As a marketer, what do you think about the recent rise in the usage of voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant? Are they making the search easier or more complicated? Whatever you think, there is one thing for sure that this voice technology is going to have a major impact on many spheres, including ecommerce.
Even research reports are agreeing to this fact and it is reported that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be done via voice. That’s why voice assistants, smart speakers, and all manner of voice-first technology are enjoying remarkable growth and adoption. Therefore, it becomes crucial to make your site SEO friendly for voice search, if you don’t want to lose a huge chunk of voice searchers.
In this article, let’s discuss why voice commerce has the potential to become the next big thing in ecommerce and how you can optimize your site for voice search. But before we get into the nitty-gritty of this technology, let’s take a quick overview of what voice commerce is, how it is used.
Voice commerce, otherwise known as voice-based ecommerce, is a technology that allows users to search just using their voices instead of typing. It is not just limited to finding the product itself but also ordering and buying it. With the help of voice assistants, shoppers can complete purchase faster and this can be accomplished at any time throughout the day.
According to a voice shopping consumer adoption report, top reasons why shoppers prefer voice assistant over mobile apps and websites are:
· To do things hands-free
· Automation of routine shopping tasks
· Convenience, speed and ease
To perform a voice search, shoppers can use two types of devices:
1. Smartphones with voice assistants (Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana, Samsung Bixby, etc.)
2. Voice-enabled gadgets (Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple HomePod, Samsung Smart Home, etc.)
Now, let’s take a glance at how virtual assistants are used for online voice shopping.
For instance, in the case of Amazon Echo, a shopper would say “Alexa, order” and the name of the product they want to buy. If the product is available, Alexa announces the product price and asks if the shopper would like to buy the product. If the answer is yes, Alexa places the order; if the answer is no, Alexa might suggest other options.
Here's a quick to-do list in making your ecommerce website SEO-friendly for voice-based search:
When it comes to voice search, becoming one of Google’s featured snippets - otherwise known as “position zero” - is more important than ever. It’s like beating the number one entry. Being placed in this popular spot means that Google rates your answer as the best for a particular term of search. Voice assistants will also read only your answer loud out to voice searchers, leaving other pages behind.
You can get placed in Google’s featured snippet box if you focus on answering questions in your content. You can use lists where possible with a short introduction of 40-50 words to optimize your content for position zero. Also, look at the range of Google’s rich snippets and optimize your products and/or static content with the correct markup.
It is essential to understand the clear difference between voice search and type search in order to compete in a voice-activated ecommerce world. Voice search signals a behavioral shift when it comes to how we interact with our devices.
For example, when we type, we use as few words as possible. We search for “latest movies near me” rather than for “where I can see the latest movies anywhere around.” Here the difference is, while using voice search, we are doing the opposite.
In voice search, we have to start treating search like a conversation, rather than a correspondence between a directory and an inquirer. It is more like we are conversing with our devices as if they are human beings. So, don’t be shy to strike a conversational tone in your blog content and product descriptions.
When it comes to the world of search, a semantic strategy is one that takes into account the reason behind a searcher’s query, rather than only relying on the exact words that are included in the search.
Search engines are always attempting to make their responses to queries more human-like. As such, they want to understand why someone is asking what they are asking. The desired result is that an
interaction with a search engine should feel like a conversation with another person. They do this through programming their algorithms to do things like concept match and take synonyms into account.
Turn on ‘robotic’ keywords into the natural language keywords like the one as mentioned below:
· Avoid robotic keyword: pancakes best recipe
· Include conversational keyword: what is the best recipe for pancakes
A semantic strategy that tends towards voice search has to be focused on questions. As we now know, voice searchers are not going to be typing in “vintage t-shirts,” rather they’re going to be asking Alexa a question like, “Which is the best place to buy vintage t-shirts?”
Structure your keyword research around questions and answers, rather than on single keywords or key phrases. You should target question phrases while building a semantic core of a site using question-shaped keywords. Your competitor research must also take this into account.
Another way of voice search optimization is to create FAQ pages as it is believed to be the effective form of content that matches a voice search result. For this, you can refer the guidelines for content published by Google that can work best as an answer to voice search queries.
Focusing on long tail keywords is an effective strategy for responding to voice search-driven changes in query construction. These keywords are phrases with the potential to drive more traffic than traditional keywords due to a lower level of competition. That being the case, it’s good to use keywords that seem excessively massive, as long as they look natural in the content.
When you have long-tail queries on hands, you don’t need to think about enhancing a separate page for each of them. Just sprinkle your content with long-tail keywords. And remember that Google doesn’t want to see them in headline-tags to use for voice search answers – it can pick them up from any part of your content.
According to Search Engine Watch, mobile voice-related searches are three times more likely to be locally-based in comparison to their text counterparts. This is a dream for online store owners, particularly if they also have a brick-and-mortar aspect to their businesses. This is your opportunity to craft content that caters to a local audience. Once you crack the local market, you’ll find it easier to scale your strategy across states and borders.
Bring a local focus to your content, and consider expanding the catalogue to include locally-sourced products. Back it up with local blog content and location landing pages.
As we look our way into the future, the convenience of speaking directly to a search engine will become more commonplace. As a result, voice commerce has positioned itself as a seamless way to shop.
However, voice recognition technology has to be improved further to make the services more consumer-friendly, thereby, saving much time. Since there is an increased investment witnessed in the development of IoT devices by big players recently, the fundamental shift in consumer behavior will continue.
With voice commerce sales reaching $1.8 billion last year along with a forecasted value of $40 billion by 2022, voice search optimization for the ecommerce world is quickly becoming a necessity rather than a luxury. The only question is, are you ready to truly optimize your ecommerce site in order to outrank your competition? Let’s know your opinions on the comments section below.
At Purchase Commerce, we are always analyzing the market trends to ensure our single vendor and multi-vendor platform meets the evolving needs of the booming ecommerce industry.
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