As Amazon’s Alexa makes its way into hotel rooms and other smart devices continue to generate revenue, it’s becoming apparent to marketers that voice search assistants are here to stay.
But what does this mean for eCommerce shops?
With over 1 billion voice searches conducted each month, and the suggestion that by 2020 50% of all searches will be voice searches, this means there’s going to be a huge shift in how people buy online.
It also means small businesses and online store owners will need to optimize their websites and eCommerce shops to cater to the growing number of voice searches being performed by consumers across the globe.
If you run an online store and hope to steadily grow your small business, it’s essential you stay ahead of the trends. And that includes the trend that’s here to stay – voice search.
That’s why today, we’re going to take a look at some of the best ways you can optimize your eCommerce site for voice search.
Why Voice Search is Increasing in Popularity
There are many reasons why voice search is appealing to people, whether they are looking to buy online or not.
Voice Search Technology is Smart
As voice search technology advances, it becomes smarter.
In fact, some devices are capable of determining your location, taking into consideration previously asked questions, and knowing which type of device you’re using.
Not to mention, it has been determined that Google can understand the English language with nearly 95% accuracy thanks to machine learning algorithms.
This intelligence helps deliver people the best results possible when they conduct a voice search.
It’s More Accessible
Voice search is not only convenient for the general population; it helps people in need of more accessible ways of getting information.
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Those that are visually impaired, find typing difficult, want to reduce repetitive strain injuries, and have other learning disabilities affecting their ability to conduct type searches have a lot to gain from voice searches.
eCommerce shop owners can also reach a broader audience by being more accessible to those in need.
No matter the reason people prefer voice search, the truth is, 21% of people admit to using mobile voice search every day, during activities such as driving, watching TV, and walking.
How to Optimize Your eCommerce Site for Voice Search
1. Use Long Tail Keywords
Using a mixture of high volume, short tail keywords and lower volume long tail keywords throughout your eCommerce site is the best way to rank high in search results.
That said, if your goal is to optimize for voice search, you should shift your focus to long tail keywords that answer people’s questions.
After all, most people conducting voice searches do so as though they’re talking to another person. This results in more conversation, full sentence voice queries such as:
“How do I tie dye a white t-shirt?”
Start by entering your keywords in the search bar and clicking Get Questions.
On the results page, you’ll see actual questions people have entered into a Google search bar that all relate to the keywords you queried.
You can then use these results to formulate keywords you will use, and answer, in your website’s content.
It will also help you determine ahead of time what your customers’ search intent will be before they ever perform a voice search.
Before you know it, your website will start appearing in voice search results, and more traffic than ever will start coming to your online store.
2. Include Local SEO
If you own an eCommerce shop, and a local brick and mortar shop, the key to optimizing your website for voice search is to use local SEO.
Many times, people will conduct voice searches on their mobile devices or home smart devices to find local restaurants, shops, or community events.
And the only way your local business is going to appear in these voice searches is to include local keywords in your content that Google can index and display in search results.
Here are some local SEO best practices to get your physical business found in voice search results:
- Use phrases such as “near me” or “nearby” in title tags, meta descriptions, and internal links
- Add landmark references that will give away your physical location and trigger a search result
- Include terms such as “best,” “store hours,” and “nearest” as those are commonly used words in local voice searches
- Display your business’ address, phone number, and additional contact information so people can get in touch
- Add customer reviews and ratings so people can get a quick glimpse of how well-liked you are
- Write about times the local press references you, linking externally to the mention if possible
- Aim to get as many citations as possible on websites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and Yellowpages.com
Lastly, claim your free business listing on Google My Business to increase your chances that search engines will index and rank you higher in search results.
The more specific about your local business you can be, no matter what you have for sale, the better.
Doing this helps search engines understand your business and display you in relevant voice searches.
3. Increase Site Traffic
There are plenty of ways you can drive more traffic to your website and boost your site’s chances of appearing in a voice search result.
For instance, you can:
- Compete for Position Zero (otherwise known as a featured snippet) in search results, since 7% of the time these results will be the ones voice assistants give to people performing voice searches
- Focus on making your content easy to read, scan, and navigate for both site visitors and web crawlers using a free tool like the Hemingway Editor
- Enable Google AMP, so your mobile site delivers content quickly and efficiently for those on the go
- Work to get high-quality backlinks from established websites that may pop up in a voice search for customers and later lead them to your website
Another great way to drive more traffic to your site is to focus on getting more followers on Instagram, one of the most popular social media platforms to date.
For example, you can:
- Work with influencers in your industry and have them promote your brand and answer people’s questions
- Create a consistent brand, complete with color schemes and business logos, to increase brand recognition
- Host giveaways to current followers in exchange for positive reviews that will help encourage others to like or follow you
- Get people involved by asking them to share images of them using your products or services
Just make sure you use the same optimization techniques for voice search on social media as you do on your eCommerce site.
For example, include content in your social media posts that clearly answer “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” and “why.”
This way, those performing voice searches see your social media accounts.
Doing this will also help boost follower engagement, increase social shares, and ultimately expose your brand to a broader audience who might click on your website to see what you have to offer.
Lastly, optimizing your social media platforms to be more conversational will help your brand see more personal and compassionate.
After all, people want to trust those they hand their money to and don’t want to feel the only thing you’re after is their cash.
For more ways to increase your audience across all platforms, check out this helpful article outlining effective tips for growing your social media followers.
Voice search is not something that’s going away anytime soon.
In fact, if what the experts say is true, the number of voice searches conducted on a daily basis, especially among customers looking to buy online, will continue to rise.
If you want to stay ahead of the curve and continue to grow your eCommerce business, you’ll have to invest some time in voice search optimization.
It’s the only way you’ll be able to keep up with the rising consumer demand for immediate results, the increase in competition in your industry, and the advanced technology that gets smarter by the day.