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OK Google, what do I need to know about voice search?

13th March 2019

Ideal for looking up film trivia and the football results, home assistants from Amazon and Google have also become invaluable resources for businesses. Indeed, people aren’t just asking things like ‘what films has Olivia Colman been in?‘, they’re also turning to their Amazon Echoes and Google Home devices to find out ‘which car garages are near me?’, ‘where is the cheapest place to get sushi?’, and ‘can I get a locksmith out at this time of night?’.

If you’re not convinced that users are gravitating towards this form of search, perhaps the following voice search statistics will bring you around:

  • 2 in 5 adults complete at least one voice search a day
  • Each month over a billion voice searches are carried out
  • The Amazon Echo was the best-selling product over the last Christmas period

The most significant forecast, however, is that by 2020, half of all searches on Google will be performed by voice. Clearly, webmasters are going to have to switch things up a bit if they want their site to continue bringing in traffic and sales.

Why you should care:

Put simply, home assistants offer your business the same opportunities that traditional search engine enquiries do. That is, they help you to capture the attention of people actively looking for the services and products you specialise in.

It’s just that instead of typing out their questions, users are asking them out loud. And they’re asking some real smart devices. So smart, in fact, that a recent study carried out by a research firm in America revealed that Amazon and Google devices correctly answered the user’s question 70% of the time.

Providing information and contact details from the sites that provided the best answer, it’s not hard to see the potential that these small devices- once thought to be the stuff of science fiction- have for businesses.

The following illustration should hopefully demonstrate this a little better. Our client, Pymm & Co, are an estate agent in Norwich. Naturally, we want them to appear anytime someone hops online to look for a property to buy or rent in the city.

Should someone chance to ask ‘Alexa, where’s the best place to rent a flat in Norwich?’ we want Pymm & Co to be the ones providing the answer. Whilst this sort of question might not generate a lead straight off the bat, it increases brand awareness and could well bring that user back to the site in future. Both good things from an SEO and business point of view, obviously.

It’s also worth remembering that by 2022, it’s estimated that 50% of consumers will be purchasing products via voice shopping. This fact alone should do enough to convince online sellers they need to nail down their voice search strategy if they want to outperform their competitors in a couple of years’ time.

What you should be doing:

Having identified that asking something of a home assistant is simply a different way of using a search engine, the answer is easy: you need to adapt your SEO strategy. As well as carrying out your usual keyword research, you should be doing some ‘question research’.

Specifically, you need to be thinking about the kinds of questions your customers are asking their home assistants and how your business can answer them.

If you’re a plumber, for example, produce some content that answers basic maintenance questions. Often, people asking simple things like ‘how to fix a leaky sink’ will end up calling out a plumber once they realise it’s a little more technical than grabbing some duct tape. If it was you that answered their question via a voice assistant, you stand a good chance of being the person they call out.

Ultimately, it’s time to start thinking of home assistants as ambassadors for your brand. Provide them with the best information you can, and they’ll gladly report that to anyone who’s asking around for the services you provide.

How we can help:

At Nu Image, we’re dedicated to adopting the best practices and providing ongoing SEO for our clients. We’re not really satisfied until we see them hit the top spot, and even then, we’re committed to doing everything we can to ensure they remain there.

At our marketing agency Norwich, we also get a kick out of the latest tech developments that impact Google rankings. Unsurprisingly, voice search is something we take super seriously and spend time planning for to future-proof the businesses that trust us to make them visible online.

If you’d like to find out how we can help your business stay up to date with all aspects of SEO, get in touch with our team today.

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