“Okay, Google, explain voice search.”
Google voice search lets users-
without typing–speak naturally to
retrieve information and execute
commands from their phone or
Okay, a little “run-on” but I’ll take it. There’s virtually no reason to ever say, “I don’t know.” With the advent of voice search, you do!
Virtual Assistants: Your Wish is Her Command
Google’s natural language processing (NLP) technology has increased the quality of voice-powered digital personal assistants, better known as Siri, Alexa and Cortana.
With phones almost permanently attached (sleep with yours?), people are discovering the fast, easy, magical way to get all kinds of information, handle all kinds of tasks and enjoy all kinds of media by utilizing their own personal 6-ounce secretary.
Through the surge in search by voice advances, we can ask Ms. Microchip to set an alarm, pay a bill, open an app, close a window, dial 911, tell a joke, make a reservation, calculate a percentage, start a to-do list, finish a novel, find nearby bagels or beg off an invitation. The more you use a virtual assistant, the more they remember your interests, preferences and patterns. Artificial intelligence is feeling more intelligent and less artificial. What’s next? “Hey Siri, call my wife and see what kind of mood she’s in.”
The virtual assistant line-up is limited to four players at the moment. Smart phones or mobile devices give them different names and each uses a specific search engine.
- Apple’s iPhone has Siri and Siri uses Bing (unless you request she use Google.)
- Android, which is owned by Google, had Okay, Google or Google Now, but just announced the newest name, Google Assistant. Obviously, he or she (you can always switch the gender) uses Google as its search engine.
- Microsoft Windows has Cortana and she uses Bing.
- Amazon Echo has Alexa and she searches the Amazon database for products and Bing for general information.
The competition for providing the best interactive voice experience is rigorous. The world is watching these giants to see which one will be most responsive and ultimately corner the voice search market.
Make Your Website Voice Searchable
Just as using keywords improved SEO and responsiveness improved mobile, producing content that satisfies voice search queries is essential to obtaining a high rank on search results. This means website pages, FAQs, product descriptions, blogs and all other site content must match the natural language of the customer.
For example, suppose someone says, “Hey Siri, find Birkinstocks at The Galleria in size 11.” Siri returns the address, hours and map for The Walking Company. Also shown is a product listing with photos from Nordstrom’s located in the same mall. Before she does this, she asks, “What style of Birkenstock sandal are you looking for?” You don’t know, so you ask her to list all the styles with nubuck leather tops. She says Arizona, Gizeh and Pisa. Then you’re moved to ask “Hey Siri, what are Birkenstock soles made of?” Siri is quick to respond:
Birkenstock uses premium quality cork to provide the orthopedic
contours feet need for maximum comfort. Cork is a natural, lightweight,
resilient, and shock-absorbent material which comes from the
bark of oak trees that grow in Spain and Portugal.”
Let’s look at how Siri came to know so much about these contoured corkers.
Turn Questions to Talking Points
Preparing content for Google search by voice is a matter of anticipating what a customer needs to make a decision and providing guidance and useful information. The Walking Company had enough quality local SEO and product information to rank first.
In addition to listing all the relevant information needed for local SEO, content writers must expect super-specific searches such as the ergonomic design and eco-friendly fiber origin of cork soles.
If you specialize in fashion colors, you might anticipate, “Cortana, where can I find pink patent Birkenstocks with glitter and silver hardware?” Somewhere on your website should be a mention of this exceptional style, the glitter, the exact shade of pink and the glistening silver buckle.
If not within the actual product description, another place to do this is on the FAQs pages. You can set up separate pages for each subject and group common questions on the same page, i.e. fashion questions, sizing questions, construction questions, environmental responsibility questions, etc. Remember, you’re moving away from clipped keywords like “molded footbed” toward conversational phrases such as “orthopedic sandals that feel great.”
Once you know the kind of queries your target audience will ask a digital voice assistant, take each of those questions and flesh out the answers in the form of a blog such as “7 Secrets for Tired Feet.”
Like mobile search, Google search by voice and these others have become a way of life. From teens to seniors, everyone is turning to their phones or devices like Echo to intuitively connect with their hands-free helper.
If you’d like a hands-on helper, please feel free to give us a call. We are experts in voice search optimization and can turn customers’ questions into higher ranking for your company.