Voice search is not a fad. By 2020, 50 per cent of all online searches will use  voice. Yet, why is it that 62 per cent of marketers have no specific plans for voice search in 2018?

By Carla Mateus, account executive at Stone Junction

There's no denying it's more convenient to simply voice a question than to type out a query. However, there are subtle differences between the syntax of written searches and that of voice queries, which must be considered when optimising for voice.

For example, if you searched for a servo motor supplier by typing, you might search for ‘servo motors in Birmingham’ or something along those lines. However, this isn't how we actually speak. If you use voice search, you will probably ask a question such as, ‘where is a good place to get servo motors in Birmingham?’

But, how can you be certain of the questions your customers will ask? You could use a useful tool called Answer the Public. This tool forecasts the questions your customers would ask with voice search.

Let's stick with the servo motor example.  By inputting servo motors into Answer the Public’s powerful search bar, you can gain huge insight into the natural language and questions used surrounding that key word. Questions that you may not have considered, such as ‘are servo motors brushless?’ or ‘how accurate are servo motors?’ were both suggested searches. With this information, you can take action to optimise your site for these phrases.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is not just about keywords anymore, it’s about people and how they actually talk. The trend is shifting from short and stiff keywords to more human, specific and longer-tail search terms.

Long-tail keywords describe phrases of three or more words, used to target niche demographics rather than mass audiences. In other words, they're more specific and often less competitive than generic keyword terms. Phrases and long-tail keywords are the way to go. Keep this in mind when you’re creating content and using keywords on your site pages.

22 per cent of voice queries are used for local content. Unsurprisingly, when you consider people use mobile phones on the go. If you’re a local business trying to get local customers, you should write with local intent and voice search in mind.

Google trends show that ‘near me’ searches have grown more than 130 per cent year on year. Using ‘near me’ in your title tags, meta descriptions and anchor text can therefore help reach the local voice searchers. For instance, optimising for ’servo motor repair near me’ may help with voice rankings considerably.

Additionally, you should consider using schema mark-ups in your web coding. While this won't affect your rankings directly, it may give you the edge in voice search. By simply dropping in a small section of code, you enable huge search enhancements and get a visually appealing result on search engine results page. This is particularly important for local voice search, when users want to instantly find opening hours, directions and contact information within seconds.

2020 isn't far away. With 50 per cent of all searches set to be voice searches by this time, there has never been a better time to optimise for voice search. Call us at Stone Junction on +44 (0) 1785 225416 with any queries related to SEO and voice search optimisation.

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