How do you feel when you use Google Now, Apple Siri or Windows Cortana voice search? Don’t you feel like you are using some super-advanced technology from the future that allows you to do a lot of things on your phone without having the need to touch it? In today’s world, natural language processing and voice search have advanced a lot and things have become very smooth. When it was first introduced in 2010, a user would literally have to call Google and then verbally enter the keywords after which he would receive a link that would take him to the result page of the relevant keywords. Companies have spent a lot of time and money over the years to perfect their voice recognition system and implement it on various devices. While most of these ‘digital assistants’ are used in smartphones, other devices such as speakers, cameras and even cars have started adopting this technology. This technology will gain even more ground over the next few years and will become an indispensable part of human life. Thus, it has become quite important for a business to improvise its website so that it can be equipped with voice search technology.
1. List your business online: Getting the business listed online in the business directories is very imperative for local businesses. This move prepares your website for voice search and allows the users to have a look at your website. Most of the users execute the voice search through Google Assistant or Siri, but the problem is that these assistants are not able to display the search results for local businesses. But what they do show is the online business listing on which you have listed your business. Thus, you can see how important it is to get your business listed online.
2. Optimize for ‘Near Me’ search: Consider that a person sitting at home inputs the voice command “Where can I buy a jacket near me?”. If you own a clothing store and your business does not show on his search, then you are bound to lose a potential customer. According to research conducted by Google, “50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day and 34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same”. This shows that the ranking of your business in local search has a direct impact on your store traffic. Optimizing your website for local search will ensure that more users are able to see that you exist in the vicinity and will be able to take your services.
3. Make use of long-tail keywords: Whenever a user makes a voice search, it is generally more detailed. “Near me” searches are easy to determine and hence show quick results, however the long search strings which users input verbally are often not considered by a business. Long-tail keywords ensure better results in voice-powered searches because they have less competition, a lower bid for ranking and perform better on semantic search parameters.
4. Keep your website mobile-friendly: Since most of the users make use of their smartphones while operating voice assistants, it is necessary to keep your website mobile-friendly. Apart from this, most of the searches happen on the go which implies that people have less time to scroll through your website. Hence you must make sure that your website takes less time to load as every 1-second delay can bring down the conversion rate by 7%. Try to feature some interesting content along with short videos on your website which would help the visitor to find what they are looking for from your business.
5. Optimize your website for featured snippets: A ‘featured snippet’ includes a summary of the answer, extracted from a webpage, plus a link to the page, the page title, and URL. This is an advanced Google SERP feature that gives a direct answer to the user and hence has many benefits. It helps to generate more organic traffic and makes your website more dominant than your competitors. In addition to this, the device reads the snippet back to the user whenever answering a search query in voice.
Recent technological progress has shown that voice search is the future of human-machine interaction. It has already set its foot into our daily life and will continue to become more intelligent, accurate and responsive. Thus, if you wish to sail in the same boat with the current technology and make progress then you need to adapt accordingly and modify your website with the voice search.