These days consumers are buying millions of Amazon Echo, Google Home, (let’s not already forget Siri and Cortana yet) and a variety of similar devices. Your website, content, and keywords need to start reflecting that. Keywords will often times be long-tail and conversational instead of a few words. Your writing should reflect how people actually speak, especially how they ask questions and expect answers. This will continue to be a growing trend as these devices become more popular and more advanced. Automobile manufacturers are now starting to include them as built-in features in new cars, so people can do voice searches while they’re driving without having to (often times illegally) take out their smartphones. This becomes even more significant with increased laws banning handheld cell phones while driving which necessitates hands free voice activation and Bluetooth technology.
Here is some additional information on the newly popular voice search and how to optimize your websites accordingly.
The Power Of Semantics
Content is king. It has been since Bill Gates declared it so more than two decades ago. In order to optimize your content for voice search, though, you have to use the right kind of language.
Imagine you are on your Google Home or smartphone asking Siri (or Alexa, or Cortana…) how to change a flat tire. Which one more closely resembles how you would phrase that query?
1. “Change a flat tire instructions”
2. “How do I change a flat tire?”
The first one you might type into a search box on a desktop computer, but chances are the second is how you would ask your voice assistant. The query tends to be much more conversational when addressing a mobile helper.
People tend to use voice search when they have a hyper-specific search intent. In the example above, we are looking for detailed instructions on how to change a tire. We aren’t looking for tire shops or information on car mechanics.
As such, your content must be optimized with the goal of fulfilling these search intents quickly and efficiently. Voice search focuses more on goal-fulfillment than keyword optimization.
Here’s how to establish the goals you are optimizing (if you aren’t sure where to start):
• Ask your Customer Service Team! They are the ones fielding all questions about your business. If a customer has a query about your services, chances are the CS team has heard it.
• Use your marketing personas. If you have correctly categorized your personas, you should have a good idea of what they are looking for and what challenges they might face.
• Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) provide you with “related questions” that can help you identify how else people are seeking the information you can provide.
In other words, we are rapidly approaching a voice-first world when it comes to searches, much like how we moved into a mobile-first world recently. Because the way that consumers search is changing (yet again), this means that we must re-optimize our businesses, content and websites to keep up.