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71% of people prefer voice input over conventional keyboard input

The Voice Search Wave

Voice search is gaining more and more momentum. There is a growing number of people who are adapting their user behavior to the "voice first" concept. The voice search revolution is being led by major technology companies Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Samsung and Alibaba. In fact, voice search can be a game changer for the success of your online business. Are you ready to ride the emerging voice search wave?

Voice Search

Voice Search Devices

On any device with Voice Search, automatic speech recognition is performed by an artificial intelligence (AI) that processes verbally spoken queries. This intelligence takes the form of a personal voice assistant that is provided to you and, once activated on your device, can process search queries via search engines. Amazon has Alexa, Google has Google Assistant, Microsoft has Cortana, Apple has Siri, Samsung has Bixby, Alibaba has Tmall Genie.

Following the increase in voice searches on smartphones, the hype has led to the development of so-called smart speakers, which are powered by hardware and software from the respective manufacturer. These work with the goal of making our lives much more convenient. "Siri, turn off our son Luke's bedroom light and read him his favorite good night story before bed." - Well, that was provocative on purpose. The bedtime story is best coming directly from you. In fact, given the rapid advances in technology, we should and must always pay attention to what makes us human. "Google, would you recommend a nice bedtime story for me to read to my child?" - better. "Alexa, order the hardback edition of. Grimm's fairy tale " - all children's hearts beat faster.

SEO for Voice Search

You want marketing and Search Engine Optimization Strategies (SEO) execute that will ensure you capture the attention of the "hands-free" audience. So if you're running an e-commerce website, you want to get the "voice first" customers on board, although it's not that easy.

In voice searches that happen from mobile devices, the user gets only one result - the result is called Zero position and is the only one presented to the user, possibly as a rich snippet (see point 2 below). This is done according to the motto "The winner takes it all". For this reason, your goal should be to rank at the top of the results pages (SERP) of Google or other search engines.

Voice assistant

The territory of the Search engine optimization is very dynamic and is characterized by technological changes and changes in user behavior, which are reflected in ever new algorithms proposed by search engines. Read more here about the 10 Must-Haves of Your Landing Page to Convert. This should cover the essentials.

In the next step, I would like to additionally present five SEO measures with which you can optimally benefit from voice search in order to stay ahead in the SERP.

1) Compatibility with mobile devices and AMP technology from Google.

Most voice searches still take place via mobile devices. A "mobile friendly" application or website is not only one that optimally adapts to the size of your screen. It should also provide the best possible user experience (User Experience, UX), including fast load times and smooth usability. If possible, you should opt for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) from Google. AMP is an easy-to-integrate technology that is used by many Content Management Systems (CMS) is supported. In doing so, AMP versions of any of your websites will be listed on Google's results pages. There is a possibility that Google will rank you better if your website is AMP-enabled.

2) Integrate Structured Data to benefit from Rich Snippets.

You can include a Structured Data markup in your HTML code that contains additional, ideally relevant, information that is displayed below the URL in the SERPs as so-called Rich Snippets. Rich Snippet results will most likely lead to higher click-through rates and reduced bounce rates, as users have more clarity about what to expect from visiting your website. A rich snippet increases the likelihood that a voice assistant will get the answer a user is looking for with their search as well, so the content of an answer perfectly answers their underlying question. Guidelines for the implementation of Structured Data are available at schema.org. If you need expert advice, the appleute are ready to help.

Teamwork

3) Long tail searches have great value

People treat their voice assistant like a real person, i.e. with a natural flow of speech. It's almost like a user imagines an interaction with a real person ("Hey Siri, what's the best Italian restaurant in Munich?").

In addition, speech happens much faster than typing (100 versus 35 words per minute). As a result, voice search involves much more granular, extensive word or keyword sequences.

In fact, long tail searches make up the majority of all searches online. It can make sense to shift the focus from short keyword sequences (less than 3-4 words) to high granularity searches - check out the graph below. In the race for the top spot, there is less competition for long tail searches. Should you want to buy keywords, long tail searches are often a cost-effective, efficient marketing strategy due to lower demand. Such a marketing strategy is worth a thought in my opinion!

4) Keywords and Google MyBusiness for local referencing.

Do you operate a hybrid business presence, meaning you offer both offline and online stores? A large percentage of users use Voice Search to find local businesses when they are away from home, e.g., "What is the shortest tennis store away ?"

For tennis store owners, it is recommended that you use targeted keywords that reflect the location of your business at different scales (city, region, etc.), e.g. "tennis store in Schwabing, Munich, Germany" . Of course, this logic applies to any hybrid business presence.

Also, set up a Google+ MyBusiness page and keep it updated. This will give your business extra exposure.

Voice interface

5) Answer frequently asked questions (FAQ)

People are curious. They just want to know things. They also want information about issues related to your website or e-commerce (e.g., "Do you ship internationally?"). At first, it may seem difficult to respond to people's needs and questions. However, most questions are repetitive. It's best to document the most relevant, frequently asked questions, answer them to your customers' satisfaction, and display them on your website in a dedicated FAQ section. This way, the voice assistant can also read the answers aloud.

The appleute and voice search software

appleute is developing AI-powered voice search software in collaboration with its partners. If you have questions about how to make the most of the voice search wave for your website or e-commerce, or if you want to integrate proprietary voice search into your website, get in touch. We'll help you become a voice search champion.


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