Later this month, on Wednesday September 25th, Anvil will be hosting a webinar; Voice Search: Owning the best answer via organic and paid opportunities + skills. In the spirit of shameless self-promotion this week’s article will center around voice search, optimizing for voice search, and its importance in the search landscape in 2019 and the future of search.
Voice search is the ability of smart phones, digital home assistants, computers, and other smart devices to perform an internet search and return a result based on a user query that is spoken to the device. Voice Searches and commands available have grown to include everything from answering simple questions to online shopping. The goal of voice search is to improve user experience, ease of use, and provide the best answer for the user’s search. These three concepts should already be key components of any site’s search engine optimization efforts, so logically optimizing for voice search should be a next step for all organizations and businesses.
The idea of speaking to a computer sidekick and having all our questions answered is not a new one. Look no further than our favorite works of science fiction. While our devices have a way to go to reach that level of sophistication, they are smart enough to provide us with the answers and solutions we seek with just a few words. Typical desktop searches in the past where short and to the point queries, such as: “Handyman Portland, Oregon” or “Italian food near me”. While these searches still work with voice search, research is finding more often users perform a voice search more naturally and conversationally. A user might ask “Who is the top-rated handyman in Portland?” or “What is the best Italian food near me?”. Optimizing for these longer tail phrases by including them, or similar phrases, can help a site to be the go-to source for a voice search. Using keyword research and general knowledge of their customers some businesses may be able to create frequently asked question or FAQ pages. These pages are great places to naturally include these longer tail searches. In a traditional search the answer boxes and snippets that display up at the top of the SERP are generated by special bits of structured markup placed onto the site. These bits make it easier for the search engines to understand the content in turn return it when it fits a query. The same goes for voice search. This markup will allow search engines to discover your content and return it as voice search result in a clear and logical manner. Optimizing for voice search will be an ongoing effort and is sure to be a learning experience for all marketers. Anvil is dedicated to staying on top of voice search trends and developments.
Voice search represents an opportunity that businesses and organizations would be foolish to pass up or ignore. Recent surveys of marketing decision makers showed that there are still many sites that have hesitation and/or no plan to optimize for voice search in the next year. Optimizing for voice search, or at least starting the process now, could be the competitive edge that a business needs to stand out in the changing digital search environment.
Experts predict that by 2020 half of all internet searches will be done via voice search. That means over half of the users may not ever see your content, but they just might hear it. We here at Anvil hope that you will join us to hear and see more about voice search during our webinar, Voice Search: Owning the best answer via organic and paid opportunities + skills on September 25, 2019.