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How and why your business should make its keywords voice-friendly

Whatever presents you unwrapped on Christmas Day, they could easily have included a new smart speaker, like the Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple HomePod. These little wonder devices are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, due largely to their ease of use and falling prices.

However, this development does pose a unique challenge to your business: how to tailor its keywords for a world where more of us are opting to vocalise, rather than type, searches. Here’s how to act on that challenge and why you shouldn’t overlook the voice search revolution.

Could smart speakers effectively become the new smartphone?

Though smartphones have long included built-in voice assistants, dating right back to Apple’s debut of Siri in 2011’s iPhone 4S, smart speakers seem to have helped turn voice search mainstream.

According to statistics, 20% of Google searches are now voice-based, and we can expect that proportion to increase to 50% by 2020. Furthermore, compared to text searches, voice searches are used three times more often for researching local businesses.

Therefore, if your own company’s market is strictly local, you have a particular interest in optimising keywords for voice search. Reassuringly, you can start with your existing keywords; they might only need a little tweaking to be made voice-friendly for people initiating searches via smart speaker.

Why you need to heed conversational queries

When typing searches, you might limit yourself to terms or phrases that, in isolation, say little about what you seek. For example, you might type “Indian restaurants” into Google when searching for such eateries within a ten-mile radius, even if you omit that latter detail from your search text.

However, search queries delivered vocally to smart speakers tend to be of a more conversational nature, and are often posed in complete, coherent questions. For example, you might ask one of these clever devices: “Which are the best Indian restaurants within ten miles?”

How can you trace long-form queries worth optimising?

In your particular case, it might not be obvious which conversational queries you ought to optimise for, but you can gain a degree of insight by typing some of your current keywords into Google’s search field. Doing so will activate the autocomplete function to show you some longer phrases.

These search suggestions are based on what people are genuinely searching for with the keywords in question. Meanwhile, though more typically used for link research, the Ahrefs tool can help to unearth further key phrases. Some queries you find in this way might have too little search value, or simply not make sense – in which case, you can leave those out of your keyword set.

Optimise for branded search queries, too

These are queries on matters about your specific business – such as how long it has been around, how to contact particular staff members, and what events the firm will be holding soon. You could struggle to come across such queries if you stick to just using tools.

Our Darlington-based marketing company can help you to refine your keyword research yet further.

How and why your business should make its keywords voice-friendly

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