Amazon has sold 100 million devices with the “Alexa” program built-in.
Google Home is compatible with over 10,000 smart home devices (over 1,000 different brands).
An estimated 111 million in the United States alone use voice-assisted devices, monthly in 2019.
Since the Echo Dot’s 2014 release, Amazon has sold over 100 million devices with its Alexa voice assistant, including the Echo Show, the Fire TV Stick, and various evolutions of smart speakers. Google Home has become Amazon’s largest competitor, with over 52 million of its devices sold worldwide. The multifaceted abilities of these voice assistant programs are only growing, with thousands of interactions available to choose from.
This just goes to show that most of us are asking Alexa, Google, and Siri to help us out with our daily tasks. Now more than ever, businesses can get ahead of the game by taking advantage of such a lucrative trend.
It’s time to start implementing voice engine optimization into your digital marketing strategy.
Ok Google: What is Voice Engine Optimization?
The Rise of Intelligent Voice Assistants
Ever since Apple changed the game with Siri, other technology brand giants have jumped on board the ship of intelligent voice assistants (IVAs), and have even surpassed Apple in many respects. Amazon and Google are currently the most popular, but the Apple HomePod (released February 2018) and Microsoft Cortana (April 2014) are certainly contenders as well.
Voice assistants allow us to access search engines by voice command. It’s a tremendously effective way to get information, not to mention convenient for consumers. This is why voice engine optimization (VEO) is rapidly becoming as important to your business as regular SEO, or search engine optimization.
The Rise of VEO
Voice engine optimization has also been called “answer engine optimization.” It’s the process by which brands can continue to drive up their digital content’s search engine rankings through voice search results. This includes search engines such as Google, Yelp (partnered with Amazon), and Bing (partnered with Microsoft), with the addition of Apple Maps for Siri’s voice search.
VEO searches are less likely to include your brand name specifically, rather by location, business hours, and what kind of products and services you offer. In this way, VEO poses a unique challenge.
Even small distinctions like these make a difference in how you should optimize your brand’s digital content. Here are a few tips on how you should go about it.
Strategies for Voice Engine Optimization
1. Update Your Business Listings
Make your business listing information is accurate. Google My Business is one of the most popular listing options available, but it’s definitely not the only one. Don’t forget alternate search engine listings, like Bing, Yelp, Apple Maps, and Trip Advisor. Above all else, your listing should at the very least include:
Hours of Operation
Business Address & Phone Number
Link to Your Website
2. Optimize for Mobile
Mobile devices now account for 20% of voice searches. Your website (and any other content) should be mobile friendly. In part, this can be achieved by ensuring your website is fast and responsive. Another way is having a structured sitemap so it’s easy for both desktops and mobile devices to navigate.
3. Use Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords are phrases of three words or more. These types of keywords can answer specific questions about your website because of their narrowed focus. This is suited to VEO because voice-based searches are highly specified.
The nature of voice command also makes the language more conversational. Rather than a typed search of local coffee shops, i.e. “Starbucks coffee near me,” a voice search may be more like, “Where is the closest coffee shop?”
This is why long tail keywords like “West Palm Beach coffee shop” can narrow down a customer’s search and help drive up your rankings.
4. Optimize Your Web Content for Readability
Not only should your website be optimized for mobile, but your digital content should also be optimized for readability. All webpages, ads, and social media should be informational and authoritative.
They should also be easy to read, and not just in the layout of the web page. You are the expert in your field, but your customers may not be. That’s why it’s important to make sure the content isn’t too technical or difficult to understand.
All of this will help make sure the information is grabbed by search engines, particularly for voice-based searches.
5. Answer Questions through Your Content
Google mainly responds to web content that answers searched questions. These questions will typically fall into one of four categories:
Information: “I want to know…”
Destination: “I want to go…”
Action: “I want to do…”
Consumption: “I want to buy…”
Creating content such as an FAQ page or a blog will allow you to provide the answers to these types of questions. This is an important component of VEO, but also for SEO in general. It can help build your brand’s credibility as a trustworthy source of information and drive potential customers to your products and services.
6. Test it Out
How will you know if your optimizing strategies are working if you don’t test it out? Step into your customer’s shoes and try doing a voice search for yourself.
Go through each of the major search engines with your trial voice searches using the different keywords you’re trying to implement (or questions you’re trying to answer). From there you’ll be able to check on your rankings and come up with more solutions on how to improve them!
Grow Your Business with Voice Engine Optimization
Would you like to expand your brand awareness and get ahead of the competition? At Digital Resource, we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. Our expertise includes search engine and social media optimization.
We’ll work with you on developing a plan to optimize your business for voice-based searches, so you can get the best results. For a free consultation, contact us today!
Alexandra is a content specialist, graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She has a passion for literature and writing, and has extensive experience in content writing for digital marketing.
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