and easier than video.
I am not saying voice will make your website redundant, but it sure will replace most of your traffic. Numbers don’t lie. Voice is easy and effective and therefore it is on the rise. The train is accelerating. It’s time to jump on.