With the growth of home devices and voice-activated cell phone assistants, voice search has become a prominent trend that many marketing experts didn’t anticipate. According to the most recent statistics, nearly half of all Americans own and use a voice assistant like the Amazon Echo or Google Home amassing more than 420 million devices sold. With that kind of backing and the extensive use these devices receive, it’s important for businesses to begin optimizing for voice search.
While most voice assistant devices are used for simple tasks like activating a kitchen timer, setting an alarm for the next day or placing a call, the emergence of the Google Assistant has placed a heavy prominence on how people are searching for new information. In many cases, this can be as easy as asking a simple command to a device instead of typing out a search query and trying to find the answer among the top results. This provides a lot of potential for marketers that are willing to put in the work to lead the pack in voice search results.
How Can You Optimize for Voice Search?
Like text-based search queries, voice search provides room for a wide variety of variations. The way people type in comparison to how they speak can vary drastically. Optimizing for voice search will require businesses to ensure their content reads conversationally. For instance, when typing a user may search for “restaurants near me.” On the other hand, when using voice search, they may say “what are the best restaurants near me?” For this reason, it is important for businesses to think of questions that users may ask in relation to your target keywords and develop ways to capitalize on them.
Optimizing for voice search goes far beyond just tailoring the content on your website to meet new keyword phrases. In fact, a lot of what goes on behind the scenes will likely become increasingly more important than it already has been. This includes optimizing your website for structured data to provide more information that the search engine can use to ensure you are the most reliable result for a given query. Unlike using a traditional search engine, voice searches only result in information from a single source. Providing schema data ensures that search bots know exactly what your page is about and how it relates to a given voice search phrase.
One other important aspect to keep in mind is that optimizing for voice search includes optimizing for mobile. Not only do cell phone voice assistants typically allow for a link to click through to your website, but they also require many of the same foundations as mobile in order to be successful. This includes ensuring your website performs quickly, accurately competes in local search results and utilizing AMP optimization pages for mobile-friendly content.
While voice search is only now beginning to find its place in the digital world, it’s undeniable that it will be important for continued success in the future. Keeping up with any changes and adjusting to meet new developments can ensure your business is prepared for the future as well as long-term success. As consumers continue to adopt new technologies, businesses should stay informed to stay one step ahead for the most impact.
With over two decades of in-the-trenches marketing experience, Matthew Maennche’s views on developing and supporting a successful business are fundamentally different from the norm. As a developer and strategist, Maennche has helped thousands of businesses of all sizes, both domestic and international, take their organizations to the next level.
Matthew also spends time giving back to the local business community as a volunteer, mentor, and leader for the local chapter of SCORE.