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The era of exclusive text-based searches is long gone. Voice searches are emerging as perfectly viable competitors to replace the use of text to find things. Over a billion searches were conducted by voice in January alone, which tells you all you need to know about the future of searches. Convenience is what attracts users to new technology and voice searches are pretty convenient. You don’t even have to look at the screen to get the necessary information you’re looking for. Obviously, this has the most impact when using mobile websites.
Desktop users don’t usually step away from the screen to search for something with their voice. Web designers are starting to optimize their websites for mobile searches in order to get that sweet search engine optimization. Voice searches aren’t yet at the level where you could speak to the search engine as if it were an AI, but they’re still progressing at an alarming rate. Micro-interactions and conversational UIs are the future of searches and you need to get to know them better.
1. Common queries should be near the top
Speed is the name of the game when it comes to optimizing websites for online marketing. Getting users to where they want to be in a timely manner is the most important goal for the designer. It’s estimated that about a quarter of voice users will call a business after finding them in a search engine. It’s important that you have the most relevant information readily available to those searching for it.
Using voice search usually means the person is looking for a shortcut to get in touch and it’s your mission to make your website first on the list. If you have answers to the most common questions ready, it’s very likely that your website will be the first to pop up.
Calls aren’t the only goal. A potential customer could just be looking for additional ways to engage with your brand. Perhaps they needed some additional information about a product, or they were wondering where to find a brick and mortar shop. Questions regarding these things should always be on your mind. Making sure the answer shows up in the title or metadata of the website is crucial if you want the users to click on your website links.
2. Featured snippets
Featured snippets are a great way for search engines like Google to quickly show the most relevant answer. If the search query is good enough of a match, the most relevant website will have its answer shown at the top of the page. Not only is the website the highest ranked search in this case, but it also has the important information shown right there in the search. This summary might not seem like much of an improvement for those searching, considering that all it does is shorten the number of clicks by one, but it’s a huge boon to website designers.
In voice-searches, this can be what sets you apart from the rest. When you ask your voice assistant something, it’s going to want to show you answers right away instead of giving you suggestions for websites. It’s all about the convenience of the voice assistant. Search engines like Google have a specific system in place to see if the content is adequate for a voice search summary.
First of all, the title of the website has to match the intent of the user’s search. Next up, the blog’s title, URL, tags, and keywords have to be at least a rough match for the topic. Once this has been established, the search engine skims the content for the intended search query and displays the most relevant snippets. This lets your website be the first in line without having to compete for the user’s conscious clicks.
3. Organic conversations
Voice search users don’t want to feel like they’re talking to a machine or algorithm. Despite the fact that they know it’s not a real person on the other side of the search, most people want the answers to seem at least a little bit organic. If the search queries feel like completely one-sided conversations, it’s not going to leave the best impact on users. For the right kind of user experience, you need to make some thoughtful and conversational answers. Without this, you won’t see your website performing in the best way.
When designing a mobile website, you can’t exactly affect what the content will be, but your influence can be used in a different way. You can frame that content in a way that could be used to create some organic sounding answers. These answers still have to be representative of the questions that people most commonly search for.
Finding the right kind of balance between organic and efficient isn’t exactly the easiest task, especially if you’re just a web designer. Businesses often prefer consulting a Search Engine Optimisation agency before putting out their most important content. Once you’ve found the right, organic answers to the most common queries, you need to integrate them into your website.
4. Have the content make sense
Having answers that seem genuine and organic won’t do you any good if they don’t make any sense. You can have a very human-like conversation with a bot while it’s spouting gibberish, but you won’t get the relevant information you want. If your site has been online for a while now, you can use Google Analytics data to your advantage.
To get more natural sounding and logical queries, you should use this database to create long-tail voice search queries. If your individual queries are longer, you’re going to reduce the risk of the search engine misinterpreting the data by combining several smaller queries. To get your website front and center in searches, it might be best to also add these relevant answers to the metadata.
Once you feel confident that searches will lead to your website, it might be time to make the answers more visible. The answers to the most common questions should be put in boxes on your website. This can help you highlight some of the more important things you have to share with users. Prevent them from using too much of their time for finding answers. Better yet, Google might feature the best answers as a snippet in the search!
Voice search assistants have been on the rise these past few years with the spread of technology like the Amazon Alexa. People are growing fond of using their voice to get things done in a timely manner. As with all methods of searching for things on the internet, getting the SEO done right is extremely important if you want the website to show up in searches.
Marketers and designers have to be creative when it comes to voice searches. Getting the right keywords to match the natural flow of language isn’t easy. Optimizing your website for voice searches is going to take a lot of work, but you’d best believe it’s worth it in the end. With mobile phones dominating the market and voice searches rising, it’s quite obvious where you should be investing most of your time and resources.