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Getting Ready for Voice Search

The digital landscape is one that is evolving consistently, with new tools and elements being introduced to enhance our customer experiences, including voice specific technology. From texting to reordering toothpaste via Amazon, there’s a function to suit every need and desire, and now we’re expected to see it transform again through voice search, but this time through the main search engines such as Google and Bing.

Voice commands have been around longer than we care to admit, with the initial introduction of the capability requiring a user to call a phone number and speak their commands or search query, which would then trigger the results to open in a browser on their device. However, following the introduction of Apple Siri and Cortana, alongside AI home assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Echo – the digital voice landscape has been more prominent in our lives than ever before.

Research conducted in May 2016 has found that one in every 5 searches on any android device is a voice search, and are expected to be on the continuous rise into the near future, so getting your website ready for voice search is a crucial step for any business.

With this in mind, we wanted to ensure that you know some of the steps to get your website ready for voice search.

1. Focus on conversational questions

With voice search predominantly being used for actions such as sending texts, making phone calls and answering questions, it’s a good practice to focus on optimising for full conversational questions such as “what platforms are Codeminers specialists in?” 

The closer you can match a question that is likely to be asked by a member of your audience and answer their query, the better optimised your website will be for voice, especially since voice search is often powered by artificial intelligence and becomes smarter with every conversation.

We’ve also spotted this functionality answer a handful of sequential questions related to the original too – however, all of the kinks have not been worked out quite as of yet… 

When you talk to any SEO team, their advice for ranking on Google will often include optimising your content to pull through in the featured snippets that appear towards the top of Google, in order to showcase your industry authority and provide your website with a high domain authority.

Image source: Sistrix

With this in mind, utilise the questions that you want to feature for as H2 subheadings within the body of your website copy, followed closely by the answer. This way, when a voice search is performed, the search engine will then be more likely to feature your answer over your competitors and provide it to the end-user, given it answers the user’s query accurately.

This also works well with FAQs, lists and contact information such as your business’ location and phone number.

3. Don’t forget about Local SEO

Since voice search is utilised on the go, ensuring that it helps to complement your local SEO efforts is a crucial feature when optimising for voice search. 

Ensure that key content such as your phone number, location and trading hours can be easily found on your website when crawled by the search engines, alongside including geographical information to really help cement your presence in the area.

4. Keep your page speeds fast

No one enjoys visiting a website that takes a while to completely load, with research revealing that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, however, this principle also applies with voice search.

With those utilising voice search often on the go via mobile, ensuring that your website loads quickly is crucial. The users, as well as the search engines,  want to ensure that the information requested can be found and provided quickly. And of course, if your website loads quickly, as well as answering users’ questions accurately – your website is more likely to receive positive rankings in the search engines, contributing further to your SEO efforts.

With this exciting development within the industry, we can’t wait to see how the landscape will affect the future.

Are you on the search for someone to help with your web development project? Get in touch with one of our experts to see how Codeminers can advise and help you with your upcoming project. 

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  • Written by Simon Proctor, September 22 2019