SEO has always been centred around matching entire web pages with a typed keyword or phrase. Voice search, however, will never deliver an entire page and the user is in a far less committed state. The user is most likely standing and most likely already engaged in another task.
You have to feel bad for the guys and girls designing Voice search engines. The Voice search engine must maximise speed and convenience to solve the user’s needs. It must be right first time too; Google has the luxury of presenting the user with approximately 10 results and can rely on the user’s own decision making to determine the best fit. Voice, however, does all the heavy lifting.
A Voice search is usually performed when the user is already engaged or about to be engaged in a task. Voice searches are far less likely to be purely exploratory. When writing for Voice search topics, always keep in mind the active state the user is in. They will likely use your information instantly or within ten minutes.
It’s important to remember that Voice Search is made verbally for speed. A Voice search needs to give the user the information they need quickly or they will move to their smartphone or desktop. It is recommended to structure copy in question answer and formats similar to what you’d find on an FAQ page.
It may seem strange to include readability here, however, it makes perfect sense. When presenting your copy to a user, Alexa and Google Assistant will read it out. Overly long sentences and complex words will sound boring or difficult to understand when the user is listening in and juggling other tasks. Alexa’s intonation is particularly good, however, Google Assistant will struggle to clearly state more difficult phrases.
long tail search is increasingly important
Right now, Voice encourages talking to a computer the same way you would talk to a human. In the future, it will no longer be apparent that there is a reason to talk to a computer in any other way. For instance, when searching on google you may type “Address flinders st station” when on Voice the search is more likely to stretch to “Hey Alexa, what’s the address of Flinders Street Station?”.
Most SEO strategies should already be incorporating long tail anyway. This is a particularly good strategy to target low competition traffic.
All too often copy for a brand reads either as overly formal or goofily casual like a baby boomer trying to appear hip with teens. Keep your content clean, natural and concise. Why? Alexa or Google Assistant will be reading your copy. The experience of interacting with either of them is best when they sound as human as possible.
Way back in June 2011, Google announced their collaboration with Bing, Yahoo and Yandex: Schema.org. Essentially it was an industry standard on how to present microdata to search engines, to encourage better and more detailed search results.
Remember always that an artificial intelligence will have to make the decision of which one piece of information to reply to the user with. Making Alexa or Google Assistant’s job easier will improve the chances of your brand being mentioned.
One of the best-served article types are recipes. There are special markups for ingredients, their qualities, even the fat content of each ingredient. A user will be able to get their voice assistant to clarify any particular intricacy of the recipe even when they’re already preparing the meal.
Use as much structured data where possible and you can ensure artificial intelligences will have the easiest time interpreting your data for their users.
Looking to create a Voice experience for your brand?