Optimising For Voice Search
‘Okay Google, find a cashpoint near me’
Voice search. Do you use it often? It used to be limited to asking for the capital of Germany or getting directions to the best pizza place in the city, but voice assistants have upped their game over the last few years, so now you can change your shopping list, set an alarm for the following morning and call someone, all within five minutes.
Everyone has heard of the three main voice assistants, Alexa, Siri and Google. But do you realise how much they can do? Voice search is mainly used just for searching the internet and answering your questions, but Google has recently launched Duplex in the UK, which means you can now call a business and not interact with a person, but rather AI. This video shows how you can ring a hairdresser and even if no one is available to answer the phone, you can still book an appointment and know it’s confirmed, without having to leave a message and wait for someone to call you back.
Voice search has seen an increase in popularity, so much so that more than 50% of searches are expected to be via voice search over the next few years. As people travel further than they have in recent years, there’ll be an increased need for hands free search on the go. As long as your device can pick up your voice, you have your assistant at your beck and call, whether you need to call someone, add an item to your shopping list or order food to be delivered in time for your arrival at your destination. In addition, did you know you can also purchase items via your assistant? Due to the fact that Alexa is Amazon’s own product, you can purchase straight from Amazon via Alexa and then track your parcel, simply by asking ‘Alexa, where is my parcel?’.
So how do you use optimise voice search for your business strategy? People often use voice search as a way of finding places near them, e.g. ‘Ok Google, what restaurants are near me?’. This works well when you claim your Google My Business listing and keep it up to date. By ensuring you have the right address, phone number, opening times etc, Google can give your business as a suggestion to a user searching and then give the user instructions on how to find your business. This means you don’t have to rely on someone searching for your specific business, as long as you include your sector and the products and services that you offer, Google can pick up your listing and return it as a result for a search.
The below graphic also shows how important it is to understand the trends of voice search. When you’re driving, you ask your voice assistant a straight question, people treat them like people, which means your website needs to be able to accommodate this type of voice search. An FAQs page allows web crawlers to crawl your website and immediately know what the content is, your page can then be used when a user searches for one of your questions. You can also see the importance as a business with a set location, 40% of adults use voice search for asking for directions. If you’ve recently moved locations and haven’t updated your Google My Business listing, then Google will direct possible customers to your old address.
The importance of voice search in this time is evident everywhere. People are always looking for easier quicker ways to get tasks completed, and seeing as speaking is quicker than finding your phone and typing, I think it’s safe to say voice search is here for the long run.