“Alexa, how can I improve my website for voice search?”
Smart speakers are one of the most popular home purchases of recent years. They are no longer a new and rare phenomena, but a common sighting and many homes even have several dotted throughout their house. Whether it’s Amazon’s Alexa, or the Google Nest, companies are battling it out for the smartest speakers within our home. Whether you want to know the weather, play your favourite song, or set an alarm – there is very little these speakers cannot do. Of course, the smarter these devices get, the more popular they are. Voice assistants are being trained to pick up all the nuances of language, and as a result are able to answer more queries than ever before. This means that it’s not just millennials using Siri on their iPhones who are using voice search, but everyone from children to grandparents are finding themselves speaking to their smart speaker within their home.
So, if voice search queries are becoming the norm and a rapidly increasing way of finding information, what does this mean for those of us that have the information to give? For so long, we’ve been building websites and optimising social media to appear in the top results in search engines…but can the same endeavours also work for voice search queries? The short answer is no – natural language, that is spoken language, is rather different to written language. Consider the way you speak and how this compares to how you would type; one is much more formal than the other. Therefore, it is important you optimise content for voice search.
Here are some facts on voice searches and smart speakers:
50% of searches now occur via voice search queries
72% of people who own a smart speaker say it is a part of their daily life
Here at Cornell Studios, it is our job to optimise your content so it performs well across all mediums. Therefore, in this article, we are going to look at some of the top strategies for optimising your content for voice search. To start with, we need to understand how voice searches are most frequently being used. Voice search is heavily reliant on micro-moments. These are moments throughout our day, when we have a small query that we need answered immediately. Questions like, “Where is my nearest coffee shop?” or “What time is it in New York?” These are brief questions that will have a short answer, and solve your micro-moment problems.
It is also important to know that voice searches are much more likely to be local. Whether you are at home, or visiting somewhere new, your top queries are most likely to be about your surrounding area. “Where is my local Thai restaurant?” “What time does the supermarket close?” “Is it going to rain tomorrow?” If you are a local business, you are going to want voice search queries to bring up your business as the top result – and just as importantly, you’ll want the right information to be relayed. It is important therefore that your website is optimised to clearly show search engines the information they need. Often, the best way to go about this is to have an FAQ page to answer all the micro-moments people may have about your business. What are your opening hours? If you are a restaurant, people may want to know if you can provide vegan dishes? If you are a local shop, people may want to know if there is parking nearby? Anything you believe may be a commonly asked question by those who need your services, it is a good idea to put together a useful page for search engines to pass on this information. Regularly update this page if there are any changes to your company and use the words: who, what, when, where, why and how to guide you on the important questions. Don’t forget to also keep your address, phone number and other contact details correct and up to date on your website.
Consideration for the way users speak
Content optimised for voice search needs to take into consideration the way users speak. Shift your focus from keywords to phrases. If you are googling information, it’s likely you’ll only google the keywords, such as “café Belfast”, but if voice search is being used, you’ll use a full sentence such as “Where is the best café in Belfast?” Conversational words and contractions are also more common, such as “Where’s the best café in Belfast?”
In 2020, we’ve not only been confined to our homes more than we have ever been before, but we have also been prioritising a shift to hands-free and contactless processes. This has been a catalyst for voice assistant purchases for the home.
If you would like Cornell Studios to review the content on your website or social media, you are welcome to get in touch. You can reach us through our website on the ‘contact’ section, or alternatively you can phone us on 028 3833 9100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are experts in our field and we’re constantly learning to stay on top of the latest trends. So, get in touch with us today, we would love to talk to you about all things website and social media related.