Siri, Alexa, Echo, Cortana, Google Home—just a few of the voice-activated tools being used for searching on the internet—are being used at an increasingly frequent rate. But the way they work is radically different than traditional searches that are entered via a keyboard. The latter method produces a list of results matching the inquiry, while voice search results only show the BEST answer to the inquiry.
Talk about pressure! Up until now you worked diligently just to get in the “top 3” on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP); now you have to be number 1! The heat is on to correctly optimize your website, exploring and implementing every option available to get that search engine to put you on that pedestal. And even if you get there, you can’t just rest on your laurels. Just as in the traditional searches, the search engines are always modifying their algorithms and refining what they consider the “best” answers to the voice searches.
Did you know that the typical voicebot user is a 52 year-old woman, according to statistics gathered by Dr. Hannu Verkasalo of Verto Analytics? People 45 years old and up are the largest group of voice-assisted searchers. But that doesn’t mean the younger generations won’t increase their voice-activated usage. Most of them use their smart phones frequently and transition easily from one device to another. They don’t remember a time without internet access, and they are very flexible and eager to use new technology.
Traditionally, to optimize your website for higher search results, keywords and phrases were critical for success. While keywords are still important factors, the focus is now on context. You will need to understand how your business fits into the mix and how it benefits the consumers. Consumer behavior continues to change and you’ll need to adjust to stay on top. Here are some things you can do to remain competitive.
This might seem like an odd statement, but you need to know the public facts about your people, products and locations and how they will be interpreted in voice searches. This is called “digital knowledge”. In order to keep up with the new requirements of voice assistants, you’ll need a process in place and people to coordinate it within your company. In fact, one central source to manage the digital knowledge process and digital assets internally for your company can be a way to control and gain the most value from each and every element. This Digital Knowledge Manager can concentrate on new trends, technologies and techniques to position your business for success in the ever-changing digital world.
You can’t just gather your digital knowledge and think that it’s going to remain stagnant. All businesses change, some more radically than others. There will be changes in your products or services, physical locations, target customers, etc. You’ll need to manage and control your business’s digital knowledge so that you can keep up.
Once you determine what your digital knowledge is, you need to make sure you publish it to your website, apps and any internal systems, as well as to any intelligent services themselves, where possible. Again, it’s not a one-time activity; as your knowledge changes, you need to make sure you publish the most current and accurate information in order to keep your knowledge base up to date.
Your website needs to be responsive for access through all devices, including desktop/laptop, tablet and especially for mobile devices, because voice searches are primarily done via smart phones. You also need to have your digital assets clearly published in your content in order to be discovered by the intelligent services. Including a robots.txt file in your website code can help deliver voice search answers that highlight your brand.
If you incorporate schema.org in your website and digital assets, it helps to associate your content with categories that search engines understand. This will help in providing answers and results from queries sought by searchers.
Don’t let the advancements in voice searches leave you behind in your online marketing strategy. Philadelphia SEO for Growth can help you create and implement a strategy that includes SEO for voice assistants that is designed for your brand. Contact us today to learn more!