How Voice Search is Expected to Impact Your Marketing Strategy
Voice search is growing at a rapid pace, and it’s understandable why. It’s easy to use, especially when you’re on the go, and the technology is becoming increasingly reliable.
The biggest concern with voice search is that the technology delivers the first search result. In time, this may change, but for now, it’s the reality. So, if your page isn’t in the top spot, it won’t get the same visibility as it would have with a text-based search.
With 92% of millennials owning a smartphone, it’s important that your site is optimized for your audience and their search habits. Let’s learn more about how voice search will affect the future of SEO and how to prepare for the changes.
How People Use Voice Search
According to a recent study from Higher Visibility, 23% of participants said they use voice search at least once a day. Their reasons for using voice over text are that it’s faster, easier and more fun. Many also use voice when their hands are busy, such as when driving a car or cooking dinner. In fact, the most common place where voice search is used is in the car.
The most popular voice assistants are Alexa, Siri and Google. They dominate over other voice assistants like Cortana and Bixby. The good news is that 82% of participants agree that voice search, whether they are using Alexa or Google, is accurate. As this technology gets better at understanding user intent, it will continue to be more reliable.
Some of the most common reasons for using voice search are to:
- Ask for directions
- Check traffic and weather
- Check news headlines
- Find a local business
- Look up movie times
- Ask for a sports score
- Look up and manage events
- Find recipes
- Play music
In time, we can expect that people will be using voice search to purchase products and services. We live in an era where consumers want their purchases to be effortless, especially if it’s a repeat product that they’ve purchased before. Voice search will allow for these types of purchases to be made without lifting a finger. To stay competitive, your site will need to be optimized for voice.
How to Prepare for Voice Search
Here are a few useful tips to help you prepare for the era of voice search.
Use of Natural Speech Patterns
Most people speak differently than they type, especially when searching for something online. Imagine that you’re searching for the weather in San Jose. When typing, you might use shorthand like, “weather San Jose.” When speaking, you’ll use a longer, more conversational sentence like, “What is the weather in San Jose right now?”
To optimize your content for voice search, you must know your audience’s speech patterns and how they might ask for something. Utilize tools like Rank Tracker that allow you to track your search rankings. These tools are helpful at optimizing content to rank higher in voice search.
Incorporate Long-tail Keywords
When it comes to voice search, short-tail keywords are less relevant. Long-tail keywords are ideal because users speak using these words and phrases. If your company sells computers, using a short keyword like “computers” won’t be very helpful in capturing the right people. Instead, use more specific keywords like “desktop gaming computers” or “refurbished laptop computers.” This better reflects what your audience is searching for.
Long-tail keywords have other benefits as well. They have less competition, resulting in lower costs per click. Also, think of longer keywords as being a way to communicate directly with your target audience. A person searching for something specific will perform a specific search. When they find your website, they’ll be more ready to act compared to someone looking for general info.
Place More Emphasis on Mobile
Over half of search queries come from mobile devices, so it’s important that your mobile experience is flawless. Take Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your site is mobile-friendly or not. If you don’t pass, it’s clear that you have some work to do. Even if your website does pass, it’s important to continue optimizing it for the best mobile experience.
Here are some of the best ways to make your site mobile-friendly.
- Use a CMS such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal
- Test your theme to make sure it loads properly
- Avoid using Flash (it’s not supported on mobile)
- Include a viewport meta tag
- Turn on autocorrect for easy form filling
- Ensure your buttons work on mobile devices
- Compress all images and CSS for improved load times
Know Your Audience
Lastly, know who you are trying to appeal to. Each generation uses voice search differently. For example, Millennials and Gen Xers are more likely to use voice search when driving compared to Baby Boomers. However, Baby Boomers are more likely to use voice search when watching TV.
Understanding your target audience will continue to be important, as you’ll need to consider how your audience is searching for your products and when they are most likely to use voice search.
The Future of Voice Search is Now
We can expect that voice search will continue to grow as its functionality increases and users become more familiar with what it can do. Now is the time to start optimizing your content for voice search so that your audience can find your pages when using their voice assistants.
WSI Net Advantage has all the tools you need to be successful with your search engine optimization strategy. Contact us today at 510-687-9737 or fill out our contact form. We’ll be happy to take a look at your current strategy and how it can be improved to dominate the search rankings.
About the Author
Kevin Dean, President of WSI Net Advantage…
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