Voice search is a growing trend with increasingly more people using voice commands for their search queries. With voice search optimization on the rise, it’s important to optimize your website for voice search. First some statistics, and they vary according to what study you look at. According to comscore, it’s projected that by 2020 50% of searches will be voice searches. ComScore also reports that 40% of adults now use voice search once per day. Gartner predicts that about 30 percent of searches will be done without a screen by 2020. They’ll be speaking to devices such as Alexa or Google home. According to Google, 20 percent of mobile queries are voice searches. Alpine.AI reported in January, 2018 that there are over one billion voice searches per month. Those statistics make it clear that optimizing your website for voice search is something that should be implemented, and it can prove beneficial to your business by resulting in an increase in visitors to your site.
How to Prepare for Voice Search Optimization
One thing you should do to optimize your strategy is target micro-moments. What are micro-moments and how can you benefit from them?
- These are the short windows of opportunity where a searcher is ready to schedule an appointment or needs information or help quickly.
- People aren’t searching because they’re curious or interested. They’re searching because they need your service, now!
- If you can target people during micro-moments with your keyword phrases, then your conversion rate will skyrocket.
The key difference between text search and voice search is that voice search is often used when the audience is ready to take action, not just doing research. You need to have a strategy that understands and targets micro-moments. But how can you target these micro-moments? It comes down to using the right keywords on your website, and determining exactly what people are searching for. We use tools such as Google keyword tool to research and determine the best keywords to use on a website.
Type in the keywords that you’re interested in targeting and it will show you a list of the top keywords surrounding that search. It will list the keywords in the order of highest search volume at the top, to lowest search volume at the bottom. Why is this so important? It helps you prepare for micro-moments with voice search and text search by determining exactly what people are searching for. Once you know that, targeting your prospect’s high-commitment moments is simply a matter of selecting the keywords. Choose the ones that represent micro-moments and create content and web pages around those keywords.
Use long-tail keywords
Another thing to do is prepare your website with more long-tail keywords. When people are searching vocally rather than by typing, they use what we call long-tail keywords. What is a long-tail keyword? It’s simply a keyword that is longer, and generally less common, than short keywords. For example, “Find a hospital” is a short keyword, and “Need to find a hospital ER near me” is the long-tail version. The long-tail keyword is more specific. And since it’s more specific, there is also generally less competition surrounding it. These keywords are the basis of voice search because when people are talking instead of texting, they tend to use longer keywords. You should target keywords that mimic the way people speak.
Fast Loading Websites Impact Voice Search
What does a fast loading website have to do with voice search? If people leave a slow website when they’re typing in a search, what about when they’re voice searching? After all, voice searchers are usually in more of a hurry than people typing in a search. That’s why they’re talking into their phones in the first place. This means that if your website is slow, the load time will be even more detrimental. But how can you test your website to see if it’s fast enough? Pingdom is a great tool.
Pingdom will provide you with a website speed diagnosis. You want to make sure that your website is at least a “B.” Ideally, your website load time should be under three seconds. This will ensure that you’re not losing visitors due to a slow website.
Know your audience
You need to know your audience. For search and websites, all aspects of your marketing efforts need to relate to the audience. To market successfully, it is important to know who the audience is, how they think, and what they want. And for voice search, this is critical because people speaking into their phones are in a hurry and will quickly get annoyed with results that aren’t what they were looking for. If you don’t understand your customer, you can’t market to them successfully, much less create a strategy around voice search.
Post by Suzanne Garcia-Misa, Consultant