Optimizing Your Website for Voice Search

It was science fiction when Kirk and Spock gave voice commands to the Computer. Now everyone is giving commands to smartphones and digital assistants. Experts predict that by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be conducted by voice. It’s not hard to see why we got here: Google’s voice recognition technology is now 95 percent accurate; humans speak 150 words per minute but type only about 40, so it’s easier and faster; and voice responsive virtual assistants can now understand context based on a previous question.

As you interact with “Alexa,” “Siri,” “Cortana” or simply “Google,” your search queries are phrased differently from those you might enter into a search bar. The assistant is now searching, not for keywords, but for conversational phrasing that matches the question. So the question facing energy marketers today, is, “Is your website voice search optimized?

There are many things we can do right now to optimize your sites for voice search – here are a few of the most important. 

  • Make sure it’s mobile-friendly. If your site doesn’t work on a phone, the consumer won’t know you’re there. Google, which ranks mobile-friendly sites above desktops, reports that 20 percent of mobile queries were voice searches. In addition to a responsive platform, you need to be sure your page load speeds, navigation, videos, etc., are properly optimized. This is often more than most part-time web developers can develop on a free platform – speak to an expert.
  • Focus on long-tail phrasing. Your site needs to answer the searcher’s question. So if the question is “how can I reduce my heating bills,” the site content has to relate to the whole phrase. Q&A or FAQ pages are helpful in voice search optimization, as they provide a snippet that directly answers a question. If your site was optimized for search in the last few years, the content may have been updated to replace keywords with context. If you’re not sure, let us check it out.
  • Local information. Voice searches are three times more likely to be local-based than text searches, so it’s important for your business information to be correct, not just on your site but also on Google Local, Yelp, Facebook, Manta and the rest. You can spend hours tracking down the various directory listings, or ask us about the professional tools we use to review and correct errors and duplications.

PriMedia developed some of the first industry websites in 1995, and from those first static sites to today’s integrated account management portals, customer-specific marketing, and now voice friendly optimization; we remain the leader in digital services for the energy marketer. Contact us to find out more about voice search optimization and other internet strategies.

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