At web-aviso optimising a business or brand website listing so that it can found online via both desktop and mobile search is one of our core services. 

However we go beyond ensuring consistency of the business’ name, address, phone number (NAP) on listings and will add business hours, photos, customer reviews, and more wherever possible - all because of voice search.

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With a voice search query responses are very limited, so a business website and online presence needs to work harder to become a contender to appear in a voice search mention.
It can take some creativity to show extensive information about a business, and certainly go beyond what most businesses tend to add to their Google Business Profile as standard. 
At web-aviso eor example. we might look to leverage new and devloping features such as Frequently Asked Questions through a Google Business Profile Knowledge Panel, and add information such as products, services, and menus. As a summary, the more thorough the information available, the greater the opportiunity for a listing to get more exposure through a voice search result.Invariably there are other factors too

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So, What is Voice Search and How Does it Work ?

To prepare your business presence for voice search and to get your local business found on both mobile voice search and by voice assistants (such as Apple's Siri, Samsung's Bixby, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Alexa etc.) you first have to understand the concept of voice search and how you need to adapt your online offering to it. 
Voice search is certainly a viable alternative to typed search. Having been embedded in devices for a number of years now, the accuracy of results based on AI learning has improved enough for it to feature on at least many larger business marketing strategies -but local SME's are being quick to see the benefits too.
The importance of voice command search has been driven more recently by the size and development of the mobile market and subsequent changes in consumer habits and practices, where services, products and information and expected quickly, conveniently and accurately. So the voice search process has adapted to become more practical, easier, and faster than ever before, particularly for location-based queries.
Essentially with desktop/tablet or mobile typed search, a variety of options are displayed on pages of search engine results, providing a choice from which to select. With a voice search however - depending on the query - typically only one or a restriction of answers are given. The positive of voice search is that many queries searching for products, services and local businesses is that users are performing a high percentage of searches with local intent. 

For a deep dive we recommend this article by TechJury for 50+ voice search stats to help you rethink your strategy
However the aim of this article is not to dive too deeply into the technical side of voice search - so what follows are some practical tips and techniques for businesses to consider.

Voice Search Optimisation Tips

Here are few targeted ways that businesses can consider revising their content for voice search optimisation:  

Use Natural Language

The process of discovering keyword phrases and trends is always evolving. Unsurprisingly voice search optimisation will adjust as searchers use different phrases when speaking. These changes however provide many many long phrase (or long-tail keyword) opportunities for local businesses. Voice search is natural language centric - so content should be written in a similar conversational way that incorporates known and potential voice search phrases.  

Provide Direct Answers 

Many queries sought via voice search are questions. To improve your chances of ranking for these searches, you should provide clear, direct answers. We suggest that local businesses should provide answers with a focus on local and industry relevance.

Trigger Words

Research into over 7 million keywords by SEOClarity uncovered that over 20 % of featured answers displayed by Google in traditional online search (and known as 'Google snippets' from which many voice search answers are taken*) were triggered top 25 words: 

How / What  / Is / Best / Where / Can / Top / Easy / When  / Why  / Who / New / Recipe / Good / Homes / Does / Make / Define / Free / I  / List / Home / Does / Do  

The most frequently occurring terms are How, What, and Best which indicates that content should focus on answering queries with informational intent.

Answer Questions in the First Sentence 

Research by Backlinko found the typical voice search result is only 29 words long, which indicates that a quick and direct answer is being requested. So answering the question within the first sentence is essential, any supporting content should come after the answer has been given. Subsequent content should be longer and more comprehensive, but individual questions benefit from being concise ... * According to Matthew Howells-Barby, Director
of Acquisition at HubSpot, "Google is likely taking a very similar approach to sourcing voice responses as it does to Featured Snippets."

Create a FAQ Page

Frequently Asked Questions can be a good starting point for a business to develop for a potential voice search mention - providing quick answers to common questions. Businesses can develop simple FAQ pages, adding new answers as required. Checking Google Trends and Google Analytics data will often uncover queries that can be added to the page. 

Voice Search in Summary 

•    Voice search users tend to use specific, long-tail search phrases. Instead of inquiring about a term or phrase, voice searchers typically ask proper questions. For example, when looking for places to dine out, desktop users might type “Italian restaurant.” However, when using voice search, they’re more likely to ask, “where’s the nearest Italian restaurant?”
•    Voice searchers also use language that’s relevant to them. When speaking to their device, queries are more conversational, leaving it to the search engine to decipher the actual intent. For example, although on a desktop we might search for “house alarm problems,” we’re more likely to ask Google, “why does my house alarm goes off by itself?”
•    Many voice searches have local intent. As much as 22 percent of voice queries inquire about local information such as directions, restaurants, shopping, local services, weather, local events, traffic, etc. The remainder of queries is distributed between non-commercial queries like personal assistant tasks, entertainment, and general searches. This makes local the biggest commercial intent among voice searches. As a result, you should incorporate new strategies to position your business in local voice search.
•    Voice search is still messy and complex. Google’s RankBrain algorithm leverages artificial intelligence to discover contextual connections between searches. Now, Google tries to understand “intent” based on context of the search (such as location, time of day, device used, previous searches, connected data from email and other assistant sources) instead of just plainly matching words from on a page. However, the machine is still learning.
So, instead of trying to keep up with Google’s algorithms, it is essential to understand what your audience needs and focus your optimisation to your end user, not on chasing the latest algorithm shifts.

About web-aviso: 

web-aviso have been providing organic and local SEO, digital marketing,publishing and design services to SME businesses across UK and internationally since 2004.

web-aviso provide a range of voice search optimisation related services. 
Why not contact us or call us today. 


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