Do I Need to Change my Marketing Tactic to Optimise for Voice Search?Kenneth Nel
Take a look at your hand. It is made up of 5 digits, each of which is essential in picking up your beer, for example, but each with their own unique features. In much the same way, your digital marketing strategy will make use of a range of individual elements but each one works toward the same goal; increasing sales. Which leads us to the question, “Do I factor in voice search in my digital marketing?”
With newer, smarter phones and connectivity devices, voice search is becoming a ‘thing.’ Advancement in most areas of life means doing something faster, cheaper or easier – and voice search is certainly easier. And faster.
You’re on the highway and you have a hunger, so you ask your phone to open navigation and direct you to the nearest KFC. You didn’t even have to look at your screen or take your hands off the wheel in order to get this info – how easy was that? (Also, it’s legal!)
What does this mean for your website and your SEO efforts?
How is Voice Search Different From Text Search?
When we enter a search query, we are likely to drop the normal use of grammar with its conjunctions and definite articles and just type in two or three keywords such as “pizza delivery Rivonia.” However, when we speak, our terminology is different. We are more likely to use full sentences and start with words like where, what or how which means that the search query will be longer, often 8 words or more.
We are also more likely to use our mobile phones when we perform verbal searches and following on from that, we are very likely to want an immediate and succinct result.
How Does Voice Search Affect Your Marketing?
So, here’s the million-dollar question. It’s great to have these facts, but if we are not applying them in our marketing efforts then it’s just useless information, isn’t it?
In order for your site to be optimised for voice search, you need to have the following things in place:
The “near me” function is widely used. As we’ve mentioned a mobile search is an on-the-go search and an accurate and relevant result is essential. According to Search Engine Watch, 50 percent of local (near me) mobile searches resulted in a visit to the store. That’s an audience worth tapping into!
Is your physical address featured on your website? Have you claimed your Google My Business page? Has your site been set up correctly with all the metadata structured in the correct way? Can users call you directly from your website, or from a Google results page?
Answering the Question
If we are aware that the search engine results will vary between text and voice searches, then we need to take a closer look at our content. Let’s take an example: You operate a nail and beauty salon and have therefore ensured that your keywords on your main pages say, “beauty salon”, “acrylic nails”, etc. This means that if people type in “jobs at a beauty salon”, “can I sue a beauty salon?” (yes, that’s an actual search query) or “what shall I call my beauty salon?” then your website may well come up. Not useful though, is it?
What about a voice search that says, “How long will my acrylic nails last for?” or “How much does a facial cost?” If your website doesn’t answer these questions, then you won’t rank. Why would you?
This is where additional information like an FAQ page, a services list with prices, or (the big one!) a blog page, really shine. Blog pages, especially, are the ideal vehicle for answering the questions that your potential customers are asking via voice search.
From an SEO perspective, a blog entitled “How Long Should Your Acrylic Nails Last For?” along with relevant headings with details on how they should be applied, how long you should keep them on for, can they damage your nails, how often should they be filled, how long it takes and what the costs are, is a brilliant start. Images with the correct alt tags, a video if you have one, correct metadata and SEO title, a good reading ease score and structured data snippets will push your content way up the search rankings and voila! Your blog is optimised for voice search.
This may sound like an awful lot of information, and if you aren’t in the digital field then it may not make a huge amount of sense. You know you need it, you just don’t know how to get it, right?
Fortunately, you have your trusty digital coach to help you through the mire. From voice search to technical SEO – we’re here to hold your hand.