voice search

Is your website voice ready?

Last month we gave you some top tips on how to use the quieter days between Christmas and New Year to consider how you look to your potential audience and as part of that ‘Business MOT’ we suggested that a website review was a must do.

Taking that idea just a little further, have you considered if your website is voice friendly?

Well, it may be a very worthwhile exercise when you consider the following;

  • Recent stats from Google show that 41% of adults and 55% of teens use voice search daily
  • 20% of all Google mobile queries are voice searches
  • As of June 2019 over 20% of UK households have smart speakers
  • By 2020 it is conservatively estimated that over 50% of ALL searches will be by voice

Why do people choose to search by voice?

A voice search is, on average 3.7 times faster than typing (we can get through 100 – 150 words per minute vs 30 – 40 when we use the keyboard) so speed is most definitely a factor.  We live in a world where instant is becoming the norm and people want answers now!  Convenience too is high on the agenda since we are now often searching whilst we are doing something else and, therefore, don’t necessarily have free hands to type.  Finally there’s accuracy; the ability to use longer, more detailed search terms when we speak means that the results we have returned to us will be more specific too.

One of the fastest growing trends is the ‘near me now’ search.  Requests to find a product, store, restaurant… in fact anything close to our location are rising fast, growing by around 150% in the last two years alone.

Websites need to work a little harder rather than simply waiting for clicks

Google is now actually more ‘answer engine’ than ‘search engine’.  It is more likely that you will be served the actual answer you sought than be presented with a number of websites to choose from.  With no results to sift through and no further choices to make, you get your answer quickly – but on the down side for businesses, they get fewer organic click throughs.

Here is where the step change in website design comes into play.  Content needs to give people direct answers to their questions in order to be considered by Google. Websites which make it difficult to extract facts and easy responses simply won’t be used and their content may never be presented.

What is Key with Keywords

Keywords are still… well, key.  That’s a fact that hasn’t changed.  What has changed, however, are what good, effective keywords look like.  For search the most important things to remember are;

  • Natural sounding keywords will match voice search queries best
  • Robotic-sounding keywords will have the opposite effect so avoid these at all cost
  • Jargon will seldom be used in searches, therefore, investing in jargon based keywords is not advised
  • Use of question keywords is growing. Think what, why, who, where and how (a great reason why FAQ’s pages are great for providing effective content)
  • Whilst voice search questions are getting longer, answers are getting shorter so a good keyword string will be less than 30 words

Thinking even more generally;

  • Loading speed of a voice search is over three times faster so make sure your site speed is good
  • Sites with lots of links rank higher when it comes to voice search
  • Domain Authority trumps Page Authority in the ranking of voice so focus on building the former rather than the latter

It may seem like there is a lot to change if you are to move your website to a more voice-friendly position, but it is worth remembering that you won’t be missing out totally as things are at the moment.  At RDZ we’d suggest that the integration of more voice oriented keywords and page styles is something which you can add gradually, perhaps beginning with a new FAQ or Q&A section.

Putting the who, what, where and why detail in there may also lead to some ideas for posts to use elsewhere.  You know how the team here love a god blog post!

If you’d like some more inspiration why not visit the RDZ PR website at www.rdz-pr.co.uk or get in touch with Rach via rachel.hargrave@rdz-pr.co.uk

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Rachel Hargrave

Rachel has over 30 years of local, regional, national and international communications experience and expertise across a wide variety of clients including FTSE 100 companies, SMEs, micro businesses and start-ups. She also has extensive charity, Not-For-Profit and Community Interest Company experience and happily offers clients working in these areas a 50% discount on all RDZ PR rates.

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