Just when we were starting to get our heads around SEO, there’s a new kid on the block, voice search. Hello Alexa and Siri. It’s become the buzzword over the last few years with big claims that ‘by XXXX (Name the year, it’s constantly changing!) over 50% of all online searches will be voice”, it’s not quite happened yet but there is a need for marketers and brands to be aware of it and how to adapt to ensure they’re not left behind.

Here are our top four ways of optimising your website for voice search

1. Know your customers

It sounds an obvious one but it’s a good place to start. By understanding exactly what your customers are looking for you can pre-empt their search queries. Some search queries are “Buy……” which means it’s pretty obvious at this stage someone is simply looking to make a straight forward purchase. However, there is research at the moment to suggest that it will take longer for consumers to make a purchase via voice search due to a lack of security around purchases and a lack of imagery.

The majority of voice searches are questions, therefore, it’s important to know what knowledge you have that you can impart on your customers and potential customers as well as to understand what it is that someone may be searching for that you can help with.

2. Long-Tail Keywords
Whilst we’ve been used to typing into search engines short searches such as “financial advice”, people are using voice search in a much more natural, conversation way so this would then be “where is the best place for me to go for financial advice?”.

By utilising long tail keywords (i.e. those that are 4+ words), we’re able to better optimise for search queries and also help our SEO rankings too. Long tail keywords are often less competitive and therefore easier to rank for.

Top Tip: Check out answer the public to give your brand ideas on content

3. Optimise for Featured Snippets

When a question is asked via voice search, Google will pull the featured snippets and read it out loud to the user. Optimising for featured snippets will be key in answering consumer questions and to help your content get found. If there’s no featured snippet available, Google won’t provide an answer.

4. Mobile Friendly

This one almost goes without saying but it’s worth a mention. As you’d imagine, the majority of voice searches are happening on a mobile device so you need to make sure that your site is mobile friendly, provides a good user experience and that the page speed load time is as fast as it can be. Fast-loading websites have the edge at the moment on voice search as consumers are looking for answers quickly. It may or may not be relevant to your brand but 88% of ‘near me’ searches are happening on a mobile device. 

Although voice search seems like a whole new concept, essentially, it’s just a different way of looking at your SEO strategy. The idea that 50% of all searches will be voice by ‘next year’ is slightly ambitious but it’s definitely something to consider within your wider marketing strategy, especially if you’re a B2B brand.

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