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Why your business needs to embrace voice search

 

To stay competitive online, your business needs to embrace new digital marketing trends. Here’s how to use voice technology to stay ahead of the game.

Adam Harris

Posted 12 October 2019
by Adam Harris

By 2020, half of all internet searches will be made using voice technology according to ComScore.

That’s pretty significant for anyone doing business in this digital age. In addition to typing queries into Google on their keyboards, customers are increasingly searching for information, products and services online by speaking out loud.

Alexa’s no longer that quirky gadget your tech junkie mate bought to have a few laughs; voice technology is genuinely transforming the way we do business and the way your customers interact with you. Embracing it early by tailoring your digital marketing strategy to the way your customers want to be engaged with will help you stay ahead of your competitors.

Here’s our guide to what voice technology is, how it works, and how you can use it to win more business.

What is voice technology?

When we refer to “voice technology”, we’re talking about the speech-recognition technology that lets people search for things online with their voice as opposed to typing words or phrases into a search engine. So rather than typing “women’s running shoes” into Google, with voice technology you can just say “women’s running shoes” aloud to get the results you want.

From smartphones to smart speakers and home assistants, more and more devices are using this technology. Like it or not, the voice search revolution is well and truly here, and it’s likely not going anywhere. While people are using this technology to check the weather, get news and look up directions, they’re also using it to search for things they want to buy.

The big players in the voice technology game are Google, Amazon and Apple. Mobile assistants like Siri and home speakers like Google Home are radicalising the way people search for information, products and services. With the prices of these products coming down, they’re more accessible than ever to the general public – and your customers.

For businesses like yours, this means adapting digital marketing strategies and designing websites that cater to people who are searching for information via these devices.

Using voice technology in your digital marketing strategy

So how do you actually do this?

First of all, recognise that voice technology is something your customers will be using – if not right now, then increasingly in the very near future.

Secondly, take action to optimise your business website for voice search now, so that people will find you when they use their smartphones or home assistants to search for information. When you’re optimising your website for visitors, factor in the following additional things:

  • Optimise for local SEO: A 2018 BrightLocal study found that of people who use voice search daily, 46% are searching for local businesses, and a further 27% of them will visit the website of a local business after making a voice search. Optimising your website for local SEO will help ensure your business pops up in the search results.
  • Try to land that snippet: According to Search Engine Land, landing that elusive featured snippet position on Google will make it more likely you’ll be found by voice searchers. Things like adding FAQs to your content, keeping answers concise and using bullet points and numbered subheadings will make it more likely you’ll land that coveted spot.
  • Think conversational: People speak differently to the way they type. When you’re targeting voice search terms, consider the way your customers might talk (this is where your user personas will come in handy) and how they might phrase questions when speaking to their phone or home assistant. Instead of highly abbreviated phrases, use longer search terms that use full sentences.

Staying ahead of the game is important if you want to land new customers who are engaging with businesses using voice technology.

Using voice technology in your digital marketing strategy

So how do you actually do this?

First of all, recognise that voice technology is something your customers will be using – if not right now, then increasingly in the very near future.

Secondly, take action to optimise your business website for voice search now, so that people will find you when they use their smartphones or home assistants to search for information. When you’re optimising your website for visitors, factor in the following additional things:

  • Optimise for local SEO: A 2018 BrightLocal study found that of people who use voice search daily, 46% are searching for local businesses, and a further 27% of them will visit the website of a local business after making a voice search. Optimising your website for local SEO will help ensure your business pops up in the search results.
  • Try to land that snippet: According to Search Engine Land, landing that elusive featured snippet position on Google will make it more likely you’ll be found by voice searchers. Things like adding FAQs to your content, keeping answers concise and using bullet points and numbered subheadings will make it more likely you’ll land that coveted spot.
  • Think conversational: People speak differently to the way they type. When you’re targeting voice search terms, consider the way your customers might talk (this is where your user personas will come in handy) and how they might phrase questions when speaking to their phone or home assistant. Instead of highly abbreviated phrases, use longer search terms that use full sentences.

Staying ahead of the game is important if you want to land new customers who are engaging with businesses using voice technology.

Are you ready to start optimising your website for voice search?

Talk to our digital marketing experts. who can help you execute a voice search strategy that converts.

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