August 8, 2017

3 Steps to Improve Voice Search for Marketers

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Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins

CEO - Shout Agency
[email protected]


Do you remember the first time you used the voice command on your smartphone to search for something online? If it was more than a year or so ago, it was probably choppy. Furthermore, half the time the service you used mistook your voice, intonation, and instructions.

Asking for the weather they started to give you a dictionary definition of the word “whether.” By the time you got what you wanted it was just easier to type it into your phone in the first place. In other words, the experience was beyond frustrating.

The past few years we have seen a revolution in voice search that fundamentally changes how marketers must address search engine optimisation in the future.

Stay tuned as we break down the barriers between your brand and your audience, ensuring that you’re not just heard, but clearly understood in the age of voice interactions. Let’s embark on this journey to refine your voice search approach and secure your spot at the forefront of digital marketing innovation.

To help us do this, we want to review how to optimise your voice search efforts.

3 Ways to Optimise your Voice Search Efforts

1. Voice data

One of the biggest challenges to marketers is how voice search fundamentally requires massive amounts of data to do correctly. Unlike a keyword, which you can research the phrases humans use to search can be endless. Therefore, if you want to understand voice search we need to start by examining how voice data works.

Artificial intelligence programs have become extremely sophisticated by learning more about the following items:

  • Intent and parameter- Voice search has more intent than traditional search. For example, we discussed in 7 Ways to Increase Search Traffic through Voice Queries how common words like king can be confusing. Computers do not know if you referred to royalty or Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll. A parameter, like play the king of rock and roll music provides helpful data to choose the correct version.
  • Errors- While this has dropped dramatically, voice search is still in its infancy. Mistakes occur, and it is important for marketers to be aware of this when optimising for voice search.
  • Paths- Instead of simply relying upon the search, companies like Google and Facebook explore how users interact with brands and other channels to predict voice interactions. When they know you came to their site from ABC then they can see how you liked this type of site, and use it as a predicator for the voice searches you might use in the future.

Currently, cumulative spending on data accounts for 20% of all marketing. Those who do not store, manage, and utilize their data cannot compete against the companies who have volumes of data at the ready to help guide their decisions.

Voice search is one area where having more data can help you distinguish yourself against the crowd.

2. Experiment

Like any emerging trend in search engine optimisation, you must experiment to determine what works best.

For example, Marketing Land talked about how when mobile apps first became popular many companies just transferred their website to a mobile app. Instead of experimenting with the channel to understand the needs of their customers or how to gain advantages over their competitors, companies stuck with what they knew.

However, the mobile experience is completely different from websites. The same holds true for voice search. You do not need to make huge changes, but you need to continually tweak your voice search efforts. Fortunately, the data you collect will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your experimenting.

3. Structured Data

Help search engines with voice search by including Structured Data in your website. A few years ago, the major search engines agreed upon a unified markup structure that website admins should use on their website.

This information is part of the data the search engines use for voice search to determine the relevancy of a website. Furthermore, this information is a goldmine for websites that want to get local search traffic.

Location plays a role in 80% of all searches, and voice search makes up a large percentage of these searches.

Therefore, including microdata on each page like location, product information, and other essential details helps you improve your searchability when people ask for a local establishment.

This is one of the reasons why we discussed how your Name, Address, and Phone must be correct on your website. Search engines extract this information when comparing users searches to nearby retail outlets.
You can even it use it for keywords, as you can see with this screenshot below. We used structured data to let Google know some of the most important pages (e.g. Social Media Agency, Conversion Rate Optimization, SEO Agency, and PPC) for them to index.

voice search

The structured data on your website provides the extra ammunition you need to increase your voice search traffic.

Final Thoughts

With voice search growing in popularity as voice queries improve in accuracy, it is vital that your company optimises your voice search efforts. Do this by looking at the data, testing, and improving the structured data you have on your website to drive more targeted traffic to your website.

If you are not sure how to do this, then contact our team at Shout SEO Agency for a free consultation to improve your voice search results today.

Book a free 45 minute consultation today.

    Book a free 45 minute consultation today.

      Shout logo in grey

      As Founder and Director of Shout Web Strategy, Michael Jenkins is at the forefront of digital marketing. Since it’s inception in 2009, Shout has built a strong reputation as one of Australia’s leading strategic SEO agencies, assisting online businesses to formulate, implement and track successful marketing strategies. Michael is a respected thought leader and digital strategist, specialising in online strategy, corporate SEO, Google retargeting, email and conversion rate optimisation, and online reputation management. Follow Michael on Google+, connect with him through LinkedIn or visit the Shout Web Strategy website.

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