SEO for Voice Search: Customer understanding as key factor

Anybody who first came into contact with the Internet around 20 years ago has witnessed the most important evolutionary stages of digitalisation in real time. Looking at devices, we have innumerable kinds and variations compared to our mobile phones in the late nineties. Also, there are countless software applications that not only help us when we need them or entertain us but rather function as a compass to guide us through our daily lives.

This digital evolution is also reflected in the development of search engines. Yahoo and Lycos were once considered undisputed market leaders, and today there is no way to avoid Google. However, the web is becoming more and more fragmented, creating competition even in the area of search: take the example of Amazon in the area of product search. In addition, online search is no longer exclusively browser-based: Siri, Cortana and Alexa allow us to search by voice command.

Google has examined voice search behaviour, et voilà: While in the US 41 percent of adults use a language assistant at least once a day, it’s already 55 percent among young people. In order to adapt to this fundamental change in user behaviour, companies should incorporate the perspective of voice search into their marketing strategy. We have summarized the key aspects that you need to take into account.

Optimise websites

In order to be found quickly via voice search, it is essential for companies to optimise their website accordingly. A large number of inquiries are made via mobile devices, so responsive design is an absolute must– otherwise you might scare your users away. In addition, Google prefers rewarding websites with rankings that are designed for mobile. If you optimise for mobile, the probability of being found increases significantly.

Invest in speed

Another factor that seamlessly improves the user experience is the web page loading speed. Consumers using Voice Search usually need fast results. Siri for instance is symptomatically used when it comes to short-term weather forecast or the nearest fast food restaurant in an unfamiliar location. If you are serious about optimising for voice search, you must take website speed seriously.

Understand search behaviour

The key criterion for advertisers is to understand how voice search is used. We communicate with Siri and Alexa as if we are in a dialogue, while searching via browser or app is usually based on keywords. Now, this logic must be reflected in optimisation and website content prepared accordingly. Users ask questions when they use voice search. Thus, website hosts must make sure to answer to these on the website.

Conclusion: Consumer First

As is often the case in marketing, consumers set the direction, and we have to follow. This is also the case in voice search. It’s still in its infancy and the importance that AI-based technology could have for small businesses with a local focus or B2B is difficult to predict. But the numbers show that voice search is far from being a short-term fad.

Need a digital audit to know if your Website is optimized? Please contact us.

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Managing Director

Andreas is Managing Director at All Around. He worked for years in leading roles and international projects at WPP and Publicis Group agencies. He now leads a multi-disciplinary team of marketing consultants from different disciplines, backgrounds and countries who have joined forces to deliver international digital strategies and measurable results for our clients.