Hey Google! Just how serious is voice search?

Remember watching the cartoon ‘The Jetsons’ or the sci-fi show ‘Star Trek?’  People would tell doors to open or close, lights on or off, and more. Well, that fantasy has come to frustration, we call it Voice Search. In fact, it is so prevalent in our lives today that there isn’t any chance it is a passing phase.

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In 2020, as much as half of all internet searches were done by voice. Experts in digital transformation say that screenless searches are evolving thanks to Alexa, Cortana, and Siri, and by 2024, the voice speaker market will reach $30 billion and beyond.

When these facts are combined, it confirms that if your company website isn’t optimized for voice search today, you will lose business to your competitors. Now is the time to learn about voice search and get your website optimized sooner than later. Grabbing voice traffic is essential for success.

Traditional Search and Voice Search: What Is the Difference?

It is easy for a small business owner that doesn’t have a grasp on voice search to think it is the same thing as the traditional way of internet searching. The following are key differences how we are seeking information simply by speaking out loud and how business owners need to adjust:

  1. Voice search and long-tail keywords are partners. Voice search uses more than just quickly stating what we’re looking for and get a list of results. With voice search technology, we ask more specific questions about what we’re looking for and where it can be found. The use of short keywords isn’t going to work with voice searches.
  2. Voice search answers our questions. When we tell voice search, “Where is the best burgers in Tulsa?”, Alexa, Cortana, or Siri are going to look for full answers. If your website content isn’t providing those answers, potential customers are going to your competitor.
  3. Voice search bypasses intermediate steps. With traditional web searches, we are given a list to surf and filter. With voice search, the questions are the filters, and goes directly to where you can make the purchase or get the service you’re looking for.
  4. Voice search gives us only one answer. Traditional web search queries give us lists and pages of potential websites. You have a particular brand of clothing that you need or want, a voice search will provide you with one location.
  5. Voice search is purpose focused. This means when we ask a voice search system a specific question, it sees that you have a specific purpose and answers accordingly.  

Voice search is extremely competitive and is highly specific, no longer are a few short keywords on a web page enough. Optimization for voice search is required today, intentional, and well thought out is a must.

Voice Search Keywords for Optimization

Selecting the right keywords are important for optimizing your website for voice search, focusing on long-tail keywords. A new feature Google has available for this, “People Also Ask” will give you a box when you enter a keyword that is associated with your business with the top one or two results along with questions that are like what is being asked by surfers. These are questions that are accessed the most frequently and are like what will drive traffic to your website.  

Considering the purpose of the questions you select are essential because this is what voice search focuses on. When a user needs to locate a business, product or service, they want an experienced business. My keeping their purpose at the forefront of your decisions, you’ll have a better chance of enticing voice traffic.

The questions should include local keywords for your business. For instance, if your business is a burger restaurant in Dallas, these voice queries would fit the criteria:

  • What’s the best burger restaurant in Dallas?
  • What’s the best Dallas burger place?
  • Where can I get vegan burgers in Dallas?

Incorporating your long-standing keywords into voice search type questions can be used to inspire your content.

Suggestions for Voice Search Optimization  

Now, with a better understanding about the importance of voice search, what do you need to do, after choosing the longtail keywords that answer the popular key questions?

  1. Create a conversational interface. Your website’s new, voice-optimized content must specifically answer search queries to attract more people into your company’s sales funnel. This won’t be done overnight – it takes time and is a learned skill.
  2. Focus strongly on localization. Most local businesses incorporate local places, giving local customers a connection with their voice search inquiries. So your website needs to specifically answer those inquiries, while keeping your business information indexed.
  3. Using proper Schema markup on your website pages will ensure that search engines can index your page properly, giving internet searchers the best result for their voice search. 

Any small business owner needs to keep ahead of Google’s algorithm, it is important to get started optimizing your website for voice search now. Google will eventually, sooner than later, add voice search to its algorithm. Don’t be left behind!

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