The Growing Importance Of Voice Search For Businesses Today

Voice Search

Written by Liz Hardwick, Co-Founder of DigiEnable

Asking Siri, Alexa, or OK Google questions today is practically part of everyone’s daily life. You don’t have to open a search engine and type your question or some keywords to get the information you’re looking for. By directly talking to your smartphone or other gadgets, you’ll get a quick response to your query.

Voice search allows searchers to make voice command search queries through the use of speech recognition technology. When a query is received, search engines will return a direct answer and show a list of results. Search engines will come up with responses by matching the user’s question, to the most relevant answers while also considering the searcher history and behaviour.

Voice-based search queries use a combination of technologies to give searchers results. These include natural language processing (NLP), text to speech (TTS), and pre-programmed language voice search tools such as Apple’s Siri, Google’s voice command app, Amazon’s Alexa, and Windows’ Cortana.

Voice Search and Businesses

Analysts predict that voice search will be the number one method of online searching by 2020 – just a few years from now. Because of this, businesses have to take action now to be fully optimised for voice search.

Optimising your business to be found via voice search is important since it will be the most popular way most searches will be done in the near future. If your business does not adapt to this trend, your brand’s online presence will be seriously affected.

Because voice search is now constantly gaining traction, you also need to work on positioning your business for leveraged growth. If you fail to do so, your business will be left behind. In addition, competitors that take advantage of this technology will outrank you and leave you in the dark corners of the internet time forgot.

Whether you have an online business or one with a physical location, it is important to start taking action on this now. Local companies with brick-and-mortar stores, in particular, have to start focusing on this area since a lot of the most common voice searches are for finding local businesses.

These searches are done by people who are driving or multitasking in the office or at home but need to find out some key information: the nearest café, the time a bank closes, what movies are being shown in the local cinema, etc. When you include techniques in your search marketing strategy that will allow your business to be found in search results activated via voice, you will get a piece of this action.

Don’t wait until your business suffers; take advantage of voice search today. Optimise your business for this capability so that you can start reaping the benefits of voice activated search.

So with 50% of the search market using voice search by 2020 (ComScore report), how do we get our websites optimised so we are the one the voice engines respond with?

“If you’re a business with a location based space, local SEO is important.”

Local SEO searches are based on proximity to the user, so you need to make sure you’re optimised for Local SEO. As a reminder this could be your HTML markup, Google My Business Pages, Schema, and any local directory sites that are good quality and worthy of your website link on them.

Within all of these, think about offering all the useful information you can, a clear address, opening times, website address, Longitude and Latitude, and any social media links you have. Make sure the formatting of these is consistently the same across the different platforms you use too!

Then, as we mention to many of our clients, people are starting to type, as well as ask, longer-form key phrases or sentences. So rather than “Chorley Plumber” we are now searching for “who is the best plumber in Chorley?” With an interesting stat from SEOClarity showing that 20% of all voice search traffic comes from 25 keywords, we need to think how this integrates with our content.

The largest voice search traffic keyword is “how”, so you can see “how to improve my SEO for Voice search” could be a good one for us! “what” and “best” come in second and third. So if you’re going to write content for your websites, thinking of questions you can answers is going to be a big deal.

The big picture shows that as voice search grows it’ll still be important to offer support, advice and knowledge to be there when your potential clients or customers are making that purchasing decision and how popular, recommended and trusted your website is, the more value the search engines will place on it. So keep up that good quality content, guest blogging and networking, it really does, and will still count!

This article was originally published here and was reposted with permission.

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