If you’ve asked Siri what the weather is like, or asked Alexa to order you a pepperoni pizza, you’re in good company. The rise of voice-search queries, orders and use cases has grown exponentially, transforming how consumers behave and how brands ought to respond.
Take, for instance, that in the second quarter of 2018, the global market for voice search devices grew by 187% while, as early as next year, half of all online searches are predicted to be voice-based.
Data compiled by Think With Google further highlights adoption and the unique opportunities voice presents for brands:
Clearly, marketers who adapt and optimize their SEO strategies for voice will be the victors in this changing landscape. Here’s what to know and how to incorporate voice-based search into your campaigns and content, if you haven’t already.
1: Semantics Over Syntax
It’s no surprise that we talk differently than we text, influencing our voice search strategy. With voice, we’re more colloquial and tend to be more specific, asking Hey, Alexa what clinic in the Hudson Valley has the best pediatrician? compared to the more succinct search query Best Pediatrician Hudson Valley.
As such, marketers should optimize for long-tailed queries and phrases, which often happen to be less expensive with better click-through-rates compared to shorter queries. It’s key to remember that voice search only returns one answer based on the best-optimized result, so make sure your content aligns as closely as possible to the query.
2: Anticipate Context with Content
People talking to Siri or Alexa generally have more immediate needs than those searching via mobile or desktop. As such, respond to their voice queries with action-oriented content.
For instance, a voice search for nearby pediatricians could direct to a page with a list of pediatricians alongside a widget to easily schedule an appointment. Ensure other pages are voice-optimized by adding these to your SEO strategy:
• Common phrases pertaining to the topic in question • “Near me” in anchor text, meta description and title tags • Local physicians, places or other pertinent local references
One question typically leads to another, so anticipate and address additional questions with thoughtful content. Depending on the topic in question, Answer the Public is a fun, free SEO tool that can kickstart this process by providing a list of commonly asked questions related to a specific keyword.
For pharma, good content is all about providing patient, caregiver, and HCP segments with relevant education about the disease state and ensuring the next step, whether contacting a doctor, joining a support group or requesting additional information, is a click away. Most importantly, you need to ensure that your responses remain fully compliant with regulatory guidelines.
As a fundamental rule, any mention of drug efficacy must be fair balanced with mention of safety; since that’s not always possible, avoiding all mention of indication and instead focusing on “reminder ads” and unbranded educational content is more viable for voice search.
3: Leverage Structured Data
An astute media partner will ensure your site has already been marked-up or properly organized with metadata so that virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google can best connect voice queries with content that’s most relevant and actionable.
The most commonly used approach is captured in Schema.org, a community committed to optimizing structured content on the Web, including search. When done well, these strategies such as ecommerce seo will enhance your site rankings for both voice and traditional search regarding your online eCommerce shop, and help strengthen associations across your site pages.
Have you checked out your Search Terms Report lately? Chock-full of audience insights, this live report can enhance your voice-search optimizations, too.