Preparing for voice search and AI – 3 things you need to know

As the popularity of Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa gathers pace, search engines are implementing algorithms and facilities to cater for this long-anticipated change. So what does this mean for your business? Here we share three key insights to help you prepare for the shift to include voice search and AI across the board.

Rethink your content and consider readability and style

As searches are now being adapted to include voice search terms, the style of content is going to change to cater to this. When we search using a keyboard to type, we choose different phrases compared with those we use when speaking, so writing styles will need to reflect this going forward. To avoid completely overhauling your content on past blogs and website pages it’s best to start by assessing primary pages first and working outwards, adding in fresh search terms and expanding on older content.

Include voice search terms in your SEO strategy

When we communicate verbally we don’t just alter the way we structure and form sentences – the words we use can also differ. Keywords and key phrases in search engines will naturally change to accommodate this and include those synonymous with voice search – usually more posing questions. This will mean incorporating a blend of ‘traditional’ key words with more colloquial, inquisitive phrases that are more likely to be spoken that written. The suggested format of voice search facilities on smartphones, iPads and ‘smart speakers’ also offers some inspiration, with ‘OK, Google.’ or ‘Alexa…’ often used to trigger activity. This gives rise to questions such as ‘show me the way to Gretna Green’, ‘how do I make meringue’ and ‘order more kitchen roll’, as opposed to ‘directions Gretna Green’, ‘easy meringue recipe’ and ‘groceries online’.

Don’t forget to attach keywords to image and moving media

When focusing purely on the written online content it’s easy to forget that Google now offers many ways for users to find what they’re looking for. The potential of image search, in particular, is massively underestimated – according to advisory site Moz research showed up to 60% of web visits from Google. Whilst rethinking and optimising your site for voice search provides the perfect opportunity to go through graphics, image media and videos to ensure that they are properly tagged and SEO optimised for image search. This will further enhance your site’s ranking and relevancy both short-term and long-term.

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