Why Voice Search in 2019 is going to be a Major Force?

The ability to send commands by voice through our smartphones and voice search enabled devices has grown in popularity. By 2020, it’s been estimated as many as 50 percent of all searches will be by sent by voice. Voice search apps, software, and devices like Alexa, Google Home, Cortana, Siri, and Amazon Echo continue to sell in record numbers to people everywhere. In 2019, this is motivating some massive changes in search engine optimization (SEO) and how websites are optimized for voice-enabled interactions.

Increasing Use In Voice Searches

As voice search grows in popularity, it’s beginning to surpass the hype surrounding mobile responsiveness and the importance of mobile websites. For years, a lot of us in web design and digital marketing have continually pointed towards mobile usage and mobile website search surpassing desktops. It’s been a few years since that has happened and as many websites continue to adapt to a mobile smartphone-led web environment, voice search has quickly risen to supplant it as a guiding influence. How voice search came to become such a heavy factor so fast has everything to do with the proliferation of voice search devices, apps, and software. As a more convenient way to interact with technology, consumers have really taken to voice search and thereby, their behaviour has changed.

As marketers and designers, what we do always has to change with the times, change with the trends, and change with consumer behaviours. As voice search continues to take over how people use search engines like Google, the approach to website promotion and SEO remains similar however different. Strategies should now focus on mobile and voice-based devices, ensuring a website is responsive to these formats. Content should be optimized accordingly with available meta-descriptions filled and all SEO written with the knowledge that it could be read with voice. Another key difference between non-voice and voice-enabled SEO is in how voice search has impacted keyword search. Using voice search, a user is more likely to ask a question rather than to state a long-tail keyword. Therefore, when building content, using questions instead of traditional keywords is a strong approach.

This is how Voice Search is being used

According to Search Engine Land, here’s how people use voice search – for general information (30 percent), as a personal assistant (27 percent), for local information (22 percent), and for fun and entertainment (21 percent).

There are numerous voice search apps and services being developed out there, including Fandango where consumers can purchase movie tickets anywhere, any time. Expect to see more services like this develop and be widely used, as more people are expected to jump on board to voice search this year and beyond.

Google Snippets In Search Results (“Position 0”)

Analyzing current voice search data, more than 80 percent of all voice search is coming from snippets. If you’ve ever Googled anything on your desktop or smartphone, you may have noticed snippets without even knowing what they are. When you search for something, you receive a page with a short list of questions and short 2-3 sentence answers.

If a site is optimized to produce snippets for search engines, there’s a better chance someone will click on a snippet. Snippets continue to produce more clicks than regular results. This is another example of how we intend to optimize web design code and content in the year to come.

All in all, voice search is about a more convenient user experience. It’s the ‘user experience’ which is at the forefront of what drives SEO. Search engines like Google continue to put high emphasis on voice search optimization. There’s no question that as SEO algorithms continue to change, voice search optimization will become a stronger rank factor.

Every month, there are more than one billion voice searches performed and that number continues to climb with each month that passes. Whether they are looking to perform a local search, to purchase or play a song, to seek information on a subject, or to search out a product for purchase, voice search is being used widely.

Voice search will affect every website, repositioning what websites rank where and prioritizing certain sites over others. If you do not want to be lost in the mix, investing in voice search optimization today is a strong recommendation. And, that begins with simple steps such as ensuring your website is mobile responsive, optimizing images with descriptions, improving page speed, improving server response time, and including featured snippets.

How to adapt Your Website to Voice Search?

As impressive and as important as the graphic design is for a website, more and more website sessions are being conducted without a screen. That’s in thanks to voice search and websites need to be ready to adapt to this new playground.

The average voice search result is about 29 words long, something every website has to remember. Building out content intelligently in 2019 should have focus on being included in voice search results. Those who are able to adapt to voice search and prepare themselves for the oncoming increase in users will be the websites who succeed in 2019, into 2020, and beyond.

Local voice search In 2019

Local search – things like ‘cafes near me’, ‘pizza near me’, ‘restaurants near me’ – are already very popular. A lot of these searches are already being done in voice and that numbers only going to increase as more devices like Google Home are sold. If you are operating locally and are focused on building a local audience, voice search optimization is a strong strategy. Consider using the local environment around you and local keywords, like ‘Italian restaurant in downtown Toronto’, ‘cafes on Queen Street’, or ‘parking for Blue Jays game’. These are keywords using local information to connect your company to a location.

Using questions and conversational tone

As we mentioned earlier, people are more likely to voice search questions like who, what, when, why, and where. Also, because it’s not being typed, people are more likely to use a conversational, natural tone to look for an answer to their question. Keep this in mind when writing blogs, developing video content and planning your website.

Keywords in voice search

A ‘long-tail keyword’ is a keyword with more than one word and is generally more specific. For example, a regular keyword might be ‘radio station’ and a long-tail version could be ‘radio station in Toronto, Ontario’ or ‘hip-hop radio station in Toronto’. Using long-tail keywords of a few words in length, you’ll find they have less competition because of how much more specific they are. Location-based long-tail keywords will prove to be the most valuable keyword type in the years to come. Combine this with an intriguing, voice-friendly title and meta description, and you shouldn’t have any trouble getting a voice search enabled device to browse your site.

Screen Size Responsiveness

A responsive website ensures your website’s design adapts and fits all screen sizes. If your site is not mobile responsive, you shouldn’t expect it to get anywhere close to being included in voice search results. Your website needs to load on mobile screens and fast! As of 2018, Google ranks the speed of the website based on its mobile version and not its desktop. Your website’s mobile version will also be where voice search gets its information from.

Using video content descriptions

Studies have shown video content will be a large factor in voice search. In the same way voice search is picking up on Google results, its integration into video platforms like YouTube signifies a need to optimize your video descriptions to be picked up on by voice search. Voice-based searches and video content are a strong combination. A user can also add subtitles for their video, which supports Google picking it up for search.

Schema markup for voice search

Schema markup are a description you put onto your website which a search engine like Google then uses as a snippet for when it returns your website as a search result. Schema markup snippets are increasingly valuable for voice search. These descriptions are all about relating the right information about your website to the search engine, letting it know what your site is about and how to classify it in search results. These descriptions should be written and used according to the category you hope to be included in. If you’re looking into how to optimize your website for voice search and SEO, Schema markup is recommended to increase the likelihood of discovery.

Adaptation in language

Voice-activated devices now have the capability to adapt to different languages. For example, Google Home is now available in Spanish. If a website offers its services in different languages, it’s important to adapt to the technologies people use. In the near future, technology will surely continue to expand to more languages and with that, language translation and/or adaptation will be even more important.

The future of voice search

Voice search continues to improve and get smarter. Current voice search tech is only the tip of the iceberg, as it relates to its long-term potential to change our lives and the way we do things on eCommerce, social media, and online. In time, voice search will continue to gain accuracy and develop new capabilities. As it does, there will likely be more use for it. The websites which engage with voice search optimization today will be on the cutting edge of these changes. They will be ready to adapt to what comes around the corner. The future of voice search is very promising, and as websites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram embed this feature into different applications, there’s no telling precisely how much this will change consumer behaviour and help websites find the audience.

The days where a user can browse the Internet and obtain information about a website or business without ever having to look at a screen are here. Voice search optimization may be the key to your brand being successful in 2019. All The Way Up Media specializes in voice search. If you have any questions or lookng for a strong SEO agency that brings results, please call us or fill out the form below.

Online reputation management is not just about looking after your social media accounts and maintaining a Google Alert on your business name. The Internet provides an opportunity for users of all backgrounds to share brand experiences and create conversation. Online reputation management involves managing the conversation that’s happening around your business or industry and looking after online reviews.

Consumer reviews are an opportunity for users online to have their voices heard and to share their experience. Seen on social media sites like Facebook, on search engines like Google, and on classifieds like Yelp, reviews can make or break a business. They’re powerful in the sense that reviews communicate so much about a brand’s standards, reputation, products, and/or services from the viewpoint of the customer. For example, if you want to have a haircut, you’re going to go online and check out the reviews for local hairdressers and salons. Those reviews are going to affect your final decision on where to put your money.

Where do online reviews show up?

No matter the category of business, user reviews have a role to play. Some of the most common online review websites are

  • Trusted Reviews for products
  • Indeed for jobs
  • Glass Door for businesses
  • Trip Advisor for hotels and hospitality-related restaurants or entertainment
  • Exclaim for music reviews.

Brands that aren’t monitoring theirs may have a reputation problem on their hands before long. For example, should a potential customer come along and see a ton of negative reviews, are they really going to want to purchase something from you – probably not.
online reputation management, reviews

How do online reviews appear?

Reviews can appear in a variety of different ways, with a five-star system being the most common. They may also appear as images, videos, or in plain text. It’s true that, in some cases, one bad business review can take down a business. If there’s an accusation that so poorly portrays your brand that few customers want to continue their relationship with you, you’re going to be in trouble. Notwithstanding, the average business may receive a mix of reviews. Some will be spam and can oftentimes be removed by contacting the review website. At other times, if someone expresses a legitimate concern, you may have some difficulty removing it.

Online reviews which appear as articles

Some reviews aren’t going to appear as ‘reviews’ at all but instead, will show up in the form of articles and blogs. If they say something positive about a product or service, or your brand, that’s wonderful. If it’s negative though, it can be much more complex on how to manage this. An article like that will get placed on Google and then, whenever someone searches out your brand, it’s going to come up. It could affect your reputation for a long time if you don’t be careful.

monitor online reviews, online reputation management

How to monitor online reviews for your benefit

Any brand who makes the investment to respond to negative reviews and monitor their reputation online shows their audience they care about what people are saying. In this sense, even a negative review can be an opportunity to advertise your business in a positive light. Thankfully, there’s also software which can help monitor what people are saying about you online. Various software will track your business name and brand, reporting to you any time you are mentioned on sites like Mention and Awario.

  • Decide if you need to respond. If there’s derogatory or degrading language, irrational opinions, or if it’s not something you feel you can remedy, contact the review website and ask them to remove the comment.
  • Respond to negative feedback by hearing them out, empathizing with them, apologizing, and taking action to fix the complaint. When other customers see your willingness to help and improve, they’ll feel comfortable doing business with you. Any business owner will have to go out of their way to fix a bad review. Even so, it’s important. By not responding, the damage a brand could incur is sizeable.
  • Respond to all positive reviews as well! You don’t want to give the impression that, to get your attention, a customer needs to leave negative feedback. A few words of acknowledgement is enough to thank someone for leaving their two cents.
  • Monitor the most popular review sites first and foremost since they get more exposure, as these will be where the majority of customers see you.
  • Monitor your social media accounts as well. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are extremely popular for users who want to leave reviews and comments regarding brands.
  • Respond quickly and politely.

Reviews, online reputation management

For help in building positive business reviews and for strong reputation management online, contact internet marketing company, All The Way Up Media, today.

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