Optimizing search for an increasingly voice-driven world


It's 2004, and Facebook has launched. More than likely, Facebook was not on your radar as a growth tool for your business. Knowing Facebook's success over time, I bet you wish it was. Today, it's hard to cultivate a following on social media without spending a ton of money. I can't take you back in time, but I know of another way that you can grow your business following. The method I’m referring to is optimizing your content for voice search. According to Google, 20% of all mobile search queries are voice search, and Forrester states that 66.3% of households will have smart speakers by 2022. ComScore states that approximately half of smartphone users use voice technology. They also claim that a third of those users use voice technology on a daily basis. Hence, it's time to start optimizing your content for voice search. However, optimizing for voice requires a different approach than traditional search engine optimization.

The first thing to remember is that voice search queries are longer than text search queries. For example, text searches are usually 1-3 words while voice searches are about 3-5 words long. Hence, when doing keyword research, you need to think about lengthier long-tail keywords. Additionally, voice searches are more conversational. They contain trigger words like how, what, when, who, where, best, or why. For example, when people conduct a voice search, their query is in the form of a question. They may ask something like, "Alexa, where is Origin Eight located?"

You may have noticed featured snippets when searching for something on google. A featured snippet is a concise answer to your question. It contains a summarized answer from the site and a link to the page containing the answer. Also, the featured snippet has a greater chance of appearing in voice search. Hence, appearing in a featured snippet spot can be invaluable to your SEO efforts.

There are several things you can do to increase your chances of becoming a featured snippet. Make sure to write your content in conversational language and use trigger words. Also, write posts that answer a specific question and use headings (H1, H2, H3). Furthermore, use unique title and description tags on each page. Finally, you should include keywords at the beginning of your posts and within the page’s URL. There are a few SEO tools that can help you optimize your pages for showing up in featured snippets. SEMrush and Moz Pro allow you to search competitors for featured snippets. Finally, you should add schema markup to your site. At a basic level, schema tells search engines what your pages are about. Google makes that information searchable by voice assistants. Thus, schema can increase the chances of your content showing up in voice searches.

The time is now to start optimizing for voice search. You can gain a competitive edge by optimizing for voice, but that advantage will not last forever. If you do not have time to optimize for voice yourself, or could use someone to bounce ideas off of, send us a note. We are happy to help.

Content Overload: It's necessary to articulate value quickly and efficiently

Content is everywhere!

I want you to take a second to imagine how much content you see in a day. From your mobile phone, to your laptop, to the TV at your favorite coffee shop, information is everywhere. The sheer amount of content that is available to us is overwhelming, and we do our best to ignore most of it. Occasionally something does catch your eye, but even then, it’s rare for you to read or watch it in its entirety. Think about it, even when you see a post in your news feed, you may like it or share it without reading it all the way through. Thus, when it comes to your website and ad campaigns, it’s more critical than ever to convey value quickly and efficiently. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can start thinking about today to earn and keep the attention of those who express interest in your business.

First, make sure your website looks professional. This one goes without saying, but it’s important that you don’t lose credibility right off the bat. According to a study conducted by Gitte Lindgaard of Carleton University in Ottawa, websites make an impression on users within the first 50 milliseconds of viewing. Thus, on any page that traffic is directed to, users’ first impression of your website, you need to make sure it looks great. You do not need to try and win any visual design awards, but people will not want to buy from you if your site does not look professional.

[For more information on how to create a functional and efficient website, please visit our Basics of Web Design guide.]

Furthermore, you need to make sure your messaging is clear and concise. People have plenty of options, so they are not going to take too much time to figure out what you’re offering them. Your value proposition needs to be displayed front and center on your landing page and it needs to explain what your business can do for them, why they should care, and why you’re better than your competitors. If you don’t answer those three key questions, they may leave your site and purchase from a competitor. If you are unsure if your message is clear enough, you can try the "5 second test." Show a stranger your landing page for 5 seconds, then close the window. Immediately after that, ask them what kind of value they think your business provides. If they can’t articulate what you do, then your value proposition, or the way it is displayed on your landing page, needs some work. It’s also important to be as specific as possible. If your landing page content is highly specific, it will be easier to create highly targeted advertisements.

When it comes to advertising, you need to make sure you create and maintain "scent" in your campaigns. This means that you have to ensure your pre-click advertising and post-click messaging have a similar appearance and feel. You can maintain strong "ad scent" by following a few key rules. First, you should confirm that the landing page is relevant to the ad they clicked on by matching your ad copy to your landing page copy. For example, if you are promoting new features from your latest product update, make sure those features are displayed on the landing page they are directed to. The last thing you want to do is send them to a page that is unrelated to the thing that first caught their eye. This doesn’t mean that you have to create an additional landing page for each ad. You can use dynamic copy instead. Second, the design of the ad in your advertisement should match the design of your landing page, and it’s even more powerful if you can use the same images from the ad on your landing page. Finally, the ad message should be the centerpiece of the landing page content because you want to give visitors confirmation that they’re in the right place.

If you need help cultivating your value proposition, don’t have the time to maintain consistency in your campaigns, or have any questions whatsoever on your digital marketing, feel free to contact us. We’re here to help!