Google Assistant, Siri, Echo, and Alexa are among the personal voice assistants that are always ready to provide answers. Siri alone has more than 40 million active monthly users and Google Assistant is available on nearly all of the 2 billion or so Android devices being used, so PVAs are definitely not a passing fad. But what does this have to do with how you reach out to customers? It means you’ll want to pay more attention to the specifics of voice search when choosing your keywords and optimizing your content.
Optimizing for voice search means making some adjustments to the keywords you use to target searchers. Voice searchers tend to ask questions, so opt for question-based keywords. People speaking to get info also tend to be more conversational than when they type, which means long-tail keywords (groups of related terms) will serve you better than single keywords.
Even though personal voice assistants answer spoken queries, they still get their info from text-based search engines. PVAs use a searcher’s spoken words as a guide to look for keywords and terms that match for their detected location. Technology has improved the accuracy of voice search to more than 90 percent for most PVAs. This is the main reason why more people are relying on their personal voice assistants to quickly get the results they want.
As is the case with mobile devices, not all personal voice assistants access the same search engine. Google Assistant obviously uses Google. But Siri, Alexa, and Cortana use Bing as their preferred search engine. Bing isn’t as much about human interactions as Google is right now. So, optimizing for Siri, Alexa, and Cortana should include a focus on on-page optimization and link building. Also, Bing doesn’t crawl websites as fast as Google. If you’re new to Bing, check out Bing Webmaster Tools to get a better idea of what you can do to appeal to Bing.
If you’re going to be optimizing for PVAs for all the people using Google Assistant via Android devices, then all the rules of optimizing for Google apply (e.g., content quality and relevance, page speed). No matter what search engine is being accessed, you’ll want to make sure your content is optimized for mobile users since PVAs are typically used from mobile devices. Make it easier for PVA users to access your content via smartphones and tablets by:
• Checking your website’s speed with Google’s Mobile Speed Test
• Developing structured data markups like Schema.org (Google Assistant tends to reward sites that use structured data)
• Using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to improve accessibility to your content on mobile devices
It’s estimated that half of all searches will be voice-generated by 2020 and 30 percent of searches won’t even involve a screen. People love the convenience of being able to access info without the need to type. Even so, you still want to keep the emphasis on providing content that’s relevant to your intended audience.
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