• Christian Michaels

Optimising for the Voice Search Takeover in 2020

By now, we are all pretty well-informed about ensuring our web pages have been updated and optimised for mobile devices after Google’s introduction of the Mobile First Index. However, have you considered optimising for the new revolution of browser search: voice search?

With the proliferation of voice search technologies - such as Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google Home - users are able to conduct web searches verbally by speaking into their devices. Now that almost every smart mobile device is fitted with voice search, and more than 420 million home voice assistants have been sold worldwide, voice search is quickly becoming a part of daily life for many people.

In fact, a recent study revealed that 72% of people believe that voice-activated speakers are an essential part of their day-to-day lives. This is mostly down to the AI technology behind voice search becoming significantly more accurate in recent years; according to Google, voice recognition accuracy has grown to 95% since 2013. It helps that voice search also allows for hands free searching, meaning you can access the extensive knowledge of the internet without lifting so much as a finger.

With the rising popularity of this technology, businesses need to ensure that they’re evolving their SEO strategies alongside it. You need to consider the semantic differences between manual and voice queries, and how your PPC and SEO campaigns will need to adapt to accommodate both. In this article, we are going to break down some of the most important changes you need to make to ensure your site is optimised for the voice search takeover.

Optimise for Voice Search with Long Tail Keywords

It is common knowledge that using choice keywords in your ads and content help you to place on SERP’s. Although this is still relevant for voice search, it must be recognised that the way people interface with manual search and voice search differs, and therefore so do corresponding search terms.

For instance, while traditional search engine enquiries are worded as to-the-point, incomplete sentences, such as ‘London population’, voice search queries tend to be asked in complete sentences: ‘What is the population of London?’

You are therefore going to need to start using long tail keywords (phrases that are usually three or more words) in your web content, in particular capitalising on colloquial phrases that include ‘who, what, where, why, when and how’, as well as including natural language connectives such as ‘to’ and for’.

To brainstorm the types of questions that people may search for and begin collating a list of your relevant long tail keywords, there are a couple of popular SEO tools you can use. One of which is Answer the Public, a website which takes one core keyword and provides you with an extensive list of commonly asked questions regarding that keyword. In addition to this, Google search offers a ‘People also ask’ box, which shows you other related queries on the SERP.

Localise Your Keywords for Voice Search

Studies have shown that higher percentage of mobile and voice searches are location based queries. Essentially, people are most likely to use their device’s voice search function to get information about local businesses that they want to visit or use (“where is the closest Italian restaurant to me”, “what time does Subway close” – that kind of thing). With this in mind, you should definitely be including location keywords in your copy to ensure your website is drawn up in these local queries.

Another thing to consider is the specific dialect of each area that you’re targeting. For example, if you’re optimising your sandwich shop ad for a northerner audience, you would advertise a ‘Barm or Bap’, but if your local audience is southern, you would use the word ‘Roll or Cob’. The colloquialisms of each area must be considered when you’re optimising web copy and paid ad campaigns for voice search.

“Ok Google, Find Me a Local Digital Marketing Agency to Help With Voice Search Optimisation”

Technology, and the way we as users interact with it, is constantly evolving. It can be hard, not to mention expensive, trying to keep up. However, one thing we do know is that voice search is taking the search world by storm, and you need to make sure your websites content and your PPC campaigns are prepared. Here at Christian Michaels, we can help you to restructure your ads and reword your content to ensure that you and your ads will not get overlooked in the voice search takeover. Get in touch today to discuss how we can help you to optimise your site.


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