Some time ago, search engines took brands and marketers by storm and many businesses struggled to stay ahead of their competition in the digital arena. Then came social media and businesses had to once again adapt or fall behind. 2016 has brought to the fore a whole new set of changes in the way brands market their products and services.
One of the most exciting trends in marketing these days is the voice search. Just a few years back, asking questions to any device such as a phone or computer was possible only in science fiction movies. Today, however, you can ask your smartphone anything and everything from “who is the president of Argentina” to “where can I find the best dentist in town”. With ease and convenience, accurate results are regularly provided by voice search. Because of this, more and more businesses are gradually working to improve their results for users using this type of search.
Almost all smartphones have a voice search feature. It is becoming a huge part of mobile device usage because it has done away with the inconvenience of typing long keyword phrases to run a search query. Clearly, using your voice can be a big advantage when you are in a car or walking down the street. Using voice to ask your query also means you don’t have to worry about spelling when making your query.
People are increasingly using voice search every day. With virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri, the number of mobile users adopting voice search is only increasing, and the technology behind it is advancing as well.
The big question: is your business ready for your customers using voice search? As a business owner, you need to pay attention to this growing trend. As more consumers become familiar with voice-activated personal assistants and other voice search tools, you will not want to miss opportunities to connect with your customers and prospects.
Discover how to prepare your company’s website for a voice search using this article as your guide.
Adjust for natural language search
Natural language search is a search carried out in a person’s everyday language. It involves phrasing queries as you’d ask them if you were talking to someone. These questions can be spoken aloud with voice search or typed into a search engine.
Natural language search is different than keyword-based search. With keyword-based search, users generally will attempt to get rid of unnecessary connecting words like “the”, “how” and so forth. An example of a keyword-based search is “women skinny jeans”. The natural language search would be “where to buy skinny jeans in Phoenix”. The natural language search focuses on the natural way people ask questions and offer answers to each other. It is not just the keywords that someone would search with when sitting at their desktop or laptop computer typing search queries into Google.
The main advantage of this is that it leads to more specific answers, thus providing users better information. Therefore, providing information that can answer the question most closely will offer higher ranking positions in search marketing and help you better connect with your customers. Your brand won’t necessarily rank number one overnight, but the long-term benefits have been proven.
So what can your business do?
Optimize your website for high value natural language searches. Rather than just optimizing for key phrases or words, adjust your site to account for natural language searches. Have content that answers the questions users ask via voice search. “How to….” type pages can be a very helpful in addressing specific questions from customers and will help you improve your positioning based on voice searches.
When it comes to selecting keywords intent is more important than search volume. Therefore, choose keywords based on the degree of intent the searchers reveal. Add these high value natural language queries as keywords for your Pay Per Click campaigns. Adjust the bids based on the degree of the intent. You may raise or lower your bids to affect the ad positioning.
Adapt for queries
You need to be helpful to your customers and prospects by answering their queries with appropriate information. There is no doubt content marketing, if done properly, helps your brand build relationships with customers. It also helps you show up for long queries, because of this, content marketing critical in the modern marketing landscape.
You can benefit from queries because voice search queries have been proven to frequently contain question words. To benefit from this, you will have to research a list of frequently asked questions relevant to your products then optimize those pages for the natural language queries.
Help users get more accurate results
When it comes to voice search, the margin of error can unfortunately be bigger than you are used to when sitting at your desktop or laptop computer. A customer can search for a particular brand name and still come across a wide variety of websites before finding the one you are looking for. Additionally, voice search tools might not always correctly recognize your speech.
To help users get more accurate results using voice search tools such as Siri or Google, you need to research common misspellings that can be brought about by common mispronunciations of product name, brand name or search terms. Add them to your keyword optimization strategy as a test. And do not forget to include relevant negative keywords, too.
Spoken queries are a natural medium for searching the web in situations where typing on a keyboard is not practical. The age of keyword stuffing is long over and nowadays, businesses must prepare for voice search queries. Search engines have worked hard to improve results from keyword-focused queries as many marketers decided to over-optimize their webpages. Voice search, however, does not typically rely on keywords. Instead, it answers the “what, where, who, why and how” questions people often ask in the most natural way possible. While Google and other search engines do not penalize websites for not being “voice search friendly”, it is the kind of mobile strategy you should take seriously for your business.