How to Design Mobile Websites for Voice Search & Why It Is Important for 2019? | RankWatch Blog

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How to Design Mobile Websites for Voice Search & Why It Is Important for 2019?

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Anyone who tried a voice search at least once will tell you that it’s a pretty nifty feature. The idea is to shorten the number of operations needed to find the desired information. All you have to do is vocally command search parameters to your device, and you will receive results just like you would via the good old fashioned text-based search.

With the emergence of smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and constant improvement of voice technology, the number of users doubled since the connection to the phones and tablets offered a more natural way to research products. It is believed that by 2020, 30% of all online searches will be done without using the screen considering the fact that over a billion searches in 2018 were voice searches. Therefore, this technology is currently in full swing and is yet to come to its maximum potential in the near future.

Consequently, business owners need to think about ways to improve their websites and SEO to respond to this growing trend. When it comes to voice search, it doesn’t matter what kind of products or services you are selling. Based on statistics, 35.6 million Americans in 2017 used voice assistant on devices and that number is higher today.

In the end, it’s all a matter of convenience, as using Alexa, Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant makes our day-to-day activities easier. Instead of unlocking your phone, opening an app and typing the query, you can simply call onto your assistant and give it voice command what to search. So when asked why they use voice search, 43% of users said because it’s quicker than typing.

In order to adapt to this trend, you will need to optimize your website for voice search. But this is not as complicated as it may sound and you can start implementing these voice search SEO tactics starting today. Since we are a year away from the predicted boom of voice search, 2019 is an ideal time to start designing mobile websites for voice search.

1. Turn your website into a mobile-friendly version

Since most voice searches occur over smartphones, it means that the websites they will lead to will be viewed with mobile browsers. According to statistics, 20-25% of all voice searches are done with mobile devices, which corresponds to the fact the one in five phone users doesn’t like typing. It’s not surprising considering the fact that using voice search is faster, easier and more comfortable than using both hands to type.

But what does this mean for businesses? Well, for one thing, you will need to upgrade your website so your customers could view it correctly on their smartphones. This means that you will need to create a mobile-friendly version of the existing website and increase your traffic.

If your website is not opening correctly on their mobile devices, customers will leave and will be less likely to return. And that will create a negative user experience – a significant factor in SEO algorithm that can ruin your top spot in the search results. Additionally, Google’s mobile-first algorithm ranks how well your website is optimized for phones which also affect your ranking.

It doesn’t take much to create a mobile-friendly website that will keep your visitors satisfied. Bigger buttons, pre-made web design, compressing images and clear text will help you update your website to a mobile-friendly version. Just don’t forget to check these changes on the phone first, before you publish them, to avoid errors which neither Google nor the visitors are fond of.

2. Google’s Mobile-First Index

Based on projections, mobile commerce sales will grow to 63.5% in 2019 of all e-commerce sales. This fact makes mobile SEO very important for business in terms of revenues and sales.  Namely, starting from July 2019, Google will start using a mobile-first index which will transfer the priority to mobile websites.

Google favored desktop versions of websites for ranking on results pages, but this is all about to change due to the fact that mobile access to the Internet is on the rise. This caused Google to give different search results when used on the phone and tablet than on PC. Since this is all about to change, businesses should invest in responsive and optimized design, register a mobile website in Google Search Console and speed it up.

3. Update your local SEO

Google My Business listing includes the most important information about your business like working hours, address and contact information. Since voice search is on more occasions local based than text-based searching, completing Google My Business listing could get you hits. Just make sure that all fields are accurately filled and update this data regularly whenever there is a change. Wrong information is one of the most annoying things for internet users and you could easily lose them because of it.

Additionally, include local information in your content and metadata, use visual enhancements that correspond to your region and tag geographic area on images and videos. This will make your websites appear on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) when a user adds “near me” or “in” to a certain location in their voice search.

4. Think about voice-activated smart speakers

Voice-activated smart speakers are becoming more and more popular each day with currently one in six Americans owning a set. One of the characteristics of smart speakers like Google Home, Apple HomePod and Amazon Alexa is that they have a voice search option. Basically, you ask the question and get an answer like you would with Cortana or Siri.

Now, this is all made possible through the information box which not only smart speaker used to get the answer, but also you can use to help your business. To claim this SERP position, you will need to invest in a keyword, quality corporate SEO and thus boost click-through rates (CTR).

In this case, Schema markup may be an ideal solution for your business to reach this goal. Namely, this type of structured data is supported by all major search engines that work rather simply. It is a code that collects a part of the content on your website and offers it to search engines as information which regards specific topic.

Since Google announced it will support “speakable specification” of Schema markup, you will be able to choose segments of your website that are best for text-to-speech playback. And it is these segments exactly that voice assistants will provide as answers to the questions.  

5. Build content around longtail keywords

People who type their search phrase and those who use voice search use different language to do it. This means that those who perform voice search feel as though they are talking to a person and so form the sentences accordingly. For example, a person will type “weather conditions today New York”, but they will ask “What is the weather like in New York today?”

This shows that voice search will be longer and these are known as longtail keywords. In order to get a higher ranking for voice search queries, you will have to target these longtail keywords on your website. These longtail keywords are most commonly used by voice searchers who have an intention to make a purchase and need specific information to do so.

Conclusion

Knowing how to design mobile websites for voice search will be one of the crucial elements to improve your business and reach new visitors. Since Google will be making some serious changes in 2019, it is important to concentrate on the current trends like the rise of mobile users and the use of voice searching. So the question is would it be possible for this approach to take over more than 30% of the mainstream SEO methods by 2020?

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Nick Brown
Nick is a blogger and a marketing expert currently engaged on
projects for Media Gurus, an Australian business, and marketing
resource. He is an aspiring street artist and does Audio/Video editing
as a hobby.
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