Are You Losing Business Because your Website Isn’t Ready for Voice-Search?
Ok Google, Alexa (Echo), Siri, Cortana – the ability to search the web without looking at or touching a screen is growing. I don’t know about you but I know I have rolled my eyes when I ask a question and either don’t get a voice response or get, “Here are some things that match.” Really? I have to pick up my device and look at it?
In 2019 there were close to 2 billion voicebot assistant bases installed. That is A LOT of voice searching. If your website isn’t optimized for voice searches you may not even show up in the results, let alone be read by the artificial intelligence software.
To be fair, while the use of voice search is exploding, optimizing websites for it is still in its infancy. It’s not required, and for the moment, it’s likely not costing you much in terms of search results. But the writing is on the wall. The day is coming where your website may as well not exist if it isn’t voice-searchable. This is not a curve you want to end up behind.
What you need to know about voice searches
- People will not look at their device at any point in the search
- Queries are more colloquial and verbose than typed searches
- Often spur-of-the-moment and wanting instant answers
- Used when hands are busy, i.e. while driving, cooking or otherwise distracted
- Research and buying stages are often separate
- Voice shopping is on the rise
- In 2020 at least 50% of searches are expected to be by voice
- Artificial intelligence speech accuracy is 95% – as good as most humans
- Many searches have a near me/local component
- People spend less time engaging with results
How to get your website voice-search-ready
The first thing you need to know is how are people looking for your products or services. Using a site such as Answer the Public will generate hundreds of questions related to your field. It is easy to want to ignore the ones that aren’t grammatically correct or that contain misspellings. That would be a mistake. If it’s listed, it has been searched enough to consider including in your SEO.
Eliminate tables within your website. Voice searches can’t read information embedded in tables. They have been used for a long time to make sure the formatting on a website stays stable. But it’s time to change that if you want to stay relevant to the search algorithms. If you don’t know if your site has tables, ask your web designer to look into it for you.
Make sure your Bing Places for Business and Google My Business page are up to date.
- Include your full street address, including zip code (If your mailing address is different, include that as well but make it clear it is a MAILING address).
- If your city/town uses neighborhood names or calls streets something different than what an out-of-towner might use, add that as well.
- Hours of operation are important. Update your site to reflect holiday or special event hours. Don’t frustrate your users by making them wonder if you’re open during an evening art loop or bar hopping event.
- Make it possible for people to call you just by tapping your number. Voice isn’t there yet to be able to call from a website. But it will be soon enough.
- Any other data points that will make it easy for people to recognize your location, including things you tell people on the phone when they call looking for you. Example: “We are two blocks down from the fire station.”
Optimize your page for Bing searches as well as Google. Most people realize that they need to be ready for Google crawlers to be checking out their site. But Bing is often ignored as an also-ran. That is a mistake because Alexa and Cortana rely on Bing. But it does open up the field to your business if you take the time to do it. The competition on Bing is lower so you are more likely to be able to be in the top results for both text and voice search if your site works well with the Bing search engine.
Now is the time to start getting your site ready for the world of screen-less search. If reading this post makes your head spin, don’t worry. At RgB Design Group we are already in front of the trend and ready to help you optimize your site. Give us a call or shoot us an email and we’ll take care of the rest.
Wishing you happy search results!
Call Russ at 302-273-0514 or email him at Russ@RgBDesignGroup.com