How to Optimize Voice Search

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Mobile Voice Search, image from Search Engine Land

Also posted here, at Millennial News Today.

Voice search has been a hot topic lately, and for good reason. The largest living target market, millennials, are already using voice-operated devices in their everyday lives. According to Search Engine Land, 37 percent of millennials always or often shop online via voice-controlled devices and 43 percent made a purchase using voice in the past year.

To optimize voice search for the web, businesses must create relevant content for consumers, utilize more long-tail keywords, and clearly mark their locations if they have one.

Creating relevant content is important because of how most people use voice search. Tina Mulqueen of Forbes says 60 percent of everything asked of AI like Alexa and Siri are for simple questions like, “who is the president of France?” If a brand can answer those questions by creating a FAQ or writing articles, then that will make them more likely to come up as the answer box at the top of Google’s results. This answer box is what is usually used as the one simple answer given by Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. Being “the answer” is important when considering that the number of search results that an AI will give through voice commands will most likely be limited to three.

This way of popping up in search could be useful for making breadcrumbs for the consumer to lead them to a purchase. For example, if a consumer asks how to put a chair together, then a hardware store can answer that through their own website, recommend a couple of tools needed to do the job and then secure a purchase.

Another practice that brands must start taking advantage of are using long-tail keywords. People rarely ask, “okay Google, friendly cat breed?” Instead, they’d probably say, “okay, Google, what is the friendliest cat breed?” This is why the words “who, what, when, where, why and how” are going to be so important. Conversational words and slang also need to be considered, because people speak to AI as if they are another person. Once Amazon and Google come up with paid search models for voice, brands will have to invest heavily in these keywords to make it onto the voice shelf.

Finally, if a business has a physical location, they need to be making that very clear in the form of an address in a very visible place on their website or addresses on social media like Facebook. Why? The number of people who search “near me” “has increased 34 times since 2011” and “50 percent of consumers performing a local search for a product end up visiting the store in the same day” according to Getstat.com. V-commerce has made it easier than ever before for consumers to search for pizza places near them while in the car, or search for delivery while sitting at home.

Do you have different ideas for optimizing voice search? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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