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Alexa, How Do I Look?

AlexaSiri and Cortana; these virtual assistants are on the rise and they’re showing no signs of fading away into the tech trend abyss. In fact, they’re only becoming more popular, with MindMeld’s study suggesting 60% of people using voice search have started in the last 12 months.

Our lead digital strategist, Matt Wooller, explains ‘Voice search is changing the way people shop and search online, so it’s important that your site optimised to its full potential, or you can risk a loss in sales.’

To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, we’ve gathered four tips from our experts to ensure your website catches Alexa’s undivided attention.

1. Location

Voice search is most popular on the go; when you’re in the car desperate to find the nearest petrol station or walking home looking for a corner shop. Location features in 80% of voice searches so it is crucial your website is set up for local search, especially if you run a local business. There are several ways to get your website featured in local voice search such as:

Reviews: encourage customers to leave reviews, the more positive reviews you receive the higher you will rank in Google’s local pack.

Google My Business page: register with Google My Business, this handy function will help your business appear on Google Search and Google Maps. Just make sure all details are up-to-date!

Photos: the number of photos on your business page matters to Google, it pays to take beautiful photos and upload them.

2. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The majority of those using voice search will speak to their virtual assistants in full, specific, sentences like you would a friend. For example, natural sounding questions such as “Alexa, where can I buy a waterproof video camera that works with Facebook Live?” are more common, opposed to SEO-focused questions such as “best digital cameras?”

To optimise your site for these “who”, “what”, “where”questions, create an FAQ page, including the full question the consumer would ask. You can also include snippets of content which answer specific questions the consumer may be asking. Snippets and FAQs will increase your website’s chances of showing up in voice search results and in Google’s ‘Featured Snippet’.

3. Expertly Written Content

Since the Panda update of 2011 and the introduction of Hummingbird’s semantic search, most results are based upon the context of the question, rather than specific keywords.

Instead of keywords, think expertly written and authoritative content. In recent years Google has updated its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. These guidelines highlight the need for detailed, expertly written content through their acronym E.A.T; expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness. Covering a topic in detail, and answering all the questions people may have about it, equals a higher ranking on Google which means your web pages will have a higher chance of being chosen by the virtual assistants.

However, it’s important to remember that those not using voice search may still use short tail keywords in their search, so optimizing your site for both is the best way forward.

To make your content as optimised as possible, keyword research tools such as Rank Tracker are useful. Rank Tracker will let you autocomplete queries using a keyword and a wildcard.

4. Schema Markup

Schema markup is an HTML add-on which helps search engines understand the context of your content. It’s a collaboration between Bing, Google, Yandex and Yahoo and it allows you to rank better in normal searches and become more relevant in voice search queries.

According to Searchmetrics, less than 1% of websites have implemented the schema markup even though it has great benefits for voice search. By adding schema to your HTML, it will improve the way your page displays in SERPs by enhancing the snippets that are displayed under your page title. Trust us, it is a powerful SEO practice and implementing it into your site will put your website ahead of the curve.

By applying these simple strategies into your website, your business will be the answer to Alexa, Cortana and Siri’s questions.

If you’d like to understand more about how you can optimise your website and what Fat Media can do for you, drop us an email.


Source: An Analysis of Voice Search for Fat Media by Harry Doddrell 27/06/17.