Design Method

Optimising Your Website for Voice Search

The rise of voice search is already beginning to reshape the digital landscape. An increasing number of people are starting to get comfortable asking Google Home or Amazon Alexa to switch on the lights or even home heating. But, this is only just the beginning of the voice search revolution.

Capital One allows their customers to manage their bank accounts by merely asking Alexa a question, Crestron is enabling businesses to start their corporate meetings using the digital assistant, and a growing number of hotels are also adding the devices into their rooms to transform the customer experience.

In corporate environments, digital assistants are already providing directions to conference rooms, notifying IT about a broken printer, or even placing an order for office supplies. When we go on holiday or visit a new city, we are more likely to ask Google or Apple’s Siri where the best restaurants are or what are the best things to see in the area than physically typing in the question via a keyboard.

These changes in customer behaviour suggest we are approaching the beginning of a major upheaval in SEO. As a business owner, if your website is not optimised for voice search or understand what questions that your customers as asking, your site could begin to slide down the rankings in the future.

You will know better than anyone what your most asked questions are in your business. Although voice-specific SEO is still in its early stages, it’s worth thinking about compiling a list of potential questions. For example, significant starting points are, what crucial information do potential customers need before making an informed decision about your business? And what’s your unique selling point?

When creating content and thinking about accompanying keywords for your website, it will need to be more conversational. Rather than using one keyword, remember that when asking a mobile device a question, we will use at least five words, such as “How do I fix a dripping tap?

Another method to feature critical phrases or questions that your customers ask is by adding Q&A pages or blog posts. This content should be designed explicitly for people performing a voice search from a mobile device. You do not need to reinvent the wheel; it’s more about adding subtle tweaks to your content and SEO to reach audiences using their voice rather than a keyboard for searching online.

Typically, this approach will need you to think about long-tail keyword phrases. Thankfully, you do not need to do it all on your own. HubSpot’s blog topic generator is a great place to start for those looking for topics, and if you enter a keyword over at Answer the Public, it will give a list of associated questions asked by online users.

Once you are happy that you have covered all the bases when it comes to answering your customer’s questions on your website, maybe you could investigate building your own Amazon Skill too. These are similar to apps on your smartphone or tablet that customers will enable to bring services they use to life.

Staying ahead of the curve can only be a positive step. But, anyone that remembers businesses creating mobile apps will know that building something for the sake of it will not offer value to your company or your customers. A strong value proposition and improving the customer experience should always be top of the agenda.

The Amazon Skills market is still in its infancy which means there is a lot of trash out there, but equally a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Whether you want to use the service to merely supply the answers or solutions to customer queries or make it easier for tech-savvy shoppers to make purchases through an additional sales channel is entirely up to you.

However, it is crucial that you do your homework before rushing in and ensure that value remains top of the agenda. We can expect growth in voice search to continue throughout the year as adoption gathers momentum on smart speakers and mobile devices. But, nothing is going to change overnight.

It’s simply time to think about building a foundation where the needs of your customers and how you engage with them is your top priority. In that sense, very little should change.