Trends in marketing and business development advance and evolve rapidly. Therefore, it is critical to support the continuous testing and experimentation of your website for steady long and short-term improvement. Look to today and to the future to remain ahead of the competition by implementing voice-search optimization for your e-commerce business.

What is Voice Search Optimization?

Voice search optimization is a term used to describe the process of optimizing your website to accommodate voice search technology, such as Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, all of which are immensely popular virtual assistants, also known as smart-speaker technologies.

Why Optimize E-Commerce for Voice Search?

Smart speaker technology is advancing at such a rate that, according to Statista, sales have grown “from around 800,000 in 2015 to over 26 million in 2018,” which translates to approximately 219 percent annual growth for the industry. The future of voice search is not dying out any time soon, and it’s more important now than ever to ensure that your business is ahead of the competition with voice search optimization.

How to Implement Voice Search Optimization

People speak differently than they type. Take this scenario, for example. You’re searching for a gift for your friend’s birthday. If you were typing your search, you would probably type something like “gifts for men.” However, if you were speaking to someone about where to find a gift, you might say something like, “Where can I find a birthday gift for a man that likes to read?” The entire search has changed because people will often speak more specifically than they type, changing the keywords that would rank your website higher in search engines.

Google, Bing, and Yelp

A Moz interview panel with representatives from Google, Bing, and Yelp, provide insight into how these major search engines are preparing for the future of voice search. Because it is still early in the development of voice search, there remains much speculation regarding future trends. The speculations, however, are backed up with current voice search trends and should be taken seriously. The following paragraphs summarize some of the points that these experts made.

Expanding on the idea that voice searches are longer and more specific than typed searches, Christi Olson from Bing says that many voice searches are formatted as longer, more specific questions. Be sure you’re aware of the types of questions that customers, or searchers, would ask about your business or the products or services that you provide. Your website content should be formatted to answer these specific questions, and more keywords should be implemented to accommodate the format of an answer to a question. As of now, she says, most voice search queries are leading to the FAQ pages of websites.

Nate Evans from Yelp mentions that the future of search strategy involves making it as easy as possible for customers to obtain their desired results. Customers want to be able to say, with voice search alongside other search methods, “Make me a reservation with X for June 24th at 4 pm.” Implementing voice search optimization now will give you an advantage for the employment of more advanced voice search techniques when they become readily available.

There are three main points we would like to emphasize. First, implement longer, more specific keywords into your SEO strategy. Second, optimize your website to answer specific consumer questions. Third, keep up with current trends and consistently update your voice search strategy to accommodate them.