How to Optimise Your Site for Voice Search

During May we were lucky enough to be joined by Silvia Sanna and Georgie Kemp on Tea Time SEO to share their views on Is Voice Here to Stay? It’s now 2020. You can watch their talk on our YouTube channel, read the presentation on slideshare or read through Silvia’s ideas here. Georgie has elaborated further on her talk below.

Expectation vs Reality for Voice Search in 2020

Those of you who actively work in the digital marketing industry, I’m sure you would’ve heard the noise around voice search and how it’s going to be actively dominating the SERPs for 2020. There’s been stats flying around such as around 30% of all searches will be done without a screen by 2020, voice commerce are predicted to reach $5 billion in the UK in 2022, and the big one – 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. 

Well, now it’s 2020 and yes it’s probably unlikely that 50% of all searches around the whole globe are made by voice assistants. But where did this claim spark from? I’ve personally seen this claim across a range of industry publications over the past few years, and I wanted to dig that little bit deeper to where this prediction came from.

Back in 2014, during an interview with Fast Company, Baidu’s former Chief Data Scientist stated that in five years time at least 50% of all searches are going to be either through images or speech in China”. Now, with so many factors such as geographics, demographics, psychographics impacting the overall consumer behaviour and the way we search, this insight has clearly been taken out of context.However, onto the question for today – is voice search here to stay. In my opinion yes. I’ll quickly outline the following for you to make up your own take on it.

So I’ve run through the expectations for 2020, and here is the reality for 2020. Annoyingly technology giants, such as Google and Amazon aren’t yet realising  accurate data distinguishing voice search queries and it’s share as a channel, but we can make informed judgements. What we do know is that tech giants are heavily focusing on expanding their hardware range to complement a range of environments, such as creating “the smart home”.
Voice Search SEO Top Tips

My two main tips outlined within my Tea Time SEO talk; 

  1. Content strategies are like onions and cakes, they have layers.
  2. Don’t neglect the customers standing right in front of you.

1. Research both shorter and longer tailed keywords

Content strategies are like onions and cakes, they have layers.
This is with the small caveat that they *should* have layers. When users initially started to use the internet they would create queries as if they were speaking to a person.
To clarify, I’m not recommending forgetting about all your other content strategies in place and solely focusing on a voice based strategy. Varied content lengths are essential for both a layered strategy helping to target different audiences at different stages of the conversion funnel process. Starting with your keyword research, you’ll want to focus on both shorter keywords that are much broader and highly competitive, layered with longer-tailed keywords where users have a higher intent to convert, and more likely to be pulled into voice answers.

2.Optimise locally and hyperlocally

Don’t neglect the customers standing right in front of you.
This tip discusses how important it is to optimise locally and hyperlocally, depending on your product or service offering. “Near me” search times have continually risen over the last five years, which is also likely to be factoring in the adoption of voice devices.
Whether you’re carrying our local SEO practices in a broader region/city or focusing more on hyperlocal SEO practices which are similar, but focusing more on localities such as a town or streets, each of these tips can apply.

3. Don’t forget Google My Business

Continually optimise and update your Google My Business profile, especially with any COVID-19 information helping to inform your customer base with opening hours, contact information and so on. Include local business structured data to help Google further understand exactly where you’re located and help to be pulled through to Google’s map pack. Optimise local pages across your site for location specific keywords. This is particularly important to help both Google and your users to understand where your business mainly operates.

This was a whistle stop tour on two ways you can optimise your site ready for voice search. If you’d like to read more about this subject, see the complete on how to optimise for voice search. If you have any questions or thoughts on the above, I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you Georgie for going into the detail and the write up. See you Mondays and Thursdays at 4pm BST on our YouTube channel for more Tea Time SEO.

Photo by Nathana Rebouças on Unsplash


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