Voice Search: The Tiger Lying In Wait

How to Make Your Website Voice Search Friendly

Just when we all thought we were starting to get our heads wrapped around this SEO (search engine optimization for those of you who aren’t quite there yet) this little thing called voice search has decided to make its way into our lives and throw everything for a loop.

So, what is voice search? I am sure you have used Siri at least once in your life, if you have an iPhone. If not, I am sure you’ve at least heard of Alexa or Google Home. These little applications are growing fast and with them the usage of verbal digital inquiries.

“Hey Siri, what’s the weather?”

A Woman Using Voice Search

The little vocal commands are quickly transitioning from just asking mundane questions, or playing a song, to actually searching the internet for information, services and products. Which means, if you have a blog, a service or a product and you want people to be able to find you, your website needs to be voice search friendly.

Are You Ready?

If this concept sounds like a whole pile of fluff floating around your head that, somehow, keeps eluding your grasp, you’re not alone. How can the idea of verbal commands sent though a device into a search engine effect your business? Wouldn’t it just be the same as a regular search engine?

For Better Or For Worse, No.

The ‘regular’ search engine algorithms we’re used to are based off of slightly different standards, such as typed commands as opposed to spoken ones. So, when you start to think about how someone will ask a question out loud versus how they type one into Google, you can start to get a sense of the subtle variances that will affect search results. And thus, affect your brand’s search-ability.

Kay, Cool, How Do I Make This Work For Me?

While this is a whole new ballgame, there are some tangible things you can do to make improve your new or existing website. Here are three easily digestible tips to boost your website’s voice search-ability

A man using Google search on his phone

Sitemap-EXTRAVAGANZA

We definitely love us some creative sitemaps, but unless you’re building a website as your own personal portfolio and you don’t give a crap if anyone can search it, then you need to build a XML sitemap. In short, an XML sitemap allows Google search engines (verbally driven or otherwise) to quickly find essential webpages like; home, mission, about, contact, blog ect. Making these simple changes to your sitemap can make a solid impact on your search-ability.

Speak The Speech I Pray You

When people ask their device to look something up for them, they typically ask in a conversational way. So, when you’re crafting your content it’s a good idea to do so in a conversational tone—HOWEVER, you still need to be authentic to your brand’s voice AND (and this is a big ‘and’, you need to make sure your grammar is on fire. A big issue voice driven search engines encounter is unreadable content. So, if your copy is erratic and grammatically incorrect, they will sail right past you.

FAQ’s, Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That

No true, but the point is, a frequently asked question page is fantastic for contemporary SEO, it allows search engines to find a question and answer right on your page. So, if you don’t already have one of these, build one. In saying that, with voice driven searches in mind, these devices are able to ‘read between the lines’ of a question and get to the bottom of what the person is really looking for. For example, if someone asks Alexa if they need to wear a sweater that day, the application understands that what they need to search for is the local weather. So, rather than filling up your FAQ page, try finding ways to incorporate the answers to frequently asked questions into your websites main copy.

Voice search is going to become a regular ‘thing’ whether we like it or not, and at this point we are all still learning the nuances of how to prepare for it. So, start now and tighten up your website using these three tips and if you need a little help from a friend, we’re always here!

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