The Future of Search

Voice search: the future of SERPs?

It has been estimated that by 2020, 50% of searches will be voice search. So, if you think voice search is just a gimmick, think again.

With two years to go until the anticipated uptake in voice search, now is the time to lay foundations for a strong voice search strategy.

What is Voice Search?

In a nutshell, Google Voice Search does exactly what it says on the tin – it allows users to search through speech rather than by typing a query on a desktop or mobile device. Currently, There isn’t much difference between the search results that return for voice and conventional search methods. However, as the trend for voice search increases, queries will need to adapt to reflect the style of language used for voice search.

How to Optimise for Voice Search

Voice Search is more conversational and natural than searches made by typing in one or two keywords. So, whilst a user might search for ‘best restaurant in Manchester’ whilst using google on their desktop, they’re more likely to a ask this as a question – ‘which are the best restaurants in Manchester?’ This means that voice search queries are longer than typical keyword search queries.

Target conversational search terms

To optimise for this change in search queries, businesses should target more long-tail keywords on their websites. When carrying out keyword research, it is important to consider more conversational search terms and to think about how people talk and ask questions. Think about the questions that customers ask when they call your business and make a note of the queries that you receive. If there are common queries then it would be useful to start targeting them on the website for your business by creating articles in the blog section with the long-tail keyword being the main focus.

Create FAQ pages

Most businesses have FAQs pages on their website – which is great news. FAQs pages are a strong way to target conversational terms that are likely to be popular voice searches. And they’re really easy to set up. Try focusing on question words such as Where, How and What as to target relevant question-based searches. What do does the business do? What are the main opening hours? A sports clothing retailer might sell running trainers and these pages could have an FAQ section where common questions can be answered. But don’t just stick to questions directly related to your business – branch out to common queries. For example, Search terms such as ‘What are the best running trainers for wet weather’ can be targeted along with a list of recommendations.

Structured data

Structured data are content summaries, tables or lists that are pulled through into search rankings (see image below).

The structured Data Markup can give voice search devices more information about the content on your website. An example of a voice search could be ‘What is the best hotel to book in Berlin’ and hotel websites can use the correct Schema Markup to optimise their site to rank in the featured snippet for this voice search term. it is common for a business to focus on ranking first in the search results, however, this can be very difficult to achieve in a competitive market. Using structured data markup allows businesses to increase the chance of their website ranking as a featured snippet, which can be more valuable than ranking first as this content will be above every other search result. use schema markup to increase the likelihood of your content being seen before any other search result for that keyword.

Did you know: Cedarwood Digital offers Search Engine Optimisation designed to make your website convert. View our full list of SEO services here.