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How should you optimise your web content for voice search?

Has the smart-speaker bubble finally burst? It’s tempting to think so, with Google having axed its Home Max speaker in December, followed by Apple similarly discontinuing the original model of its HomePod in March.

However, given that both of these products arguably weren’t mere smart speakers as much as high-end audio equipment with virtual voice assistant functionality built in, we probably shouldn’t call time on the smart speaker yet. For many of us, the voice assistant is the most important aspect of a smart speaker.

This helps to explain the recent rise of “voice search” – where people vocalise their search queries rather than type them. This isn’t only possible with smart speakers, either – as the likes of Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are also ready and waiting in many other devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Now, we get to what, as a web marketer, you could consider the most interesting question: how are you supposed to rejig your online content so that these voice assistants pick up on them?

Voice search queries are somewhat conversational

Think about it: when typing something into Google, you probably don’t even hammer out a complete, coherent sentence. You know you don’t need to, as Google will still throw up relevant results even if, when looking up a recipe for homemade ice cream, you just type “homemade ice cream”.

However, when people bark orders to Siri, they tend to treat that assistant as a person – which it sort of is. You can give it a gendered voice, and might even address it by name. It’s thus understandable why the searcher might issue their query in a conversational fashion.

So, whether or not your online content includes a recipe for homemade ice cream, you might want to sprinkle that content with long-tail keywords resembling phrases your target customers likely use when casually chatting.

With voice search, there is often local intent

If you are looking to research a popular holiday destination located abroad, such as Universal Orlando or Disneyland Paris, you are probably going to settle down in front of a laptop to do that research. You might associate voice assistants with short, snappy answers which wouldn’t hugely help you in this scenario.

It’s a very different matter, however, with locally-based queries – like those investigating retail stores within just a few miles of your house. In this case, you could be just about to head out of the house, and so a short, snappy answer would actually be an especially convenient one.

This discrepancy clarifies why you should make special efforts to target local customers – such as by sprucing up your company’s Google My Business listing and setting up, as part of your website, landing pages each targeting a specific location where your workforce operates.

We can show you how to optimise your content through these means. To contact us for guidance, just phone us on 01325 582112 or send us an email via info@webaheadinternetltd.co.uk. Another option is to use the contact form on our website to drop us a line.

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