September 25th, 2017
The days of typing specific keywords into a Google search bar are quickly becoming numbered. People are seeking out information and products in ways that are more focused and individualistic. Google is no longer the only way to find what you need. Companies like Amazon are creating huge databases, storing people’s purchasing history. And not only are the search engines becoming more diverse but the way people search is changing as well. Voice recognition services like Siri and Alexa are becoming the preferred search method.
According to Google, more search results take place on phones than compared to computers. With the increasing popularity of Artificial Intelligent voice-activated software, it is only a matter of time until voice searches are the new norm.
What does Voice Search Mean for Small Businesses
Think of this new epoch as an evolution of marketing. At one time, consumers had to accurately feed search engines their questions. Using the right words in the proper sequence was the only way to elicit the desired response. With voice recognition, search queries are now conducted in a conversational tone. Instead of typing “Taco truck Austin Texas”, people can now ask, “Where is there a taco truck close by?” The smartphone, with GPS, assisted technology, not only extrapolates where the consumer is but can understand their desire for tacos.
Good News for Local Business
Because of the inherent nature of mobile phones and voice technology, the majority of searches are for local services. When people are hungry, all they need to do is ask their phone where the nearest restaurant is. If they require a mechanic or a plumber, it’s as simple as asking their phone where to go. This new trend in search terms is good for business. The more connectivity people have with their local community, the more opportunities there will be for local merchants.
What this means for small businesses and web pages is that the content needs to also be written in a conversational tone. If you are a taco truck, using the tagline “The best Tacos in Austin” can help to elevate your voice optimization. It also means that writing longer copy is now the trend.
Back when text searches were all we had, people used as few words as possible when using search engines. This meant that websites were written with specific keywords in mind, cutting out the need for eloquent writing. But with voice technology, the length of search terms are much longer, thanks to everyday speech patterns. It is now imperative that your website is written in a way that mimics natural human interaction.
Tricks to Optimize Your Content for Voice Searches
A great way to cover your bases is to have a FAQ section on your website. This allows you to write out the most common questions, i.e. the most common voice searches. Alongside the questions are concise and fluid answers. A perfect opportunity to have your words read by a person’s artificial assistant. And unlike searching on a computer, voice results will only tell the user of the first business found. The easier your content is to interpret, the better chances you have of being the #1 result.
It’s all about the metadata. Take a look at any search page’s results:
Have a look at the smallest font, underneath the green URL. This phrase is the meta description, and it is used to distinguish what exactly a website is all about. For voice searches, this text now plays an extremely important role. This is the line of information voice searches will read back to the consumer. If it cannot describe what the business is, there is a good chance the posting will be ignored. Think about this information as the first line a customer will hear when results are read back. Structure the content in a way that makes it sound like a friend is describing the business.
Search Results for a More Interactive World
This new trend in search results follows the inevitable trend of humanizing technology. Every year, the internet and information become easier to access Voice-activated search results is the next step in creating a more interactive world. Making your business stand out from the others relies on producing quality content that talks directly to potential clients.