Aloha To The Future Of Voice Search
‘OK Google, give me movie times for The Last Sharknado’. While this query would seem surprisingly unlikely, the rise in popularity of voice search should come as no surprise.
Today major players such as Amazon, Google, Apple, and Microsoft, battle it out to produce the best AI-powered voice ecosystems, and if recent pattern fillings reported by TechCrunch are to be believed, then we could soon be saying ‘Aloha’ to Facebook’s planned speech recognition feature.
If reports are to be believed, then Aloha will be the first in a range of consumer gadgets set to be launched by Facebook. Other future releases are rumoured to include a 360-degree camera along with futuristic wearables.
Due Facebook still dealing with the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the inevitable implosion of trust, the social media giant have delayed unveiling their new home speaker amid the data crisis according to Bloomberg.
The Rise In Voice Search for Local Businesses
Businesses of all sizes can and should, of course, take advantage and benefit from the rise in popularity of voice search. In fact, tellingly, recent research by BrightLocal, suggests that 58% of consumers have used voice search assistants for local businesses.
The report, also highlights that 35% of people would like to book beauty or medical appointments using voice search this year. With the increase in adoption of voice search assistants, this is a percentage that will surely only rise.
How Businesses Can Take Advantage of Voice Search
Data from Cortana the virtual assistant created by Microsoft, seems to suggest that the majority of voice queries posed to their voice assistants start with either “how”, “what” or “where”. Therefore, as businesses, we should consider what types of questions would existing and prospective customers ask.
For example, a hair salon that wishes to capitalize would want to ensure that they are visible for terms such as [where are hairdressers near me], [where can i book a hair appointment] and even [what hairdressers are open today].
Here are some top tips to help you capture more voice search traffic;
Own Your Digital Footprint
Update and tailor your Google My Business listing, description, and category to match what prospective customers are most likely to search for, remember “how”, “what”, and “where”.
Furthermore, ensure that the information on your website and other third parties such as Yelp, and Foursquare is accurate and current. Don’t hide valuable information that your customers may be searching for, such as your address, opening times, and even services.
Write Content In A More Conversational Form
Naturally, voice search is more conversational. In contrast when searching using a computer, customers then need to consider the terms to search for to get their desired results.
We now know that content written in a more conversational tone is likely to be favored by voice search algorithms. Therefore, when producing content on your website, such as your blog then use simpler language for the win.
Website Load Time and Security
Mobile page load time is critical to success, and this of course, applies to voice search landscape too. Google will favour websites which load fast; be sure to get pagespeed insights from Google. The average voice search results page loads in only 4.6 seconds – two times faster than web searches.
In terms of security, it’s no secret that Google will prefer websites that our secured with HTTPS, in fact secured websites account for up to 70.4% of Google Home results.
As businesses, now is the time to be prepared for voice search. Voice search is growing at a rapid rate; prepare your website, manage and update your listings on third party websites to ensure your business is not left behind.
If your business does not already use HTTPS, then purchasing and installing an SSL certificate should be seen a top priority.
Many businesses suffered at the hand of mobilegeddon, proof your website now to ensure this does not happen with future voice algorithm updates.
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Craig, is the International Marketing Manager at 10to8, with over 10 years’ digital marketing experience.
At 10to8 Craig devises and oversees multi-channel marketing campaigns, and plays a pivotal role in growing the business. Throughout Craig’s most recent career history he’s specialised in successfully growing tech start-ups.Craig Gibson
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