Why Voice Search Matters
“Hey Siri, what are the dates for New York Fashion Week this year?”
“Alexa, what are the latest fashion trends for women?”
Sound familiar? Who hasn’t used voice search technology in their smartphone or home assistant device to find an answer to a question? When driving we ask for directions to keep our eyes on the road. When looking for the perfect accessory we ask where the best sales are. This tech innovation is one of the latest optimization trends that search engine optimizers are picking up on.
If smartphones and home assistant devices are being asked questions (not just commands to turn on the lights or your latest Spotify playlist) how do websites accommodate for the rise in voice-activated searches?
40% of adult information consumers worldwide are estimated to make one voice search a day. And by 2020 it’s predicted that 50% of all searches made worldwide will be voice searches.
With many additional data points to back up the trend, it’s easy to see this isn’t a novelty that will fizzle out over time. Voice searches are here to stay and will only increase in popularity. How do websites, especially in the style sector, maintain their web presence and also start ranking for voice searches?
Due to the relatively recent advancements in this technology, optimization experts are still determining how exactly the data for voice searches are pulled. That said, there are still a few best practices and areas to focus on:
Start researching and optimizing for longer keyword phrases
While we don’t know exactly how voice searches scan websites to gain answers to their questions, we do know that the length of search queries is getting longer. By nature, questions to phone and home assistants are long-winded. Users often carry on conversations with their technology in order to find specifically what they’re looking for. This is unlike traditional web or mobile searches where a phrase or even just one word will suffice.
Because long-form questions are being asked, long-tail keywords must be accounted for in the content and meta content of your website. Let me back up for a moment and explain. By the nature of the word, it’s often assumed that “keyword(s)” refers to a singular word. When content writers with little to no SEO experience say they’ve optimized a fashion brand’s website for search, they often mean the word “fashion” or “style” is in the content and thus it’s well-optimized.
That’s far from the truth. There are keywords that are just singular words, but they are far less effective than what are known as long-tail keywords. These are terms or phrases consisting of at least 3 words. And indeed, this standard for keyword research and implementation has shifted over the last 2 years as both the searchers and search engines increase their knowledge of the platform.
Conducting a round of keyword research for long-tail keywords (both ones that exist currently on your website and ones you wish your website to rank for) is going to be key when looking at the future of website optimization for voice searches.
Integrate a local SEO strategy into your existing content
The trend of local SEO is now a familiar one. As searchers, we want to find those brick and mortar establishments “near me.” These localized searches are some of the most prevalent ones in voice searches. Here are just a few quick tips to help bolster your local presence:
- Create a “Google My Business” page and optimize it with excellent quality photos, locations, hours, website, and contact info. You can also add reviews of your merchandise and shopping experience.
- Find keywords that are relevant to your surrounding area. Research colloquial phrases, known nicknames, and city/state keywords for your area. (For instance, Greenville, South Carolina is also located in the Upstate – a commonly used phrase when locating Greenville-based business in searches.)
- Track down your brand profiles and mentions and make sure the information is consistent. For example, if you have a Google + page with an old phone number or address and a Yelp page with your current phone number or address, Google will be less likely to show your website in a local fashion-based search because the information is not consistent.
Optimize (or create) an FAQ page with quick answers and keyword-rich content
FAQ pages are some of the best (and least used) areas of website copy. Frequently asked questions are typically based around the most viewed or searched content on your website. These answers can often be written to accommodate a very relevant, specific keyword.
Use (or create) your FAQ section to provide quick answers to specific, brand-related questions. During the process of a voice search, the technology scans websites for short snippets of information to display first and then will lead a user to the whole website.
Get a leg up in voice search in the fashion world by creating (or better optimizing) your FAQ section. Focus on creating a good experience for both your robot and human visitors.
Featured Snippets and Excellent Copy
While it is a fact that voice searches often result in the playback of featured snippets found in a Google search, it’s still not known how a website can make it to that coveted position.
A featured snippet is Google’s way of quickly providing the searcher with the information they’re looking for. For any particular search term, there is often just one website that appears in a top-of-page callout box. This snippet often includes Google-designed bullet points, like one specific fact, quote, or piece of info.
A good way to put your website in the running for that featured snippet section is to create web content that is both concise and high quality. Google’s main goal is to provide the best content to answer their searcher’s questions. It only makes sense that they’ll reward excellent content with a better rank in both traditional and voice searches.
Optimizing your fashion website for voice search doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Simply implement these tips to take advantage of this growing trend.