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Voice Search: On The Rise

Voice Search OptimizationNow that you have probably heard and understand a bit about search engine optimization and keyword research, let’s take your knowledge up a notch. Is your website properly tooled for VOICE SEARCH? People toss the word SEO or search engine optimization around like it’s nothing. Hold on to your hat for the next wave: voice search optimization.

Think about all of the voice activated products on the market today. “Toys” of all kinds have personas and you communicate with them as such. Like the Google’s Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa on the Echo, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana,  all of these products rely ONLY on voice recognition! Whether via portable speakers like the Google Home products, a Microsoft tablet or your Apple iPhone X, you’ve probably tried a voice search by now.

Google Home - Voice SearchWe have a Google Home unit in the kitchen. Tuesday night I asked, “Ok Google, what’s the oven temperature for cooking chicken thighs in the oven.” I used very natural, let-it-roll-off-the-tongue speech, right? Think about how many different ways others might ask the SAME question:

  • OK Google, how do you bake chicken in the oven?
  • OK Google, oven baked chicken temperature
  • OK Google, how do you cook boneless chicken things in the oven?
  • OK Google, oven chicken temp
  • OK Google, cook chicken in oven on what temperature?

Yes I was cooking and had “slimy chicken fingers” and YES, I stopped what I was doing and started asking more chicken questions of my Google Home. Using the first 4 questions, I ended up in the same place – a basic oven baked chicken recipe from AllRecipes.com. The last 2 questions yielded different results – one blog site and one Instant Pot site. Why is that? I figure 2 things could have happened. Google might have been more irritated than an I thought, and assumed that I was getting the information I was looking for OR Google’s algorithm is set to change each time. To borrow a famous phrase for About Last Night (movie): At this point, we just don’t know.

Let’s assume you have a pizza delivery service close to your home. What are people to use VOICE search for your service?

  • OK Google, Houston pizza deliveryGoogle Search for Pizza - Bizopia
  • OK Google, who delivers pizza to **** South Gessner in Houston
  • OK Google, fastest pizza delivery
  • OK Google, Get pizza delivered to *** South Gessner fast
  • OK Google, Houston Pizza companies
  • OK Google, I’m hungry and want pizza

Really…it could be anything and because of that, we need to prepare your website and product offerings accordingly. According to Microsoft, in a blog about voice search:

The accuracy of the voice recognition continues to improve … Microsoft reported reaching a 5.1% word error rate, Apple SVP Phil Schiller in his interview with John Gruber made a joke that he’s not afraid of saying ‘Hey Siri’ on stage anymore.

Over 70% of survey participants in a recent HigherVisibility survey admitted using voice search at least once per month, and nearly half is using it weekly or daily. Per Google, 20% of all mobile searches start by pressing the microphone icon or simply, by saying OK GOOGLE. Predictions from ComScore suggest that voice search will make up 50 percent of all searches by 2020. Wow.

Voice search queries are usually longer and more specific in objectives. Searchers are looking for answers to questions or problems 87% a search is performed. To keep up, there’s a required shift in optimization methodologies for voice search. A few suggestions and strategies are as follows:

  • Use natural language with a conversational tone, to answer the 5 big questions: What, Where, When, Why and How 
  • Research and develop long-tail keywords (LTK)
  • Many searchers are looking to buy something. Know your target audience’s needs and give them solutions
  • Add a FAQs page, phrase your content in informal and naturally conversational ways,
  • Consistently refresh your local content, as most voice searches are local in objective.

Working with a professional online marketing company that specializes web presences optimization (website, social media, local search and more) will help you stay ahead of the “next thing” in search optimization. Bizopia can help you find your target audience and market directly to them. Call today – 832-327-3230.

~ Melanie Ledbetter-Remy, Director Online Marketing & Optimization for Bizopia