Why brands need to get clued up on voice search

22 June 2017

Why brands need to get clued up on voice search

The reason why brands need to get clued up on voice search can be summed up in one word: mobile. Speaking a query into a mobile device can be far easier than tapping it in using a tiny keyboard, so much so in fact that, according to Google, about a fifth of searches made from Android devices were made using voice search.

In short, either you get your brand optimised for mobile or your risk losing a fifth of your business to your competitors who do.

Here are three key pointers to making the most of voice searches.

1. Optimising for voice search means thinking about how people speak

This may sound like stating the obvious, but when people are typing, particularly when they are using the small keyboards on mobile devices, they will tend to make queries as short and precise as possible. By contrast, when they are speaking into mobile devices, they are more likely to say what they are thinking, using natural language and long-form queries.

You need to take this into account in every aspect of your web design (although it could be argued that anticipating people’s questions and making it easy for them to find answers is best practice in any case). As well as having a dedicated frequently-asked-questions section, think about writing general content in a “question-and-answer” format, or at least thinking along these lines whenever you prepare content.

2. Be there for your (potential) customers

When people are out and about on the move, they turn to their mobile devices for help in finding their way around and locating places of interest which are near to them. So you have an extra reason to make sure to claim your place in the likes of Google My Business and Bing Places. It helps to complete as much detail as you can and, in particular, to choose the closest business category as this will influence when your website is included in search results.

3. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly

Now this should be a high priority in any case, for many reasons - we’d probably start with the fact that mobile-friendliness impacts your SEO. It does, however, take on a whole new level of importance when you start to work on increasing your traffic through voice searches. Remember that voice searching is really all about convenience and simplicity for mobile users; this means that when they click on your link and head back to the challenge of dealing with a small screen, you have to ensure that they are well rewarded for making this choice.

Above all, you absolutely must make sure that your pages load as quickly as is technologically possible and that, once a visitor reaches the relevant page, any further navigation is easy and intuitive and that all links work.