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Speaking up for your brand: Optimising your company’s website for voice search

Voice search is on the rise – from digital assistants like Siri on iPhones to smart speakers such as Alexa or Google Assistant, the technology has meant more and more people are walking away from the keyboard and talking directly to their devices. It is estimated that 50% of all searches will be carried out by voice by 2020 and given the rapid evolution of technology and changing habits in recent years, that might be a conservative estimate.

Understanding your market

Currently, statistics show that roughly 40% of millennials, 17% of Generation X and 10% of Baby Boomers use voice search. When you’re considering the importance of voice search in your overall strategy, the age of your target market may be a consideration. Certainly, if you’re appealing to millennials it may be more important than if you’re looking to reach out to Baby Boomers – but it’s not wise to take that for granted when technology is changing the way we all relate to one another. In addition, there is no reason to miss out on even 10% of your target market when you can modify your current site to get your site up the rankings for voice search.

How do I know how many of my customers are using voice search?

Currently, not all CMS systems differentiate between voice and mobile search and at the time of writing, this wasn’t an option available via google analytics. That makes it harder to measure the success of your improvements, but there are additional SEO benefits which mean that the overall traffic to your site is likely to go up. In the longer term, it’s likely that it will be possible to see the exact numbers of voice traffic in the same way that you can currently view the statistics relating to desktop and mobile searches and website visits.

What changes do I need to make to my SEO strategy to incorporate voice search?

The key difference with voice search is that the keyword searches are likely to be longer. People tend to formulate their search in the form of a question – Siri, can you give me a list of the name of the recruitment consultants near me? This means you can consider longer strings of keywords. This example also highlights another factor – location. There are many benefits to optimising for your location, not only on voice search but also mobile search which uses GPS data to deliver the most appropriate results.

How can I optimise my website for voice search?

The average voice search response is just 29 words – which makes sense when you consider that any content is going to be read out to the user.

The best way to optimise your website for voice search is to keep it brief. The average voice search response is just 29 words – which makes sense when you consider that any content is going to be read out to the user. No one wants to wait and hear thousands of words to get to the information they need. Chances are that many aspects of your business are more complicated than that, but you can always pull out snippets or summarise key points from long form content. If you have a page of FAQs, break down the questions as much as possible to allow for greater accuracy in matching searchers’ questions and shorter answers.

Advantages of voice search

There are a number of advantages to optimising your SEO strategy and website for voice search. For example, concise content will lead to more visibility on featured snippets in google, which should improve your website statistics and your company’s credibility. There has been a general rise in location-specific searches thanks to smart devices, so making sure you have that covered benefits mobile as well as voice search. Optimising your website for voice search will help you deliver a successful SEO strategy.

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