Voice search – how do you optimise your online presence for Alexa & Siri?
Nearly a quarter of households in the UK now have a virtual assistant. Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google are regularly greeted as part of our daily lives and are asked to provide answers to questions.
Put simply, voice search works by converting human speech into text and then trawling search engines for results. The virtual assistant then speaks back to the user or performs a command on request.
How people interact with their voice-activated device is different to traditional search methods. That means your web presence needs to be optimised for voice assistant users so that it is discovered more often.
Think wider than Google
Google performs over nine in ten traditional internet searches, but the world of voice search is more diverse.
Apple voice devices also use Google (as does Google Assistant of course), but for virtual assistant searches, Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa use Bing.
If the strategy has been to optimise your online presence for Google alone, you may be missing out on users accessing other search engines, so you need to think broader.
Rather than typing out a question or searching for a keyword, voice assistant users tend to chat with their device. That in itself is the purpose and part of the ‘fun’ of owning a virtual helper.
Voice search queries tend to be longer than and more conversational than text ones. It is usually quicker to speak and seek richer information than to type, and we naturally interact with a virtual assistant as we would another person.
In a traditional search engine, an internet user might type something like “recipe for spaghetti bolognese”. With a voice search, that same person might ask, “Alexa, how do I make a great spaghetti bolognese at home?”
That means that semantic searching is an essential principle behind optimising your internet presence for voice users. Semantic web searches refer to the search engine’s ability to understand the meaning behind a query. Understanding what users are going to ask, and why, will help you better build a web content strategy for better results.
Quick tips for optimising your website for Alexa and Siri
- Build structured data – This helps search engines interpret your content more clearly to inform queries in a richer way.
- Develop a mobile-friendly website – Because mobile optimised sites are more often used for “near me” type searches.
- Optimise your business listings – The clearer your business location, areas served, opening times, phone number, and other contact details are, the better results a voice user will receive.
- Optimise your content for longtail keywords – Longtail keywords are those longer search terms, often in the form of a question. Ranking well for longtail keywords will likely produce a better voice search result.
All good voice search content strategies start with a conversation, so say hello to the team at CDA today to find out how we can help you better reply to Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google.
Because voice assistant devices are always on, always near, and part of our home and daily routines, we tend to use them for local searches.
“Where can I eat tonight?”, “What time does the pharmacy near me close?” and “What will the weather be like today?” are typical quick fire questions we ask our virtual assistants.
That means optimising your web presence is essential for local businesses that could otherwise be missing out on lots of potential customers on their doorstep.