voice search6 expert tips on how dealers are getting heard by Google

Although Google Voice Search is still in its infancy, it is no longer a dream of the future. Experts predict that in a few years, voice-based search will have revolutionized online user behavior. But, because there are still only a few dealers aligning their marketing strategy in this area, marketers should now take their chance and secure their presence in the "market of the future" through SEO measures.

Voice Search is today what the mobile trend was a few years ago, which already outstripped desktop search. The acceptance for voice search is steadily increasing, accounting according to Google for 20% of searches in the mobile app world and on Android devices worldwide. Some studies even claim 50% of search queries will be by voice in 2020. Anyway, these numbers make clear that it is only a matter of time before voice search trumps the textual search, approving that you must act now if you want to compete.

Löwenstark, a full-service agency for online marketing and Internet solutions, explains in a nutshell how retailers can stand out from the crowd with proper SEO measures and get Google’s attention:

Tip 1: Making SEO for Voice Search a priority

The number of language assistant users increases daily, since they help making decisions: Where do I go shopping? Do I go for a walk today or do I prefer to stay home due to the weather? Dealers that are preparing their website for voice search are gaining a trust advantage at Google that will be gold in the battle for the best places in voice search in the future. Now, Google Voice Search only reads out the most relevant result - and only a handful of dealers make it to this first place in the ranking. But those who succeed can already get numerous customers over this channel today.

Tip 2: Mark-ups determine what is read

Knowing your own target group and their search behavior via the voice function are the nuts and bolts of voice search SEO marketing. By using mark-ups, a kind of rich snippets from schema.org, and declaring certain passages in the source code through an HTML tag, retailers specify which areas of their website should be read by Google.

The set-up of a FAQ section on the own website, that provides appropriate answers to the questions "who", "how", "what", makes sense from the SEO perspective. Three points are particularly important here: First, it's the balance, meaning if too much is declared, the customer feels overwhelmed by information, if it is too little, users remain unsatisfied. Second, customers always expect detailed and personalized results. Third, it is the job of the SEO officer to be able to pinpoint what content is relevant at what moment - and it needs to be concise and informative at the same time.

Tip 3: Generate readable content

Writing texts differently than usual content: In contrast to conventional SEO texts, the language-based search engine optimization must guarantee loud readability. Therefore, the text should have a natural language flow and not - as usual in SEO – be created by keyword stuffing. Keyword density, headings, and subtitles were relevant to traditional SEO; however, users have a completely different search behavior for the language- than text-based input.

If users condense their writing, they generally formulate entire sentences in voice search. So, when the customer was looking for "buy red shoes", he asks his language assistant today: "Where can I buy red shoes for myself nearby?" Hence, retailers need to create semantically natural and consistent text passages and switch from short to long-tail keywords, in which the stylistic component is even more important than SEO. Featured snippets and outstanding content are crucial for a good positioning in the organic search results and the resulting "Consideration" for reading the result by Google.

Tip 4: Increasing the charging rate

Keep loading time as low as possible: Those who use voice search are usually in a hurry and need fast results. That's why slow websites are not just a no-go, but a significant sales brake. Because of the triumph of language-based search, accelerated mobile pages (AMP) from Google will become increasingly important in the future. These are very fast loading pages that currently only contain texts and pictures, they are set-up rudimentary, but ultra-fast loading. According to experts the speed of a page in Voice Search should not be more than 1.5 seconds, because if the customer has no answer during this time, the dealer has a problem as people are simply too fast-paced.

Tip 5: Describing images in a target-group-oriented and appealing way

It is becoming more and more difficult for dealers to describe the products linguistically, as voice-based search is currently not creating any images that favor a purchase. So, dealers must be able to persuade customers to buy without photos or other illustrations, which requires a detailed description of what is displayed on photos or infographics- an all that target group oriented. Especially, the emotional need of the customers must be satisfied - depending on the product - by a pictorial description: customers in the low-budget sector are not dependent on illustrations, which is why this segment is already doing well today via voice search. But if the customer does not yet have a clear idea of the product and wants to be inspired by the photo, Google Voice Search doesn’t provide much help yet.

Tip 6: Making a Google MyBusiness listing

The presence on certain Google services can increase the SEO success in Voice Search, too. For example, Voice Search is offering off-track Amazon dealers the opportunity to re-position themselves in their region - which can be significant for their omnichannel strategy.

After all, customers have added value if the goods they are looking for online can also be bought locally. As a result, retailers should make a business listing on Google MyBusiness and look for reviews there.

Customers searching for a product will then also receive directions from Google to the retailer, along with contact information.

It will probably soon be possible to access the availability of products in stores via voice search, and this will provide omnichannel retailers with new, high-potential sales opportunities that will give their business strong sales momentum.

By Daniela La Marca