How to optimise your content and why it’s crucial
by Lucinda Batchelor
According to Statista, a UK survey in 2021 revealed that Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, was used on 89% of mobile phones and Google Assistant was used on 68% of smartphones. On the other hand, 78% of poll respondents said they utilised Amazon Alexa with smart speakers due to Amazon Echo being the very first smart speaker to reach the public, and still leads the market in terms of shares.
With a high percentage of voice search users across several platforms, the allure and demand for hands-free searching is clear. To stay one step ahead in marketing and to get to the top of voice search results, it’s important to optimise your content by shifting away from traditional text and towards conversational text.
How voice search is getting savvier
As voice recognition advances to voice understanding, Google looks to make voice search part of our everyday lives. So, let’s look at how voice search results have become more intelligent to meet people’s needs, and how we can use this information to boost our own content strategies.
- Voice search can understand spellings
Ask Google facts about whales. Did you get results for Wales? Now asking for facts about (and spell out) w-h-a-l-e-s to clarify what you meant. Find out an interesting fact?
Not only can Google ask you Did you mean? when you’ve made a typo, Google can now correct its searches when you spell out the word – neat!
- Voice search builds connections between your questions
Google voice search is so clever now that if you were to ask it, “where is (business name)?” And then follow it up with, “show me pictures of it,” Google makes the connection between your first and second question.
- Voice search understands questions based on your location
You’ve been convinced to visit the business you researched earlier and you’re discussing your next holiday with an employee there and you ask Google, how far is it the airport? Google will tell you that by car, your journey is X miles away – Google already understands your location and will give you accurate travel times.
How to optimise your content to suit voice search
So, to ensure that you’re making the most out of your digital strategy and continually improving on your customer experience, let’s look at how you can upgrade your content to make it voice search friendly.
Find out what your customers are asking - for Google to index your content and gain position zero, it’s important to research what the public is asking. You can do this via Answer The Public to gain insights into your industry and what people are searching for. Once you have the questions, you can provide the answers and when answering, be concise and cut out the fluff.
Weave in conversational keywords – people speak differently to how they type. If you were to use your voice search, you might ask Google, ‘How can I improve my customer journey?’ but if you were to type this into Google, you’re more likely to type: “customer journey” or “good CX”, and you might even only get to typing in “good customer j” before Google’s related search suggests “good examples of customer journey map”, saving you time typing in the rest. By weaving in these conversational keywords into your content, you can capture audiences by using their exact phrasing and answering their queries.
Write for the featured snippet – a featured snippet is a brief section of text that appears at the top of Google’s search that answers a specific query. This can come in the form of step-by-step process, a definition of something, a list or a table. The purpose of a featured snippet is to immediately answer the searchers query. Keep your answer simple and easy to understand, so that people don’t need to research it further.
Build FAQ pages – when using voice search, we typically begin questions with an adverb (who, what, where, when, how or why). To appeal to Google voice search, make sure you start each FAQ off in the right way. A great way to get hold of your customer’s FAQs is to go directly to the source. Ask your customer service team or listen to call tracking to get the best insight into what your customers want to know. The more questions you can answer, the higher the chance of gaining position zero on voice search, which means happy customers and increased brand awareness!
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