Is Your Website Ready for the Revolution of Voice Search?

  • voice search
Emily Smith, Nu Image

With the first website having been launched on the World Wide Web nearly 30 years ago, the design, user experience, building process, functionality and even the way in which we find them has changed considerably.

From the very first coding language, HyperText Markup Language (HTML), where sites were mainly text orientated, to incorporating imagery and icons with Graphical User Interface (GUI), to adding styling and dynamic functions with CSS and JavaScript programming language. And, so on and so on - the rest is history.

However, pulling it back to the present, the digital age is still evolving as developers and geniuses alike find new ways to improve the way we shop, take part in experiences, and find and digest new information online. Queue, voice search. Another factor to consider when designing, building, optimising and promoting your website.

“What is voice search?” You ask.

Voice search, as the name suggests, requires a user to ask their device aloud about any queries they have or a service/product they are looking for. Now, this particular feature creates a challenge for website owners as people generally don’t verbally ask questions in the same way that they would carry out a typed search. Therefore, businesses will need to review how users will search for their site based on what they provide for a user.

Why will this affect the way my website is currently set up?

Whatever your business offers for customers will determine the kind of questions that users will ask when looking for you.

For example, with our client Garner being a local hairdressers in Norwich, often users in that vicinity will verbally ask their device for “hairdressers near me” as opposed to the commonly typed phrase ‘hairdressers Norwich’ which their site is optimised for. Whereas, our client – Goldsmith & Cooper – who provide bespoke glass installations to a larger geographical audience may need to be optimised for longtail informative questions such as “what style walk in shower enclosure should I have in my home?”.

The point is: review what your business offers, who and where you’re targeting, whether your business provides information to answer a question or the means to purchase a product or book a service, and whether your website could seamlessly help a user based on the kind of questions they would be asking about your business.

Once you’ve done this, play around with different questions and honestly look at what kind of questions you would ask in hopes of finding your business.

Are there any easy steps I can take to optimise my site for voice search?

1.      Set up a Google My Business listing and optimise this – with a large number of verbally asked questions in search of a local business as the answer, setting up and optimising a Google My Business listing is the easiest way for Google to identify your business as local to the user.

2.      Ensure your website is mobile friendly and responsive – the majority of voice searches will be carried out on a mobile whilst people are on the go and need a quick response. It would be an unfortunate missed opportunity if you lose out on these ‘in the moment’ searches that are more likely to convert compared to those searching ahead of when they need the answer, purely because your website isn’t compatible with mobiles.

3.      Answer customers questions through blog posts – for longtail keyword searches like the example with Goldsmith & Cooper above, answer these questions in the form of a blog post. Without doubt, it would be near impossible to answer every potential question within your landing pages. For that reason, take advantage of your blog and include the question in the header one and two tags so Google can easily identify that you’re answering the user’s question.

With voice search expected to amount to 50% of all searches by 2020, the time to evaluate whether your website is optimised for this and ready for the onslaught of voice queries is now. Imagine, due to taking the time to analyse and prepare your site now, when your competitors are bamboozled as to why their traffic has dropped, it’ll be you who’s reaping the rewards from all the well-earned traffic being directed to your site.

Indeed, as you may have guessed, 2019 is the ‘year of voice search’ in the SEO world. At Nu Image, our SEO experts are shamelessly excited about planning the next steps for our clients in regard to voice search. If you would like to ensure your website is ready for the next SEO revolution, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01603 859007 to discuss how we could help you.

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