The way we search is changing rapidly, with an increasing number of people using virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Home (which was only released in the UK on April 6th 2017). By 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice.
If you are a digital marketer, you need to be aware of the importance of voice search, otherwise prepare to fall behind.
Firstly, you can use Search Console to see what queries people are using to get to your website. Unfortunately, at the moment there is no way to differentiate a voice search from a normal search, but this may change in the near future. Google has hinted already that they are looking for ways to show people in the Google Search Console how people are finding their pages through voice search.
Voice searches are usually conversational and reflect how we speak normally to other people in everyday life. Target long tail, conversational terms and questions beginning “where”, “who”, “what”, “which”. This can easily be done by logging into Search Console and filtering queries containing these terms. Search Engine Watch did a study to show that there has been a 61% growth in these phrases year-over-year
Claim Your Google My Business Page
As mobile voice search is reportedly three times more likely to be location specific than text based search, it’s important to make sure your Google My Business page is verified and optimised to help virtual assistants answer questions. Include information like opening hours, address, select the relevant categories, add images and remove duplicate Google My Business pages.
The 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey was released last month, third party reviews now carry more weight than before, while the content of the reviews is now looked at too. Reviews are a form of social proof that both customers and Google use to determine the quality, trustworthiness and popularity of a business. To increase the quality of reviews, ask a customer who has had a good experience with your company to leave a review. According to a recent survey, seven out of 10 customers will leave a review for a business if asked by the business.
People using voice search are usually on the go, so make sure your mobile website speed is up to standard by using Google’s Website Speed Testing Tool
Make sure to add schema mark up to your website, which allows search engines to find out more information about your website, especially for voice searches.
FAQs are a great way to target voice search queries. Use tools such as Answer the Public to identify possible FAQs to use on your website.
Don’t lose your voice when it comes to search!