Voice search has become part of everyday life for many people. Currently, there are almost 4,2 billion devices with a digital voice assistant and the trend is growing rapidly.
A displayless search query differs in many aspects from traditional searches and new ways to reach customers must be found.
But how can you best adapt your online marketing strategy to this new type of search query? Keep reading to find out how!
- #0 How IoT changes everything
- #1 Keyword research
- #2 Content optimisation
- #3 Know your target group
- #4 Deliver the most popular, authorised results
- #5 Increase SERP
- #6 Structure your data for voice search
#0 How IoT changes everything
According to a study, voice search is mostly used to look for music (70%), the weather forecast (64%), online searches (47%), news (46%), confirmation of information (35%) and directions (34%).
However, new trends can also be seen in the areas of online shopping (30%), ordering food (17%) and searching for a flight or a hotel (16%).
Although iPhones and Android smartphones are among the top 7 most popular voice search devices, voice assistants such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa/Echo and Google Assistant are becoming more common among users.
These devices are part of IoT, where it is not possible to perform any other form of search query except for voice search.
High investments and growing demand in this market will further advance the technology and IoT, and in addition to home voice assistants, other smart devices are entering the market. A virtual voice assistant in a car or a smart refrigerator are just a few examples that will reach us in the near future. It is best for companies to find out early enough how they can use this technology for their own benefit.
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#1 Keyword research
Keyword research is already a well-established strategy of SEO, to help search engines to rank the text and give customers a suitable answer to their search queries.
While keyword research and placement is still important, you should keep in mind that consumer behaviour can vary, depending on the type of search query.
Instead of typing a single word/few words into a search engine, we mainly behave in a communicative way when doing a voice search.
- Traditional search query: “optimisation search query google”
- Search Query via voice search: “How do I optimise my search query to get better results on Google?”
This means that companies must also adapt to the way they use and place keywords. Longtail Keywords, for example, are a must. Furthermore, a large proportion of search queries via voice search contain typical question words such as how, what, where etc., which you should integrate into your content.
# 2 Content optimisation
Although the questions asked via Voice are longer than via writing, you should keep your content to a query as short and precise as possible. Studies revealed that the answers provided by voice assistants are on average only 29 words long. As well as Search Engines prefer content with a simple, easy to understand language.
Are you not sure how to add short passages to your content and link them with longtail keywords? Use FAQ pages. This way, concrete questions are asked that relate to current topics and reflect the interests of consumers.
It can also help to place infoboxes on your website that provide general information, while a detailed explanation can be given as the page progresses.
# 3 Know your target audience
As mentioned in the previous section, most voice searches are communicative and also informal interactions. It can therefore be an advantage for your company if you know how your target group speaks, what languages and expressions they use and the reasons why, how and where they use the service, in order to provide optimal answers.
Tools like Answer the Public can help you to find out what questions your consumer has about a specific topic. It can also be useful to check Google’s “People also ask” and use sites like Quora to respond quickly to current trends and interests.
It is not only important for the optimisation of your content and thus an improved ranking in search results, but also for branding purposes. Since your name, logo etc. is not visually available to consumers, you should start thinking about how to present your brand in a voice response to provide the best brand experience.
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#4 Deliver the most popular, authorised results
Nowadays, there are algorithms that can evaluate the quality of pages on the internet very precisely. It is important to search engines and voice assistants to provide consumers with suitable results for their search queries. To be able to give the best possible answers, they focus on a few factors in their evaluation.
With regard to voice searches, assistants are particularly careful when choosing their answer. Studies have shown that authorised pages and/or pages with a high level of social interaction are used more frequently. So focus on your expertise and create content or sections on your pages that are well suited for social media sharing.
#5 Increase SERP
All the previous factors will help you in the performance of voice searches. But this alone is not enough. Voice search operates on the principle “the winner takes it all”, which means that in most cases voice assistants select one particular answer from one selected website. Here the consumer does not have the possibility to choose from different search results.
75% of search queries are answered by the ranking top 3 of search results, most of them even by the question and infoboxes, on the so-called place 0. If your company is not listed there, your content is unlikely to be played.
Therefore you should constantly strive to improve your ranking in the search results. For example, it may help you at the beginning to focus on searches with less volume or with less competing sites.
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#6 Structure your data for voice search
Consumers usually have precise questions for the voice assistant and expect an immediate response. Although the techniques are very advanced, still not all answers are correct. When a potential customer asks about a specific issue, such as your location or prices, it is important to be able to provide immediately available and correct answers. With the help of some tools, you can ensure that all the necessary information about your company is available on the internet and appears on the appropriate search queries.
One popular tool is Schema Markup. It uses Schemes, to better classify and mark up information about your company so that the relevant data is easy to read and present. Over 10 million pages are currently using this tool.
You should also consider that different voice assistants use different sources of information. For example, the answers from Alexa or Siri, are based on data from Bing and Yelp.
It is therefore important to include all the basic data about your company in every search engine. In addition to Schema Markup, it is best to include your data for Google My Business, Apple Maps, Bing Places and Yelp for Business.
Currently, local search queries still dominate the majority of voice searches. However, the trend is growing rapidly, which means that more and more people have a voice assistant or the voice search function on their smartphone.
In the future, a significant part of online search will be done via voice search and it is advisable for companies to address this trend as early as possible, before they can no longer keep up in an increasingly competitive world.
Consider the new search behaviour of your target group, the importance of long-tail keywords and the provision of short, precise content. It is important to understand how voice assistants work, especially the sources and types of pages they use. Traditional SEO factors such as SERP position or the quality of your content are increasingly determining if your pages are displayed.
If you integrate all the factors in this article into your online marketing strategy, then you should be well prepared for the future of voice search. Start now and don’t be afraid to use new technologies!