How Voice Search can help your brand reach new heights
This is an article ‘How Voice Search can help your brand reach new heights’ by Marc Primo
When your brand competes with a company that caters to a similar customer group, factors such as store location and business hours matter significantly. But how will your customers know that your brand can offer more so that you can enjoy a larger market share? With 8 billion voice assistants being used worldwide by 2024, optimizing your web content for improved search ranking can work more wonders for your business than your usual digital marketing strategies.
There's no question why the use of voice search to access relevant search details and drive both eCommerce and brick-and-mortar store transactions is growing. People find it more convenient if they need a product or service on the fly, making it essential to launch voice SEO campaigns for companies who want to get their fair share of the market.
Here's how voice search can help your brand gain the traction it needs to increase conversions:
A few numbers on voice search
This year, studies have shown that 35% of adult Americans own a smart speaker, while another 62% own voice assistants. Perhaps the most important statistic you need to consider is that 80% of those who own type-free gadgets discover new brands and events that truly capture their interests.
As these numbers show, the use of voice assistants and smart speakers continues to grow as companies compete for search traffic supremacy. Optimizing your website's accessibility and user experience makes it easier for Google to rank your site and offer users the best results for their voice queries.
What used to be a tool that makes accessibility even more effortless for those who cannot type or operate a desktop mouse has become a preferred channel for consumers to get quick answers. Today, 57% of those who own voice search assistants use them at least once daily.
Most of the technology concerning voice search depends on speech recognition functionality and how you code your website, rather than simply optimizing your content. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) suggests that your website follows several best practices to ensure it is accessible to all users. These include reading order alignment with coding order, the usage of 'alt tags' for images, and using markup to express meaning and context, among others.
Improving user experience for better voice search ranking
Any other SEO article will tell you that a positive user experience improves search engine rankings. Designing your user experience (UX) around voice-powered interactions or transactions continues to be crucial with the rise of voice search accessibility. The best way to improve user experience via voice search is to know what users need from these type-free devices.
Of course, the top-of-mind reason more users rely on voice search assistants is to gain access to relevant information whenever they need it. If you're boiling pasta and immediately need to know how long it takes to cook your spaghetti al dente, a quick voice search will tell you it should be around two to three minutes, in just a couple of seconds. Voice search assistants provide quick access to various information, even just trivia that can settle an argument, but can also send you instant answers wherever you might be.
A 'near me' search is one of the best ways you can capitalize on providing a better user experience. Say a user runs out of gas in the middle of nowhere and needs to know where the nearest gas station is. A quick Google voice search can give him detailed directions, thanks to location tags. But that's not all. These days, voice search gives people unparalleled user experiences that help them create shopping lists, purchase products cash-free, and order food deliveries wherever they are.
The importance of identifying channels and audience
Several devices empower users via voice search, and knowing which ones you should be designing for is the initial step to optimizing your voice SEO strategies. Screen-first devices such as smartphones, tablets, or smart televisions show visual information in volume than voice searches and provide quick results.
On the other hand, Voice-first devices like Alexa or Google Smart Home provide users with better input efficiency via quick voice commands. Naturally, for this to work, the device must be able to comprehend natural language, a capability that has significantly advanced since the early days of voice commands.
Your users could be more inclined to favor one device type over another, depending on your content management efforts, user demographics, and other factors. Additionally, you need to know which stage within the marketing funnel your audiences are at to improve their use of voice search.
Out of 34% of American customers using voice assistants to browse new products, only 11% complete an impulse purchase, which tells us that more individuals are utilizing voice assistants to investigate things than to buy them. Most of these purchases are for typical household goods such as pet food, toilet paper, and others where you do not have to go through the labels. Considering all these elements before customizing your voice strategy for your audience and channel prepares you better for the actual process of content optimization.
Optimizing your voice search content
Don't worry if you don't have much expertise in creating voice user interfaces (VUIs), as this is still relatively uncharted territory for many developers. The UX/UI concepts and whatever impact the user experience has on your search ranking are still relevant even though these are not GUIs (graphical user interfaces).
First, make a flowchart on how you can predict how your target audience will navigate your site through voice search. Use the exact long-tail keywords you apply in your content SEO to make interactions seem more natural and conversational, then proceed to design for a seamless flow.
Break down sequences to create a walkthrough that users can navigate when exploring your content by utilizing verbal tags, improving your domain authority, adding location tags, and grabbing featured snippets. Using all of these elements that can improve user experiences via voice commands can take you to the top of Google's voice search ranking page and get more people to discover your brand as the technology continues to grow.