The adoption of the smartphone has lead to some amazing technologies becoming more prominent in our day to day lives in 2020 and one particular area of advancement is voice search and it’s growing usage in search engines. It has been around for years, but only in recent times has it reached a level of popularity that has pushed it mainstream and it is one of the hot topics that digital marketers are discussing.
It is predicted that voice search will grow by over 50% in 2020 and it is essential that your business starts planning a strategy to combat the growth of voice search and include it in your digital marketing strategy going forward.
Here are some ways to gain an advantage on your competitors and start utilising voice search through your website:
Ensure your SEO strategy includes Voice Search
The original concept of typing a query into a search engine is the normal version of Search Engine Optimisation that we are all used to, but voice search changes that significantly. The reason this changes thing is because the intent and the manner of which voice searches are made differs drastically to a search query and it means all SEO strategies will need to adapt.
The change in approach will have a heavy reliance on a website’s content and whether or not it is optimised for voice searches. Google is advancing it’s search engine all the time and one major shift is their ability to answer questions better in 2020 and through the SERP features, like Featured Snippet and Knowledge Graphs, you now have decreased clicks as people don’t have to visit a website to get an answer anymore. This lends itself nicely to ensuring that your voice search optimisation is spot on.
Conduct Appropriate Keyword Research
Similar to what was mentioned above, voice search doesn’t work off typing search queries, so you need to consider how you are going to present certain searches in your content. For example, normally on a Google search you would type in “digital marketing agency melbourne” if you were looking for that service, but with voice search, you might want to adjust this to “who is a good digital marketing agency in melbourne?”. Whether it’s a product or a service, voice search will require more actionable keywords and searches.
You will still need to consider some of the normal metrics such as search volume, Cost Per Click, seasonal trends and even search intent, but searches will become more conversational and this will make keyword research even more important than usual. .
Start Focusing On Local Content
Optimising your local listing is something you may have left aside for the minute, but local searches are an important aspect of voice search marketing. Now that voice search queries are much more conversational and demand immediate information, local listings that are optimised have a better chance of answering these queries and getting people to convert to your offering quicker.
According to BrightLocal, 46% of users perform voice searches to look for local business information on a daily basis. Local business owners should be leveraging the power of their Google My Business Listing and preparing it as best as possible for voice search.
Reduce Load Speed Time and Optimise for Mobile
These are a given now for SEO strategies but seeing as most of voice search will be conducted from a mobile phone, it is essential that your website loads at an appropriate time and that it is optimised for mobile. Load time not only improves your rankings from an SEO purpose, it often improves your conversion rates, meaning more people complete a desired action on your website and this will be an ideal situation for your voice search strategy.
Using themes that display mobile content correctly and designing a nice user flow through the website also do more of the above and ensure that users are getting a great user experience from the moment they submit a voice search query. You can use the free tool Google Mobile-Friendly Test to get an idea of the mobile performance of your website.
Some other important tips for voice search optimisation are:
Embed longtail keywords - Voice searches are usually longer than typical searches, so create a longtail keyword strategy to support this.
UX is key - The user experience is how people navigate through your website and for voice search, this is a critical step to take.
Create an FAQ page - FAQ pages lend themselves perfectly to voice search and these are an optimal way to answer users' questions.
Voice search is gaining rapid popularity and will be the future of search engines, so planning and setting up your strategy this year would be a wise move for any business owner or marketer. As the technology advances, there is endless opportunity for voice search, as long as your content and website are able to facilitate the new functions needs.
If you would like to speak to a digital strategist about your voice search or SEO strategy for 2020, click here.