Google Voice Search: it’s one of the most convenient tools we have for accessing search results, but it’s also become a key turning point in how we think about search behaviour and digital marketing.
In the last few years, Google Voice Search has started to really change the deeper mechanics of how users search—something highlighted by the Hummingbird update.
With Hummingbird, Google set out its plan for improving how they map and interpret user intent through the use of semantic search techniques. Through semantic techniques, Google hopes to provide users with search results that match the intent behind their search rather than the exact words themselves—in essence giving them what they’re looking for.
Voice Search Is Becoming More And More Prominent
The biggest reason you should be paying attention to voice search—especially when it comes to your content—is just how common it’s become.
Recent data suggests that the usage of Voice Search has increased sevenfold since 2010, with usage trends moving away from just navigational queries and call functions, to a more multipurpose portfolio that includes sophisticated searches that mirror those of typed queries.
To help you make the most of these trends, we’re going to take a look at some of the key areas you can be focusing on in order to optimize your content for Google Voice Search.
Capitalizing On Local Search
If there’s one thing Google’s Voice Search has proven—it’s that local searches are significant drivers of business for a wide range of companies.
Not only do they matter when someone conducts a ‘near me’ search, but your listings could also be displayed when someone is asking for directions or making other navigational queries. Both of which are extremely common search types for users of Google Voice Search.
The best way to capitalize on local search results is by making sure your Google My Business listing is up to date and accurate. This is something we’ve talked about at length in a previous blog post.
Make Sure You’re Using Structured Data
Structured data, or schema markup, is one of the factors used by Google in determining whether a website appears in certain search results—a factor made increasingly more important by the rise of voice search. We have also written about schema in a previous blog post.
But put simply, structured data is metadata contained within the source code of your website. It won’t be seen by visitors but it will be classified and organized by search engines.
By including key pieces of information that are frequently searched for using voice searches, such as:
- Operational Hours
- Contact Information
You will be helping to ensure you appear in the relevant voice search results.
Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Responsive
Another important Voice Search trend is that these searches most commonly happen on mobile devices—something that is also true for overall trends in customer behaviour.
This means two things: your website needs to offer a user-friendly mobile experience, and it needs to have a responsive web design to satisfy Google’s mobile standards.
Content That Caters To User Intent
As we previously alluded to—the rise of Google Voice Search has also been part of a broader shift towards user intent forming a key part of search engine results.
This means that your website content needs to be structured with the questions your customers are asking in mind. To break it down let’s look at the most common categories of question: where, what, and why.
- Where – If your business has a physical location, or offers services in a specific geographical area, then this will be one of the most common questions your customers will be asking.
- What – These are the questions where you’re explaining some key aspect of your products or services, it could be technical information, new developments, or something as simple as cost.
- Why – This is where you need to get into the mindset of your customer and think about what problems you’re solving for them, and what needs or motivations your products or services can fulfill.
More often than not—answering questions directly is relegated to an FAQ page, or a small section of the website. In order to truly optimize for user intent, this needs to be a much broader effort.
Across your product or services pages and your blog content, you need to be answering the key questions and motivations of your customers.
The best way to make sure your website is meeting the needs of your customers is by bringing in experts. To find out more about the variety of ways Radar Hill can help make your website a success, get in touch with us today.