Search has evolved tremendously since the turn of the century. In the last decade alone, we’ve made a shift from desktops to mobiles, and now signs point towards our movement to the hands-free era of voice search. We’re on the verge of handing our digital lives over to the intelligent agents that live in our handheld, wearable and home devices.
People search differently when they use their voice. Previously, we were typing to a computer in a manner that it understood. Now, we speak naturally, and it’s the computer’s job to understand us. So voice queries are inherently more conversational in nature, and they tend to be longer.
With searches becoming longer, website content should cater to these trends. And to help you adapt to this trend, we’ve prepared six easy ways to improve your website’s content for voice search.
Adapt your website content to address searches with natural language responses. For example, instead of titling a page “eReader document download instructions” you might consider the title “How to download documents onto my eReader”.
Consumers are asking questions and expecting answers. Capitalise on this with content that includes question words (especially the most common terms ‘how’, ‘what’ and ‘where’). Then aim to directly answers common questions within the following few sentences of page text.
Example headline: What can I use bicarbonate soda for?
Example beginning of body copy: Bicarbonate soda is commonly used in…
If you don’t know what real questions people are asking in your industry, you can explore websites like answerthepublic.com. Type any keyword to discover questions people are asking about that topic.
Voice queries – especially those on mobile – have a high likelihood of containing local intent (e.g. “coffee shops near me” or “printing services south brisbane”). Ensure your website’s content and any local listings outside your website (e.g. Google My Business) are accurate and up-to-date.
As most voice search is performed on mobile, ensure your website is easy to use on mobile devices and that content is easy to read.
Voice search results are significantly more likely to use HTTPS than other websites ranking on Google’s first page. Implementing HTTPS may improve your chances of appearing as a voice search result.
Building out your content to answer questions will gives you a much higher chance of being chosen as “the” answer. When people engage via voice on a smart home device, it’s most commonly a linear experience. They aren’t asking a question to then scroll through a page of search results visually. Instead, they’re asking a question and getting an answer back via spoken word. So in the world of voice search, there is only one answer.
While the majority of voice search returns an audio response, the opportunity (or threat) for paid advertising is currently unclear. Much of that is because advertising in voice assistants hasn’t been defined yet, although approaches have been spotted in the wild (like this ad for Beauty and The Beast). One thing is for sure though – search engines like Google won’t let go of ad revenue from their largest cash cow – paid search advertising.
For some help putting together a voice search strategy, speak to our SEO team today.