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How to Optimise for Voice Search: Targeting Local Customers with Direct Queries

By Christine Hazel 06 Jun 2018
How to Optimise for Voice Search: Targeting Local Customers with Direct Queries

SEO is evolving for the better. Now that the narrative has shifted from desktop to mobile search results, everyone is looking forward to new innovative ventures.

Any guesses where digital innovation is heading to next?

Google and Apple already laid out the foundations. Tech gurus say this technology will “shape the future”. That it will change the way you do search engine optimisation and the like.

Mobile-first index has paved the way for voice search technology. In fact, voice search accounts for 20 percent of mobile searches as per recent statistics. No wonder Google is changing the rules of the game.

With new algorithms underway and Google championing mobile browsing, tech experts believe that voice technology will open more doors. Its presence will usher in a new era of digital marketing.

Voice Search Makes Mobile Browsing Convenient

 

Mobile-first index and voice search are like two peas in a pod. They’re intertwined. And you cannot speak of one without involving the other.

It’s not that voice search continues where mobile browsing left off. Or that it’s the missing piece to this whole SEO for mobile puzzle.

Voice search simply makes using mobile phones a lot more convenient for today’s fast-paced society.

Convenience could mean two things. First, from an ergonomics point of view. Second, from a speed point of view.

Touchscreen devices are not helpful ergonomically. Spending several hours pressing the screen of your smartphone, tablet or touchscreen PC eventually strains your fingers and arms. Older users may even experience back and joint pains.

Voice search cuts back the time you spend pressing your device screen. As you become more adept at using this technology, soon you will have little need for touchscreen navigation.

The process of opening your screen, unlocking it and going to the message app to type is pretty time-consuming. And typing on a virtual keyboard where you can hardly feel a physical button isn’t helping matters at all.

Voice search, recently re-branded as Google Assistant for Android users and better known as Siri among Apple users, caters to people’s need for browsing speed and instant results. Multi-taskmasters and individuals on-the-go would find voice search incredibly useful as they go about their day to day activities.

Leverage Your Business with Voice Search

Google Assistant | Voice Search Technology

Since voice search is a reality that’s slowly getting bigger, it’s but fitting to be in the loop for new updates and innovations. Businesses, particularly those that heavily rely on web traffic and online marketing, can benefit greatly from this innovation.

But how does voice technology affect your business? Why do you need to pay attention to it? Can you use voice search to improve your SEO?

Yes, yes and yes. Let us answer the questions one by one.

How does voice search affect your business?

 

This question is only applicable to businesses with some degree of online presence. Meaning, voice technology only matters if you have a working company website, social media business pages or an e-commerce store.

Voice technology, which has yet to reach full development, cannot understand and process websites with complicated information. Lack of a proper information infrastructure (e.g. formatting, word density) may also prevent websites from appearing on voice search results.

Not incorporating voice technology into your business strategies, you’ll miss out on potential target audiences who are also dedicated voice search users. Adopting this new trend is essentially a way of ensuring your business stays relevant and competitive.

Why pay attention to voice technology?

 

1 out of 5 people in the United States use voice search to quickly obtain information – a pattern detected among smartphone users, regardless of race.

As aforementioned, a chunk of your target customers will undoubtedly be voice search users. If you do not take into account their search behaviour, you’ll only add up to your list of unaccounted losses.

Your business can gain competitive advantage through voice search optimisation. Based on gathered data, voice search users often do the following:

  • ➔ Search for directions (e.g. direction to a restaurant, direction to a park)

  • ➔ Search for nearby local spots (e.g. nearest Japanese restaurants, nearby repair shops)

A study conducted by BrightLocal projected that voice search will take up 50 percent of all online queries by 2020. Couple this with the fact that approximately 41 percent of adults use voice search at least once a day and you have enough reasons to pay attention to this technology.

Can you improve your SEO with voice search?

SEO company in Australia offering voice search optimisation

Optimising your website for voice search can help your business gain competitive advantage. There are prerequisites to follow, however.

Some website owners tend to go overboard with their SEO campaigns. They put in white paper content, stuff them with complicated information, add some internal and external links, and end up with a very crawl-worthy guide.

There’s no problem with producing lengthy, quality content. In fact, search engines love it. But we’re not just talking about search engines here. We’re also trying to include smart voice assistants like Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa.

So here’s the challenge: can your content possibly appear on voice search results?

Increase User Experience (UX) with Voice Technology

 

When all is said and done, the main purpose of voice technology is to improve user experience. Consequently, better UX increases your business reputation and encourages repeat business.

If you have a steady stream of clients, you can bank on word-of-mouth marketing as well. Existing clients will spread the word about your business because you managed to create a good experience for them.

Voice search is bound to enter the mainstream as more and more people acknowledge its importance. In the long run, voice search is expected to change your SEO approach, especially in the area of content marketing.

There may be more emphasis on easy-to-read but useful content as such will be more beneficial to target users and friendlier to voice search algorithms.

So how much do you know about voice search? Do you adopt this trend and use it to improve your SEO?

Here are key takeaways:

1. Direct Queries

Direct Questions Increase Voice Search Results

Voice search optimisation works well with straight-to-the-point content. So don’t beat around the bush.

Filter your content and provide information that give customers utmost value. Focus on rich text (underlines, bold or italicised text) that highlights your keyword or marketing message.

Neil Patel had similar sentiments about this growing technology. Read about it here

Below are tips to help you create queries that are friendly to voice search algorithms:

  • ➔ Keep your content simple and direct.

  • ➔ Allocate a detailed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section on your website.

  • ➔ Anticipate your visitors’ likely questions.

  • ➔ In your FAQs page, ask straight questions and provide concise answers.

  • ➔ Use natural language.

  • ➔ Avoid awkward keywords; go for long-tail keywords instead.

  • ➔ Make sure you provided correct and accurate information on your website.

  • ➔ Adopt a friendly content format (e.g. proper spacing, reasonable paragraph length, questions containing keywords and used as headers or sub-headers)

  • ➔ Add infographics with alt text; voice search can also pick up image texts.

2. Local Search

Voice Search Optimisation | Using Voice Search to Increase Local Search |

The connection between local search and voice search is just as deep as the relationship between mobile browsing and the latter. In 2017, almost 60 percent of online buyers used voice search to find local business information.

Near me” is the most searched term among consumers using voice search. Thanks to this technology, consumers have increasingly become used to the idea of hands-free shopping and fast local solutions. Amazon and Apple made sure of that.

If we try to grasp the idea behind voice technology, it’s basically about you being productive online and offline – simultaneously or any way you want it.

Imagine the advantage you’ll gain if you add a map and specify your actual location. Your mobile’s GPS navigation will automatically match your business with the nearest potential customers searching for related information.

When optimising for local search, always disclose your delivery coverage area. This is another way to bring your business closer to target markets.

Gone are the days of secrecy and paranoia. Doing SEO means laying yourself bare to your audience so they know what they’re getting into.

And your target audience should be individuals who can easily access your business information and, due to proximity, immediately take action.

SEO Company Australia Offering Voice Search Optimisation

 

You need to understand what role voice search plays in your SEO campaign. If you have not yet taken this technology into consideration, you only have two options before you: 1) embrace it as early as possible while your competitors are not fully aware of its advantages, or 2) wait until it becomes a reality you can’t escape.

But the clock is ticking and the future is slowly turning into the here and now. 

What does voice content marketing mean for your business? Are you willing to adopt this trend to create more opportunities for growth and attract more clients?

Why not consult a reputable SEO company in Australia that’s knowledgeable in voice search optimisation and digital marketing? Visit https://digital-muscle.com.au for more information.