May 31, 2021

What is a voice content strategy?

BY LAURA KOWSKI

Black Amazon Echo Dot

A voice content strategy involves optimising your content to be picked up by voice search queries, facilitated by the likes of Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant.

From smartphones to home and car devices, voice search is becoming increasingly integrated into our daily lives. Over half of all adults have used voice search at some point, and over a third use it regularly.

Why is having a voice content strategy important?

Voice search has boomed over the last few years in industries such as retail and hospitality. With smart speakers one of the fastest growing consumer technologies since smartphones. Users can now complete purchases and transactions through their smart speakers without ever leaving the couch. And it’s an area worth staying on top of if you’re in business. Some experts predict this voice-driven retail therapy will grow to $80 billion in 2023 across the US and UK. Not only should you be taking advantage of this increase, but also the opportunities it presents for making your website more accessible.

How can a voice content strategy help your business?

Voice search allows users to access and consume your content when they’re on the go—while driving, preparing dinner, or keeping an eye on young children. But the benefits of optimising your content for voice search don’t only make it more accessible to a wider audience. Due to the way in which voice search results are presented, you’ll have a huge advantage if you can get that number one spot in the search results.

When you ask your voice assistant a question, it only gives you one result. This is known as Position Zero—or a ‘Featured Snippet’. And over 40.7% of all voice search answers come from a Featured Snippet, so it’s a huge one up on your competitors.

How to make your content voice search friendly

Luckily there are some simple changes you can make to start optimising your content for voice assistants.

Optimise your content for mobile

27% of voice searches globally happen on mobile. So if you haven’t already optimised your website for mobile devices, there’s no excuse now. Not only should your website be mobile friendly, but speedy too. Just like a desktop webpage, voice search users expect their results to load quickly. As a benchmark, the average voice search results page load in 4.6 seconds.

Use long-tail keywords

The way we search when we use voice is completely different to the way we search when we type a query. We feel like we’re talking to a real person, so we use more natural, less concise language. Long-tail keywords are search terms or phrases that more naturally mimic how we speak, and voice devices like these because they use natural language processing.

For example, if you’re looking for a Japanese restaurant in your local area, you’d probably type in a search bar ‘Japanese food near me’. But if you’re asking a voice assistant to perform the same search, you’d probably say something more like “Hey [name], what’s the closest Japanese restaurant to me?”

It also means how you write your content may change. You might start using more conversational copy. Keep this in mind when writing content to be picked up in voice searches.

Consider where your customers are in their journey

Think about where your audience is and what they might be doing when they use voice search for your product or service. Ask yourself:

  • Are your audience they rushing in the car with kids in tow? Or at home alone with more time to spare?
  • What frame of mind are they likely to be in when they conduct their search?
  • How will their frame of mind impact the language they use?

Someone in a rush is more likely to bark orders at their voice assistant than ask thoughtful questions. Taking all these things into consideration will help you determine your keywords, and match your customers at the different stages in their search.

Think about the kinds of questions your audience would ask

In a voice search related to your product or service, what would your potential customers want to know? Come up with a list of FAQs or potential voice search queries and shape your content around those, using them as prompts for your blog posts or articles.

Keep your business contact details and GMB up to date

One of the easiest ways you can optimise for local voice search is to keep your Google My Business (GMB) page up to date. Over a third of voice searches are asking for directions, so make sure key information such as address, opening hours and contact details are consistent across all your platforms. This includes your website, social media pages and every business listing on the web. Provide as much information as possible on each profile or listing, and engage with your customers by replying to customer reviews and answering popular FAQs.

Get social

While it’s not exactly clear why, content with higher levels of social engagement tends to perform better in voice search. So not only will shareable and engaging content perform better on your social platforms, it can help boost your search ranking, too.

Want to learn more about how your web content can improve customer experience and engagement? Check out our blog post on why you need a content strategy, or get in touch with us today.

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