It wasn’t so long ago that voice search was predominantly used as a novelty feature, with users trying to figure out which questions to ask in order to gain the most humorous response from their smartphone. The thought of incorporating voice search into day-to-day life was far from the minds of the general public, let alone using it as an optimisation tool for business.

The first digital voice assistant emerged onto the market in the form of Apple’s Siri back in 2011, and along with it came its usability issues. While it was praised for its voice recognition and user information features, there were some complaints about certain features which led to further development. Fast forward 8 years and Siri has led the way for Apple and other tech giants to really open up the possibilities of digital assistants and voice search – and the latter is what we’re really interested in!

The rapidly evolving possibilities of voice search are changing the way people find their information which is urging businesses to stay ahead of the game, otherwise risking being left in the dust of their responsive competitors. While it is known that people currently prefer to perform searches using text on their laptop or smart device, the number of people using voice search is increasing as technology advances and the feature becomes the norm.

“ComScore has predicted that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be via voice; and 30% of searches will take place without a screen” WordStream – data collected from ComScore and Gartner respectively.

Think back to the introduction of mobile phones in the 1980s – while it was an exciting prospect, it took a couple of decades for people to come around and accept them as part of everyday life. Of course, we’re not expecting it to take decades for voice search to integrate itself into our daily lives, in fact it’s already estimated that around 10% of searches are performed via voice search with numbers on the rise.

So how can your website be optimised for voice search?

The ultimate goal of optimising for voice search is to achieve what has been dubbed Position V in the SERPs. Position V is the featured voice search result that is read out by the voice search assistant. There are a number of ways in which ExtraMile can help you reach this spot when users conduct voice searches relating to your business.

Featured snippets

Google Home and Google Assist will read out information from Featured Snippets when responding to a voice search. To help get your business featured, ExtraMile will ensure content on your website:

  • Answers specific and common questions related to your business offerings
  • Answers questions concisely with readability in mind
  • Offers engaging and interesting copy (written content) to show search engines your website is relevant to users

Optimise your local SEO

It is estimated that 39% of voice search users are looking for local business information (Think With Google). Optimising your local SEO will give your business more chance of topping the results pages. As part of SEO services from ExtraMile, we can:

  • Look at your Google My Business page and ensure the information facing your audience is accurate and concise. The most common things users will be looking for are opening hours, an address, and a phone number
  • Assist in making sure you have relevant photos and encouraging reviews that will help convert users into customers

Make your website mobile friendly

As the majority of voice searches are performed on a mobile device, it is crucial that your website is mobile friendly, and site-speed is sufficient. Google/SOASTA research done in 2017 showed that users are 90% more likely to leave a page that takes 5 seconds to load. SEO services from ExtraMile can cover:

  • A site-speed audit – checking for pages and features that may be slowing down your page load times
  • Checking the overall user experience of your mobile website, decreasing the chance of bounce backs (people leaving your website)

Create long and short form content

The reasons people visit your website may vary – some may be searching for detailed information on a product you offer, others may be searching for a quick and concise piece of information. Using both long and short form content will ensure you appeal to both audiences, which will be favoured by search engines. At ExtraMile, we pride ourselves on:

  • Creating long and short form content, optimising for your target keywords and ensuring the content featured is relevant and engaging to your audience. This can be in the form of content pages, FAQ pages, blogs, and more.

There are many more things to consider when optimising your business for voice search, and here at ExtraMile we’re continually researching to ensure we’re following best practice, and getting the best results for our clients.

Get in touch today to see how ExtraMile can help you achieve your SEO goals: