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Smart phones have made it so that we are no longer tied to our desks. As a result, we are much more mobile and perform our tasks whenever and wherever we happen to be. Which includes searching for things online as we are out and about, whether driving, walking, or otherwise multi-tasking. The result is that we talk to our phones and other devices, rather than typing in our queries.

This is known as “voice search” and it has become increasing popular whether we are using our phones or a dedicated listening device (smart speaker) like Amazon Echo (Alexa).

The days of typing in a search query are quickly disappearing. Voice search is more popular than typing, with approximately seven out of ten consumers (71 percent) preferring to use voice searches to conduct a query over the traditional method of typing as reported by Price Waterhouse Coopers in 2018. Voice search is faster, hands-free, and it lets you multitask. Due to Covid, its popularity grew significantly as people became more interested in hands-free technology that would limit touching or contamination.

The rising ownership of smart speakers coupled with increasing ecommerce growth mean more and more people have started to turn to their smart speakers to shop online.  Voice search is one of the fastest growing ecommerce trends. As an ecommerce business owner, this is not something you can afford to lose out on. If voice search optimization isn’t already part of your SEO strategy, it’s time to fix that.

So how do you optimize your website for voice search?

There are actually two things you need to consider: voice optimization for search engines, and the search capabilities within your own website. Let’s look at what you can do.
Most people don’t type search queries the same way as how they speak. For example, if you are typing to get the weather, you might just enter “weather forcast” whereas if you are speaking, you might ask, “What is the weather forecast for Denver tomorrow?”

I recently published an article about the importance of context. As voice search continues to evolve, context and conversational search are now essential. To optimize your site for voice searches, make sure you are using a conversational tone. More than ever, marketers need to focus attention on conversational long-tail keywords.

Search Engine Journal says, “What might be different from your usual SEO strategy is that now you also need to pay special attention to:

  • Creating detailed answers to common questions.
  • Answering simple questions clearly and concisely.

You should also build pages that answer FAQ’s. Create your content specifically to answer questions and organize your content in a question and answer format. This will help voice assistants and may get your site ranked better for voice searches.

I also recommend that you set up voice search within your own website. This technology is not as robust as Google voice assistant, Cortana, Siri, or Alexa, but it is changing and you might as well start thinking about it now. For example, I added a plugin, “Universal Voice Search” to my website (which only works in Chrome), that allows you to search across WebStoresLtd.com. A microphone icon appears off the the right, which when clicked on, opens up a voice search box.

This same company, Speak2Web, offers a plugin that allows you to have your customers do voice shopping right on your website. Voice Shopping for WooCommerce was built to help shoppers discover products, control the checkout process, and get quick answers to questions about your store.

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