Siri, Cortana and Google Now: How to Optimize for Voice Search

Optimizing for voice search - because more than 50 percent of teenagers and more than 40 percent of adults are using voice search daily.

When you finally had website optimization for desktop browsers down, you had to learn how optimize for mobile search. Now, that you are finally getting the hang of that, you are learning that you need to optimize your business website for voice search. Seriously? And Siri, Cortana and Google Now are just the beginning!

However, optimizing your website for voice search is very important. Why? This is because more than 50 percent of teenagers and more than 40 percent of adults are using voice search daily – and these results are as of 2014. So, you can bet that these numbers have increased since then. Here’s what you need to know about how to optimize your site for voice search and some differences between preparing for optimization between the spoken and typed word.

Know the Engine You’re Working With

The first thing you need to do is determine the search engine that you are working with (optimizing for). For example, you know that Google is the most popular search engine for desktops and mobiles, but is it the most popular for voice searches? For example, when the iOS 7 entered the market, Siri began to use Bing as the primary search engine. So, if iPhone and iPad users wanted to use Google as a search engine, they had to specific ask to search on Google or their searches would go straight to Bing. Now, for Cortana, Bing would be the primary search engine since it is Windows.

Because of this data, you might assume that Bing would be the victor when it comes to voice search. However, not everyone is an avid user of the iPhone. In fact, according to some findings, in 2016, the Android market share was 83.7 percent.  and the iOS share sat at only 15.3 percent. This goes to show that Android devices are still very popular, and they’re powered by none other than Google. Therefore, Google probably wins in the voice search just like it does in desktop and mobile searches.

Be Mobile-Friendly

Voice search is most often going to occur on a mobile device, so it is imperative that your website is mobile-friendly for a voice search consumer. Also, it is important to keep in mind that search engines – especially Google – are avid fans of responsive web design, so make this a priority.

In addition, mobile-friendly isn’t all about the design. You need to also think about speed and ensure your page loads quickly and efficiently, as this is what mobile users look for and need. Check out Mobile Friendly Test by Google or WebPageTest to make sure you are on the right track with this.

Be Local-Friendly

Just as it is important to be mobile-friendly, it is also vital to be local-friendly. Why? Well, it’s simple really: people use voice search while they are driving or on-the-go, usually in order to get direction, find a local business or to find a phone number. Therefore, you will want to make sure that you mobile-friendly website has all of the basic local information that follows the local SEO rules. This includes your business name, physical address, local phone number and even directions from popular roadways and interstates.

Don’t Forget to Perform Testing

As you begin optimizing web pages or your entire website for voice search, don’t forget the important of testing for the different voice search platforms. While it may take extra money to invest in the devices in order to get access to the platforms that you do not currently own, it will be worth it in the end. You need to see how well your web pages/website ranks in voice search and how well your web pages/website reacts. You also need to see where voice search leads you to so that you know what you need to do, which leads us to the following…

Strive to be Among the Top Networks That Users Are Directed to

Search engines are not the only way to get users to your website. During the testing phase, if you find that your voice search quickly leads you to networks and sites like Facebook, Yelp, etc., then you need make certain that your business is listed on these sites if it isn’t already. And if your business is already there, then you need to make sure that your page is updated and current and that all information is consistent across all listings.

In addition, you want to try to get your business to the first page of specific categories on local review directories. You need to get your customers where they will check-in at your business and leave reviews. There are ways to encourage this. If you must, you could pay for advertising, but organic results are always the best.

In Conclusion

With the world of technology constantly evolving, digital marketers must continuously try to keep up by learning new strategies and techniques. The same can be said for search marketers in terms of voice search. The aforementioned tips will help you have a leg up on your competitors who may not even realize the importance and growth of voice search and how much potential voice search has in the ever-changing world of digital technology.

If you’re interested in learning more about voice search or would like to discuss a voice search marketing campaign for your business, please get in touch with us at WebDetail to set up a time to talk. 

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