Voice search is expected to account for as much as half of all online searches this year. This has the potential to completely disrupt the way consumers look for products and services. If you want them to find you, you need to get your content ready for voice search.
The ability to search by voice command has become very popular on platforms such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Siri. For a consumer audience that is constantly on the go, multi-tasking across digital devices, the opportunity to use their voice rather than their fingers has created an entirely new reality for businesses.
Consider These Statistics on Voice Search
- Voice-based shopping is expected to increase to $40 billion by 2022.
- 60% of smartphone users have tried voice search at least once in the past 12 months.
- 55% of teenagers use voice search daily.
By all accounts, Google Assistant appears to be the most advanced voice search platform thanks to the investment it made in optimizing its voice recognition software. Google’s voice search option makes it easy for users to access content.
If your digital content is not voice-searchable, you might be losing out on a valuable segment of your consumer audience.
Make Your Content Ready for Voice Search
The first step is to make sure your website is compatible with mobile. The overwhelming majority of internet users are on their smartphones and tablets. In certain parts of the world, this may be close to 100 percent! This is another reason that voice search has become so popular.
Remember, what looks great on your website or blog may not function at all on a mobile device. This is especially true when it comes to graphics and video. For instance, your awesome video banner on your website may look like a frozen image on a mobile device. And it may not be the static image that you want.
If your website doesn’t load on a mobile device, or it loads slowly, the average consumer is going to move on to someone else. Before you begin to make your content voice-searchable, optimize your content for mobile.
Voice Searchers use More Words
When you don’t have to type, you have the freedom to use more words to narrow down your search. According to statistics, while the average text search is approximately 1-3 words, voice search is around 4-6 words. And the top three keywords voice searchers are using are: “what” “how” and “best.”
So, you’ll want to be sure to include these search terms in your snippets and focus key phrase. However, voice-searchable content requires a slight shift in how you think about SEO.
It’s a Conversation
To make your content ready for voice search, you need to create it more like a conversation and less like a white paper. Write your content as if you are speaking to someone. In fact, before you publish, read your content out loud. This includes your website content, as well as, blog articles. Do you stumble over the words? If so, you may need to do some more editing.
Focus Less on Keywords
We’ve been programmed to focus on SEO, cramming our content with our target keywords. But, as you know, if your content is overloaded with keywords, it won’t read well. It may even cost you in SERPs.
But now, we’re talking voice search. Too many keywords are going to make your content cumbersome. It will sound less like a conversation and more like a research paper.
Think About the User
Making your content ready for voice search means thinking less like a marketer and more like the user. Your target audience is not looking for a pitch. They will become loyal fans if you converse with them in an informative way.
- What do your consumers need?
- What do they value?
- How are they interacting with the products or services you provide?
Take advantage of platforms such as Yahoo Answers and Quora to find out what consumers are asking. Take note of how they phrase their questions and try to incorporate those phrases in your content. Answer the Public is another great resource for helping you select natural phrases most likely to be used by your audience.
Develop content that is more of a question and answer format or at least incorporate questions and answers within your text. The ease of voice search means that consumers are free to include phrases such as “how do I” or “what’s the best way to.”
Another great source for your blog articles is the questions and comments your consumers leave on your website. Turn those questions into blog articles, utilizing the question phrases that your customers have used. Check out what they are saying and asking on your social media sites too.
Keep it Simple
This gets us back to what we said previously. Even if you are a tech company with a highly sophisticated product based on tons of research, your content needs to be simple. Other than an expert in your field, the average consumer is not going to use sophisticated technology terms. Use words that the average consumer will understand and skip over industry-insider jargon and acronyms.
It’s impossible to know the shelf-life of any consumer trend. For now, voice search appears to be on the rise. Making your content ready for voice search is a wise investment.
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