Voice is making a splash. Google claims that over 20 percent of voice searches on its mobile app and Android devices account for voice search. What’s more, according to comScore, 50% of all searches will be voice by 2020. Assuming that this statistic holds true, advertisers will need to start focusing less on what people type in the search bar, and more on the questions they’re asking out loud.
Whether people are talking to Siri from Apple, Alexa from Amazon, Cortana from Microsoft or Google Assistant, the increasingly accurate and fast responses from artificial intelligence (AI) are the reasons for its growing popularity.
An article from MindMeld reveals that 60% of people using voice search had started over the past year. Maybe you use voice search regularly. Maybe you don’t. Either way, it’s important for you to see how a hot trend like this could change the digital marketing landscape.
Knowing ahead of time that voice is gaining some serious momentum will help you prepare for the future of digital marketing. Here are four tips to help you prepare your website for voice search:
1. Write Conversationally with Search Queries in Mind
Writing with a conversational tone almost always offers a friendlier, more engaging reading experience. Wouldn’t you agree that users prefer to read articles that sound more like a conversation, and less like a page out of a college textbook?
That’s why optimizing your content for voice search is just another solid reason to write more casually. As voice search gains more traction, content written in everyday language will have a greater chance of aligning with the search queries people use with AI.
As cited by Quartz, Google’s AI has already read over 12,000 ebooks to help strengthen its conversational search abilities. Clearly, Google is preparing to draw connections between voice searches and the most relevant, conversational content across the web.
Be creative while crafting the phrases you figure customers are using to search online. Trying to predict exactly what they’re asking today and what they may be asking tomorrow can be an exciting experience.
Once you compile a list of phrases, include them in your website carefully so they read as naturally as possible. And to ensure you touch all the bases, build quality, conversational content around this foundation.
2. Include Long Tail Keywords in Your Content
Based on information from Katherine Watier, owner of WO Strategies LLC, humans can speak 150 words per minute, while only being able to type 40 words per minute. This would explain why people are using longer, more detailed phrases to find what they’re looking for online.
That’s why another great way to prepare for voice search is by including long tail keywords in your content. As you might expect, long tail keywords are key phrases that are typically more specific, and naturally, longer than more frequently searched keywords.
Although they don’t usually rank as highly as broader keywords with two or three words, factoring them into your content will still give you the opportunity to provide clear-cut answers to the questions asked by your targeted audience.
Of course, you’ll be honing in on a precise demographic searching for a very specific question. However, the more exact a user’s search query is, the more likely it is they’re ready to convert.
In an article from Search Engine Watch, David Cato mentions that mobile, voice-related searches are three times more likely to be local-based than those completed with text. Considering this, it’s crucial you make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
This means you not only need to make sure your website is fleshed out with relevant, conversational content, but you also have to deliver it in such a way that provides a satisfying user experience (UX). An attractive, fast and easily readable website will help prevent users from leaving. A disorganized presentation, on the other hand, will lead to a higher bounce rate.
If someone were to search for the “best car dealership near me,” for example, and the website they landed on wasn’t formatted correctly for mobile devices, they’d probably avoid dealing with the configuration issues by going back and choosing a different result.
Especially if you’ve invested a significant amount of time and effort designing and writing compelling content for your website (which you probably have), you must place it in a vehicle that works to drive your business forward. Optimizing your website for user experience will give you the peace of mind of knowing that it offers a clean display across all devices.
4. Craft Easily-Digestible Answers to Questions
Straightforward answers are what your audience is looking for, and that’s exactly what you should give them. Rise to the top of Google’s search results page as a featured snippet by providing short answers to complex questions with bullets, simple steps or brief tips.
If these answers are beneficial to users from the start, they’re more likely to click the “read more” link as long as there’s more content to follow. In turn, the small scope of users you’re targeting could begin to flock to your website for genuine answers, increasing your click-through-rate.
Narrowing in on a seemingly small group of users can be scary. But being there for your audience and anticipating the type of information they’re hungry for is important if you want them coming back.
People don’t have much time for extensive pieces of content nowadays, which is why you need to trim it down and deliver the message quickly. The clock is ticking. By carving an almost customized path for users, you’ll have the chance to capture the attention of a large group when the opportunity presents itself.
Trends and interests change every day; you never know if the questions you answered yesterday might be asked by millions in a just a few weeks. Of course, this isn’t what you need to bank on since straightforward answers will always appeal to users—but the possibility still exists.
Wrapping it Up
Artificial intelligence has been making remarkable strides over the last few years. Today, we rely on it to expedite the process of learning new information. And in the future, it will play a role in our lives that extends far beyond our wildest dreams.
With voice search gaining momentum, optimizing your website for conversational search queries will be a step in the right direction. Keeping up with new devices and capabilities is tough, but recent strides with voice search should encourage you to plan ahead.
Remember how predictions on the rise of mobile eventually came to light? Well, even though we don’t exactly know how voice search will pan out, you certainly have nothing lose by preparing for it.
Learn more about digital marketing by checking out our recent blog posts.