If you wanted to answer a general knowledge question like the name of the current Google CEO or your local house representative, how would you search for the information?
- Would you type it into your electronic device?
- Would you ask Alexa, Siri, Cortana or Google?
According to Forbes by 2020 half of all search engine queries will be made by voice search. Even if that figure is a little optimistic, it still means that a huge chunk of searches on search engines will be made with voice in the near future. Mobile Marketer claims that there will be a huge surge and the number of voice assistants will jump to threefold their current rate. Bright Local claim that 58% of users have used voice search to find information about a local business. As business owners or bloggers we should be asking ourselves :
- Who is using the technology and what devices are they using?
- What search engines are providing voice search results?
- Is there a way for us to become early adopters and incorporate this concept into our website?
- What does the Return on Investment look like?
Who is using Voice Operated Search Queries?
According to Path Interactive Research some demographics are adopting faster than others. The age groups that have the largest amount of voice queries are 13-18, and 45-54. The most surprising detail is that people over the age of 64 use voice search 1-3 times a day.
What devices are used for Voice Engine Searches?
Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa results are provided by Bing. Google powers the Google Assistant.
How can I measure voice search data on my website?
The short answer is you can’t.
Voice searches on mobile search widgets and apps are being recorded in Google Analytics and Safari devices as “direct” vs organic. Similarly, visits from Google voice search sources (Assistant, Home, and Google Siri) and voice searches from Bing-powered devices like Alexa and Cortana are also recorded as “direct”. If you see a surge in “direct” traffic on pages of your site, aside from your Home Page, it may be from these searches.
How can I target Voice Search Engine results on my website?
- You can do some keyword research, however according to Moz blog people are searching with phrases and not single words. Many people are asking for directions, and 22% are asking for local content or “near me”. Neil Patel had a great suggestion on how to deal with this kind of search using Answer the Public . It provides a question graph.
- Create blog posts answering the questions that apply to your topic. Try to include a natural language question with a longer query phrase and provide an answer. Listen to the questions that potential clients ask and attempt to include those on your website. That is the information that people are looking for.
- You can add a Frequently Asked Questions page, and the more information that you offer, the more likely it is that your content will be featured in the search results. This is why a blog post on the question is recommended in addition to a question and answer paragraph.
- Claim your Google My Business listing. Make sure that the correct business category has been selected since Google will use it to direct traffic to your site. Check that the address is updated if you have a brick and mortar store and include pictures of the business. All businesses can put in a phone number and business hours. Request that clients give you reviews.
- Search Engines have robots that scan our websites. If we want to be featured on these search engines, we need to communicate with them and feed them information in a format that they can process in addition to being user friendly for humans. We can provide the search engines with the data that they need by using tools like:
- Applying Schema markup or structured data.
- Submitting a sitemap to the search engines.
- There is a file on all sites called robots.txt. Sometimes people do not set it up correctly, and it can block the search engines from searching the site.
- Google search engine has rolled out a new feature where people can click from an image to a website, so I would provide a link to the page or blog post from the images that I use.
- Is your website mobile responsive? Use the Google Page Insights to check .
- Does your web page load quickly? People simply do not have the patience to wait around, so your site should load within 2 seconds on mobile.
- Test Voice Readiness . This tool gives you an estimate what results you would receive if you were using devices like Google Home Assistant or Alexa. It works for local businesses only, not for general information or products.
Unfortunately, since the tools to measure the effectiveness of voice search result optimization are yet to be developed, it is difficult to measure whether applying new strategies is effective or economical. The tactics mentioned here will also help with general search engine optimization (SEO) and implementing these suggestions is likely to improve traffic.
I recommend that you plan to target voice engine optimization in your marketing budget. As an early adopter, you are more likely to gain an edge.
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