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How to ensure your website is voice-assistant ready

voice search

New digital innovations are constantly changing the way we do business, and one of the latest digital disruptors has been making major waves. In the past few years especially, voice search has had a significant impact on the way we search for information. With voice recognition technology reaching new heights in terms of accuracy, people the world over are increasingly adopting this convenient way of finding content online.

OC&C Strategy Consultants reported that 55% of households are expected to own smart speaker devices by 2022. That would be a massive 42% leap from smart speaker ownership in 2017. Consumers are making good use of this new tech too. PwC found that “65% of 25-49 year-olds speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once per day.” As a result, businesses looking to tap into the potential of voice search need to ensure that their websites are ready for the voice-assistant takeover.

There isn’t a better time than now to optimise your website for voice search. By following the tips below you will place your business in prime position to reap the full benefits of a voice-assistant ready web presence.

Aim for ‘Position V’ through organic SEO best practice

It’s every business’s goal to reach the top spot on page 1 of Google search results. Now, the evolution of search has given rise to the term “Position V” – the featured voice result that is read out by any voice search assistant including Google and Alexa. While, reaching this coveted position isn’t an exact science, optimizing your site for the following components significantly increases your chances:

  • Local listings
  • Structured data
  • Featured snippets

Fine-tune technical details to optimise site speed

The speed of your website is integral to every aspect of SEO and this doesn’t change with voice search. Search engines still look upon the fastest websites more favourably and this is not expected to change any time soon. As such, tending to the intricate details of your website will go a long way towards improved site performance. Important factors to be considered include:

  • Your hosting provider and server.
  • File formats and sizes.
  • The range of plug-ins installed.
  • The level of bandwidth available.

Enable HTTPS protocol to strengthen website security

Websites should always be protected by HTTPS, regardless of whether or not they handle sensitive communications. Search engines today are taking a hard-line approach towards sites that don’t have relevant security measures in place. Other than the fact that HTTPS provides essential data integrity and robust security for both your website’s and users’  personal information, it is now a basic prerequisite for a multitude of new browser features as well.

Incorporate long-tail keywords into your content

 In order to optimise content for voice search, you need to take into account the fact that people typically speak very differently to the way they write. Typed queries tend to be very brief and succinct whereas verbal searches generally include more words. As such, incorporating long-tail keywords, which sound natural and are more likely to be used during a voice search is good practice. The simpler the language is the better. Most voice software tools conform with the widely accepted statistic that the average adult in the U.S reads at an 8th-grade level.

Answer as many FAQs as possible

FAQ pages are a goldmine of highly useful information. Their format – a conversational question with a concise answer directly beneath it – is particularly ideal for voice search. It will ensure that your website answers the many questions that users generally have about your company or industry. The nature of FAQs also means that they are more than likely to be the same questions that people with a natural interest in your product or service offering may well ask their voice assistant when they’re searching for information online.

Gartner has predicted that 30% of all searches will be done using a device without a screen by 2020. With that milestone fast approaching, it is of paramount importance to see to it that you don’t get left behind. Through a well-optimized site that pays attention to the technicalities of SEO best practice you will set yourself up to reach the pinnacle of voice search and the considerable extra exposure it brings.

Written by Sam Martin

 

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