As artificial intelligence continues to advance, we’ve found ourselves new best friends with intelligent personal assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google. The way people search the web for information is changing from the traditional search engines. Nearly 60 percent of searches today are performed through mobile devices. Mobile devices are becoming our key source of knowledge and consumers are increasingly using their voice over their fingers to search the web. Asking questions and receiving answers has never been quicker or easier. As voice search continues to gain market share, it is imperative that we as marketers understand how to optimize our websites in order to stay ahead on SEO best practices.
As previously mentioned, making your site mobile friendly is the most crucial element to optimizing for voice search, as most voice search happens on the mobile device. Search engines, Google, in particular, are programmed to favor responsive websites, so it is imperative that your website is optimized for mobile users in order to show up in search engine results. Consumers want information accessible the moment they need it, so make sure your website is up to speed with technologies like Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP.
As local businesses, it’s important to strategize for local voice search. An estimated 22 percent of all voice search is for local content and information. Increase your chances of showing up in voice search by claiming and keeping your Google My Business listing up to date. Voice search is most frequently used while driving, searching local businesses, and getting directions or phone numbers. All businesses information must be in text format instead of image format—this includes your business name, physical address, local phone number, and directions to your business. Being local friendly will ensure Siri and all other intelligent personal assistants will locate your business.
Start a Conversation
Voice search has transitioned the web into a more natural and conversational tone. Users are more likely to pose searches as questions, rather than keywords or phrases. Changing your keyword strategy to optimize for conversational voice search will result in a much greater chance of showing up in search engine results. Listen to the way your customers ask questions and create a list. Once you’ve compiled this list, create content pages, such as FAQ pages, that answer each question with longer search terms. These FAQ pages will also help your site show up in Google “Featured Snippet.” When optimizing for conversational keywords, check out these guidelines from Google and Cortana.
It is no secret the internet is full of ways to use intelligent personal assistants as entertainment. As marketers optimizing our sites for voice search, we need to take advantage of the creative ways people use voice search. Showing up on the results page for funny questions can always be a great way to stand out, and people love sharing funny answers on social media.
As technology devices continue to adopt digital assistants, it is imperative that we as marketers ensure our site is equipt for voice search. SEO experts have listed voice search as the third most important component of SEO trends in 2017. Don’t get left out of the conversation—optimize your site for voice search.