Ensure your content is ready for voice search in 2017

Ensure your content is ready for voice search in 2017

In recent years, the rise of voice technologies on smart devices has increased and given a new way to search the web and interact with search engines. This has led to 55% of teens and 41% of adults using voice search more than once a day. Initially this was spurred on by the likes of Siri and Cortana, however, now we're seeing more big product launches with voice activation built in.

In December, the UK saw the launch of the Amazon Echo with Alexa built-in, and it quickly became Amazon's most popular product over the holiday period. 2017 marks the launch of Google's voice-activated speaker, Home, as well as the integration of Google Assistant into our TVs.

What does this mean for search?

This causes optimisation problems for businesses and therefore we need to make sure that we're keeping in line with the evolution of search, especially given comScore's prediction that 50% of all searches will be voice by 2020.

With this is mind, schema mark-up is now even more important when targeting users who use voice search. So as to make sure that search engines are able to understand the content on your website, you need to provide as much information as possible. This will in turn help make sure that you connect your content to relevant voice searches.

On top of this, content needs to be conversational. Using natural phrases and sentence structures - whilst avoiding unnatural stuffing of unnecessary keywords - will help. Often, users that are using voice search are looking for very quick answers to their questions, so you need to make sure you can answer common questions about your product or company clearly and succinctly.

How can we make it work for both?

We need to make sure that we can answer a consumer who types in a query as well as someone who asks a question into voice search, as these are entirely different things. A lot of the time, a non-voice searcher might be alright with conducting research, while the voice searcher typically wants quick answers and instant results (usually due to being on the move). This means that we need to start focusing on long-tail keywords as they're most relevant to voice searches.

Creating an FAQs page will be a huge part of solving this problem, and tools such as Answer the Public will help you understand the variety of long-tail searches to incorporate within your content.

It's time to embrace voice search, because if predictions are correct, it's going to become a major part of search in the next few years - and you won't want to be left behind.

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