How to get your SEO strategy right for voice search

alarm 3 Minute Read
today Posted Feb 9th, 2018

With both voice search and mobile usage increasing in popularity thanks to virtual assistants such as Alexa and Siri, as well as improvements in technology, it’s now more important than ever to implement a fitting SEO strategy that makes the most of this growing trend.

Our top 3 stats, made available recently, add weight to the importance of voice search in the coming years –

  • The accuracy of speech recognition is now above 95% for the main technology providers
  • The Alexa app by Amazon hit number one in the app store chart closely followed by Google Home
  • Voice enabled personal assistants are a default installation on all smart phones

So why are people turning to voice search more now?  Well, for starters it’s fast. We can speak approximately 110 more words per minute than the average person can type.

It’s hands free. There’s no need to stop what you’re doing in order to free up both hands in order to type a query and then read the results.

Voice search is also far more accurate than it used to be. Gone are the early days of a search either returning the wrong answer or not having an answer at all!

So, what’s the next stage for your business in order to keep up with the trends and stay on top of search queries?

Firstly and fundamentally, your website must be able to be crawled by the search engine robots. If search engines can’t find your site and don’t understand your content, the chances of appearing in the search results are slim.  In relation to voice search, they tend to return one answer to a question rather than an entire page of suitable answers. If you’re not expertly optimised, you won’t appear.

Our top tips for helping to increase your chances are laid out below –

  • Get the site structure right. This should be aimed at helping users to navigate easily to where they need to be with minimal clicks.
  • Do a full mobile audit on your site to make sure that the fundamentals are correct to ensure you’re off to a good start
  • Have a clear XML sitemap that is easily navigated by both search engines and real people
  • Add Schema Markup to add extra information which could prove invaluable

One main feature of your site that we haven’t included above as it needs a bit more attention, is the context of your content.  Natural language is becoming more important with the rise in popularity of voice searches and longer tail keywords are therefore becoming more applicable. For example, with a voice search, you would most likely say “what time is John Lewis in Chichester open on Sunday”, compared to historically opening your browser and searching for ‘John Lewis Chichester opening times’. A far less naturally spoken phrase.  Consideration must be given as to how a visitor would voice a search query.

Improving your site for local searches is also high on the list.  Near me searches are increasing as well as targeted locations such as a town or village name.  Verifying and optimising your Google My Business listing is vital, including high quality images and opening times.  Your NAP information (Name, Address and Phone number) consistently is also important.  While it’s always been important to acquire positive reviews, it’s worth spending some time finding ways to gain more reviews as this does seem to have a direct effect on your ranking.  Reputation management is a must.

It’s important to remember that a voice search is just the start of a user experience and once that visitor has found your site, they must be able to navigate it effectively to find the information they require. Mobile optimisation therefore, must be considered and your content needs to remain fresh and relevant.  Our understanding of these technologies and market trends can help you build and maintain a highly optimised site that will increase sales conversions and help to grow your business.

As digital marketing consultants, we provide clients with a wide range of complementary digital marketing service and solutions, from conversion rate optimisation (to increase sales and enquiries from client websites) to PPC management and from SEO consultancy to social media marketing – talk to us to find out how we help organisations like yours improve site traffic and, most importantly, revenue!

Get in touch now to discuss your website further.

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