2020 Trends - How To Get Found In Voice Searches. Voice search or website search using one's voice rather than typing into a keyboard or phone is rising in popularity and something, I believe us content creators need to think seriously about during 2020, if we want to be found by prospects.
Driven by Google's Home, Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri, voice search will soon account for 50% of all internet searches (source: comScore). In fact that figure was a prediction for 2020 and whilst I'm still trying to locate the exact reported figure for 2019 I don't think it's far off at 50%.
For me that was an enlightening number. I mean it's no surprise. We have an Alexa in our home and whilst we don't use it to search the internet other than for music and and the odd random fact, I was quite unaware at how many people do use it for searching answers to other topics.
Consider how many times you use it.
So the question becomes, as a content creator, are set up for it?
Usage rates of voice search are set to increase further, as more people use hands free devices and virtual assistants like Siri. Plus, the more sophisticated the machines get, the more reliable they become, which will further increase usage.
People want faster and faster results and voice search provides that.
What else will contribute to an increase in voice search?
Some devices are difficult to type on and voice search helps deal with this issue.
So again, I ask the question. Are you set up and optimised for it?
I'm on the bus, but need to take my own medicine on this subject!
Imagine if people ask Google Home, tell me where "I can find a local social media manager, or where can I learn more about social media?" I want Sally Social and The SMC to be listed in those search results!
So what do we need to do this year, to get ready for it, or if I'm being honest, the question should be what can I do today to be ready for voice search?
Getting Prepared For Voice Search
I've done some research and here's what I know and can tell you.
Firstly, if you've never heard of SEO or Search Engine Optimisation, then please learn about it. If you are serious about scaling your business you need to be familiar with SEO and actively optimising your web content for searches.
The good news is, fundamental SEO work will go some way to helping you get ready for voice search. So that's stage 1!
I've written several posts about SEO. I wanted to ensue my bricks and mortar business some year's back, got on the first page as a local business so I spent quite a bit of time getting my head round it and ended up loving the subject! (You may know by know I'm a geeky marketer!)
The great news for you, is it's really not an intimidating subject. Maybe a little boring. It's definitely not the most sexy part of digital marketing, but hey, it does bring home the bacon.
At a basic level, it simply means that you are including keywords that people use in their internet searches in all your digital content.
For food brands reading this, recipes are the the most popular featured snippet
No One Size Fits All
There's no one size fits all solution to getting found in voice searches. In other words there's no universal process in place, that will get you found on all the voice search devices I mentioned. Each device will throw up different results because of where they pull the data from.
Google Home, pulls data from Google - of course! They source results from the featured snippets which are selected search results that feature at the top of the organic results above the displayed ads.
This article by Moz.com explains it well and what you can do to get featured. It's not impossible. If you are a food brand reading this, recipes are featured heavily in featured snippets (Ahrefs). So there's your challenge food brands!
Siri pulls data from Bing and Alexa and Alexa pulls data from Amazon purchases.
Keywords are the words that users enter in to search engines to find the answer to their question
How To Get Displayed in Featured snippets
To get your content displayed in the featured snippets within Google, you need to be active and intentional about keywords. You need to have a good SEO score, which looks at metrics such as online and offline domain authority. Do you have backlinks? Is your domain receiving positive reviews and mentions? How well is your business name recognised locally (determined by mentions)your company's reputation and the level of engagement your brand gets online. All theses factors play a vital role in getting you into the Featured Snippets section. However, it is "daoble" if you focus on them.
Read my article How To Bump Your Food Brand Up The Google Rankings (applies to all businesses) to help you discover ways of building brand and domain authority. Download the checklist in the article and start building your domain authority. It's not difficult. It just requires action and probably doing something different and outside your comfort zone.
How to get prepared for Voice Search
So to summarise then, to get voice search ready, you really need to be on top of your keywords and actively increasing your domain authority.
Keywords are the words that users enter into search engines to find the answer to their question.
Do your keyword research and add them to all your content. I'm talking blog posts, recipes, You Tube and Podcast titles and descriptions, everywhere! I explain this in more detail over at my post here.
A Keyword Tool To Help You
A keyword tool which I love and will help you find keywords to incorporate into your content, is Moz's Keyword Explorer - its free to use (I think you get up to 7 daily searches which is usually enough to start helping you begin your voice search optimization, before being invited to upgrade).
Essentially, if you are on WordPress, optimise your website for all searches by installing the Yoast plugin to help you find relevant keywords to include into the page copy. You'll need to add them into the editable area in the backend of your pages and posts plus in the snippets area, which will also be found in the Dashboard area of your website.
Effectively, wherever you have a digital presence, ensure you use the keywords section.
If you don't don't so this, then your competition will
You might be feeling this work, falls into the "too difficult" box or you've labelled it a low priority. Know this. Your competition will be doing this. If you can take the lead in your local area and spend one morning or afternoon reading my related blog posts on SEO and getting your content optimised for both Google and Voice search, it will win you more business. I know many business owners that rely on search. Furthermore its' virtually free to rank.
When I had my home interior shop, ranking high in the search results was my number 1 challenge. After spending several hours, conducting keyword research, adding them into my digital content and waiting for the search spiders to index my site, I ranked on the first page of Google!
It's a little more challenging for me in this niche which is dominated by some real big hitters with large domain authority, but if you are serving a local area, it can be achieved. Allow 2 months for the bots to crawl your site after doing the work.
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