Podcast: optimising for voice search.

  • September 27, 2019
google voice search guide

Textual Podcast: Essential Guide to Voice Search for Your Website

Hi everyone,

Did you know that one-fifth of all questions people ask on Google is through voice search? Instead of typing into their phone the questions they want to ask, they use a voice assistant. The results that come up, however, are only as good as what those with websites have allowed them to be. It’s time to optimise your website for voice, and here’s a basic guide for how to do it.

What is Voice Search?

Voice search is simple. You don’t type what you want Google to show you; you tell Google what you want to see. Most computers, tablets, mobile phones, and other electronic devices have a voice search system such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Siri, and Cortana.

Depending on how each system is set up, you can press a button on your device and speak. The answer to your question will be spoken back to you, or a field of search results will come up instead.

The convenience and ease of voice search have led to a massive influx in recent years of people using it. Around 40 percent of adults will ask a question using voice search every day, and at least 20 percent of mobile searches are by voice too. By 2020, half of all Google searches will be made through voice search.

Why Are People Using Voice Search?

Typing takes no time at all, so why are people choosing to speak into their mobile devices, instead of putting their fingers to work? The truth is, technology just keeps getting better and better, as well as more convenient. People lead busy lives, and multi-tasking is paramount.

The word error rate is also far lower than it has ever been before, and technology can pick up on accents with far more accuracy. What’s more, touchscreens are not the most natural things to type on. You can type about 40 words per minute on a keyboard or device, but speaking equates to around 150 words in the same timeframe.

In essence, people are using voice search because it’s quicker and more convenient than sitting down with a touchscreen device and typing out every single word.

So, How Do I Make Sure My Website Works with Voice Search?

Now that you know just how valuable voice search can be, and how popular it currently is, it’s time to leverage it for your own bottom line. How do you make sure voice search works with your website? The first thing you need to do is think about your products and services, and what your customers are likely going to want to know about them.

An excellent resource to help formulate questions is Answer the Public, which generates a list of commonly asked questions for any term you enter. For example, when you search the word ‘motorbike,’ this is what comes up.

The language is natural, with questions such as “which motorcycle oil to use” and “where to motorbike in Vietnam”. You can then start targeting searchers in your local area by using long-tail search terms in your website content such as “motorcycle sales near me” to ensure you are reaching the right market.

The goal is not necessarily to get people to click on your website but to make you easy to contact on mobile devices at the touch of a button. For example, if someone searches for motorcycle sales in Auckland, you want to appear as one of Google’s top options with an icon to phone the store directly.

Google chooses these businesses based on their proximity from the person who asked the question, the reviews, and the available information. If you do not have your business listed on Google, then you won’t appear in those results for quick contact.

What Changes Do I Need to Make to My Website?

If you’re not all that savvy when it comes to website development and search engine optimisation, then that’s okay. You can leave voice search optimisation in the capable hands of an expert who knows what they are doing.

An SEO expert can implement techniques such as structured data that organises your data in the order that Google needs to see it. Much of the structured data features in your site source code, meaning that customers won’t see the code, but it will format what’s already in there in such a way as to appear prominently when they search for it on Google.

You can also capitalise on local searches by making sure you claim your Google My Business listing. Once you do, you can fill out all relevant information for customers to use, such as the website, phone number, address, and opening hours. If you have optimised your website with local keywords, then both your Google My Business listing and strategic keywords can work in your favour.

Finally, it can also help if your website is mobile-friendly with responsive web design. If you’re not sure whether yours is meeting the mark, then get in touch with an SEO expert to help make it so.

Are You Ready to Become Voice Search Friendly?

More and more people are telling Google what they want to see using their voice, rather than their fingers. Therefore, we are seeing a rise in long-tail search terms which need to be matched by web results. Is your website voice search optimised? Are you ready for a new generation of voice searchers? It might be time to jump on the bandwagon and get in touch with an SEO expert to help.

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