Voice Search is Changing How Customers Search and Powering Content Personalisation

Written By Jim Kersey
Posted On August 13, 2020

Voice search is growing rapidly, in 2018 2 out 5 consumers used voice search daily, and this figure is only likely to grow in the coming years as more people purchase voice assistants and the quality of voice search continues to improve on search engines. As the battle for attention heats up, adding a new channel like voice can help attract consumers to your brand and build valuable recognition in a sea of similar providers.

We’re looking at higher adoption levels as consumers are encouraged to use the technology thanks to quick, clear presentation of the answers they are looking for.

Multiplatform publishers often have several websites with complex website infrastructure. Smart optimisation for voice search can simplify content retrieval for your customers and leads, ensuring you get the edge in your field.

How does Voice Search work?

Voice search reads the result from the search engine result’s page featured snippet. Whenever you ask a question to a voice assistant, such as Google Home, Amazon echo, or Siri, it will read the information found in the featured snippet for the search term you entered.

Optimise your website for mobile

The majority of voice searches are undertaken on mobile, 59 per cent of all voice searches are made on mobile. Moreover, 20 per cent of searches made on mobile are voice-based and 60 per cent of mobile users have tried voice search in the last 12 months.

If you are new to voice search a crucial first step to improving your mobile search engine optimisation (SEO) is to improve your site speed. Page load speed is one of the most significant factors to ensuring your site is highly ranked.

Once you’re happy you’re running at top speed, your next step is to start looking at the structure and content of your site to consider how it fits with voice search requirements.

Use AMP and structured data

Structured data is key for ensuring Google can crawl all the pages and data on your website quickly and easily to find the answer to questions that users ask. The easier you make this for voice search engines, the more they will favour your website. After that it’s up to you to create content to answer user search intent.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), is a key part of this puzzle. AMP limits the functionality of web pages in favour of boosting their speed. AMP and structured data often go hand in hand; essentially, structured data means AMP pages are featured in the rich results on the search engine results pages, these are known as ‘featured snippets’ or ‘position zero’.

But there’s a more pressing reason to display your content on the AMP format: if you want to integrate into voice assistants, you’ll need to use the AMP format with structured data to create an action for the Google Assistant.

Keep an eye on the structured data schema ‘speakable’. This schema can identify sections in articles which are ideal for voice playback. Only content tagged with this schema will be considered by Google Assistant as applicable to be read out by a device featuring Google Assistant.

For now it is currently only available in the US, but Google often test out new features by restricting them to certain test markets before fully rolling them out.

Write content that is easy to read and understand

Optimising for voice search isn’t rocket science. As with normal search queries, the most clearly written content in plain language is the most likely to rank — that is if it answers the user’s search intent.

Voice search queries tend to use more natural speech patterns than text searches, with users typically asking questions rather than entering a string of search terms. Therefore, it pays to write conversationally and answer questions directly, when you know the questions that consumers search for.

Voice search is key to consumer personalisation

Using voice search you can personalise your content marketing, so your website is not targeted to customer segments, rather it is targeted to individual customer’s preferences.

This granular approach drills down to exactly what users want when they visit your site. With this approach, information searches are shorter, and consumers can make purchases more quickly.

Voice assistants are driving customer personalisation. Tide has a stain remover app on Alexa, which can identify and provide simple to follow guidelines for removing over 200 types of stain.

Additionally, the Ask Purina Alexa skill can answer dog owners’ questions quickly. The benefit of this is users go directly to you for their questions and you bypass traditional search engine results pages. Voice search content marketing can present your brand as the trusted authority in your sector, meaning prospective consumers will trust your brand name immediately when searching for solutions.

A huge advantage of voice search is a truncated customer search journey. If your website can offer a feed of personalised products on a user’s unique homepage, they will find their favourite products immediately, dramatically reducing purchase time.

Voice search alters the landscape of search engine results pages, providing only the most accurate answer to user’s question. Customers have less choice, because they are presented with the best choice for the search that they have made.

Voice search puts you ahead of the competition

Search Engine Land in a 2019 survey found that only 75,000 websites out of 400 million active websites were currently optimised for voice search. So, if you optimise your website for search now you’ll get a first mover advantage over many of your competitors. Get in touch with us today for voice search optimisation integration. It’s the future of search and will give your users a smoother customer experience, which is key encouraging more loyalty from existing customers and new leads.

Jim Kersey
Content Creator
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