How to Optimize Voice Search Feature For Your Ecommerce Store

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Did you know that 71% of consumers prefer to use a voice search function rather than type out their questions? This means that voice searches make up an enormous chunk of your potential website visitors. That, in turn, means you need to think about optimizing your ecommerce store for voice search.

If you didn’t know, voice search is exactly what it sounds like – the user speaks into their device, and the device carries out a web search. It’s not very common for anyone to use a POTS line in this day and age – you should expect the majority of your customers to be on mobile, which means they’ll have a voice search function. Furthermore, smart speakers from Amazon, Apple, and Google all provide the ability to use voice search from the comfort of their own home. 

Having good SEO can be just as important as having efficient supply chain operations – without a supply chain you won’t have a product, and without SEO you’ll rarely have any customers. To help you with SEO that’s specific to voice searches, we’ve provided a few handy tips below. 

Focus on Language

The key thing to remember when you’re optimizing for voice search is in the name – you are optimizing for voice, rather than text. This means that people are going to use a different kind of language than what they’d use when typing out searches.

One main change is that voice searches will form complete sentences, rather than the collection of keywords that make up most typed searches. For example, a voice search might sound like “what are the best bakeries in Portland?” whereas the typed version would simply be “best bakeries Portland”. You need to adjust the wording used on your website to account for this. 

Firstly, take into account the fact that voice searches tend to be questions. Voice searches will prioritize content that answers these questions, but even if your content does this, you need to make that obvious to the device that’s searching. Make your content titles into questions, then answer them in the body of your content. Don’t be afraid to include words like “how”, “what”, and “best” into your headings, as these will be targeted by voice searches. 

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Secondly, target long-tail keywords as well as short, single-word keywords. It might take a bit of time to type out “search engine optimization”, but it’s much faster to say. This means you can afford to incorporate these phrases into your content, as voice search functions will pick up on their presence and send traffic your way. 

Target Local Searchers

Voice searches are often performed when the user is looking for businesses that are local to them – 76% of smart speaker users perform a local search at least once a week using their device. This means that while targeting voice search users, you should optimize for local searches too. This is smart because it targets two groups at once – as well as getting voice search traffic, you’ll get more visitors from typed local searches too. 

Place names are the key when you’re trying to optimize for local searches. Make sure that the name of the town or region you’re based in is present in your content so that search engines pick up on it.

If your ecommerce store has a brick-and-mortar counterpart, another good way to attract local voice searches is having a store locator page. This is simply a standalone web page that shows your store address and contact details. If you’re solely operating over the internet, you can still attract local searches if you sell locally sourced products – just make sure that you clearly state this fact on your site so that search engines can find you.

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Automation software like AI-powered tools can help with local searches. These kinds of software tools can perform keyword research for what people type (or in this case, say) when they’re searching for businesses in their area. This is useful as both customers using voice search and those performing a local search tend to use a different set of keywords than people typing their search into a device.  

Improve Your Site Structure

Optimizing for voice search is a good chance to practice your website design. You should be fairly familiar with all the technology you use in your business – if a call center employee didn’t know how to transfer calls, they would be in trouble. Similarly, if you run an ecommerce store, you should be reasonably good at making changes to your website’s structure.

A big factor in optimizing for voice searches is speed. This means two things when it comes to website design. First, you need to make sure your site loads quickly. Many people using voice search are on mobile, and mobile users will only allow a few seconds for a site to load before they try a different one. Make sure you’re optimizing your image formats and avoid URL redirects, as these can slow down your website load speed and lose you customers. 

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Secondly, look into streamlining your website navigation. This is a good general SEO tip, as search engines favor easily navigable sites when they are ranking websites on a results page. However, with voice searches, the motivation is speed; whether they end up on your homepage or a specific product page, you need to ensure visitors have an easy time looking around. You have seconds to capture their interest, and a confusing website will scare them away.

Voice Search Is the Future

Optimizing your website for voice search is amongst the top SEO trends of 2021. This means you need to apply it to your website before your competitors, or you’ll get left behind. The sheer variety of devices with a voice search function means that ignoring the users of these devices would mean ignoring a huge segment of your potential customer base.

Luckily, with the handy tips we’ve provided above, you should be able to optimize your website for voice search in no time, and then enjoy all the benefits that come with it. 

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