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Hey Siri, why should I care about voice search?

Already 20% of Google queries on mobile are done using voice and it’s on the up. But voice search isn’t just for mobile. We also know that people are increasingly using smart devices in their home. (72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say that their devices are used as part of their daily routines)

That means your business website copy needs to be optimised for voice search.

Making the most of micromoments

Optimising for voice search is especially relevant for businesses who need to capitalise on micromoments - these are situations where a user needs an instantly gratifying solution. They are moments when you think ‘I want to know / do / go / buy’, so you grab your phone (or nearest device), put your query into a search engine and expect to see an instantly gratifying answer. Where is the nearest mechanic? Where can I buy baby formula in the city?

They are self-initiated moments with *intent*. We need an answer, fast and easy, to help us make a decision or take an action. In this moment, we’re less open to the influence of brands. In fact, around a third of users will purchase from a brand that wasn’t their first choice, just because they had the right info, right when the customer needed it.

Ideally, you want to be the brand whose website shows up first, with the most helpful information. If you’re providing content that offers solutions to pain points and answers common questions or challenges, you’re already on track.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • Know your customer and anticipate their needs. What kind of questions are they asking? Create content accordingly.
  • Have a strong SEO strategy. Sometimes we don’t always know exactly what to search for to find what we need. How does your content accommodate for search behaviour?
  • Be very relevant. That ‘snippet’ spot at the top of search results is absolute preeemium positioning and can be claimed by providing trusted, high value content that directly answers a question.
  • Make sure the experience is frictionless once someone clicks through. If a solution isn’t easily found, they’ll click straight back out.
  • This is a biggie: OPTIMISE FOR MOBILE and keep content easily consumable.

Optimising content for voice search

While tech doesn’t allllways get your query right, typically voice searches are quick, easy and convenient. That means it’s also changing the way we are searching - we’re using longer, more conversational queries. In other words, more ‘natural language’.

So, to be found, your content needs to:

  • give people direct answers to their questions
  • include concise answers to FAQs
  • use ‘natural language’ keywords - avoid jargon or technical terms that your audience are unlikely to use
  • have long-tail keywords embedded in your content

For most people, if you’ve considered natural communication in your copy, optimising for voice search won’t involve much of an overhaul of content at all, but it’s definitely something you should be thinking about when it comes to your long-term content strategy (blog content, high value resources, sales pages).

For now, a good place to start is to consider adding FAQ-style content that targets ‘question words’ (what/how/where/why/etc) - these are exactly the kind of queries that people will pose to a voice-activated device.

If you want to chat more about this, you know where to find me!