Optimizing Content for the Age of Virtual Assistants and Voice Search

Optimizing Content for the Age of Virtual Assistants and Voice Search

Everyone with a smart device already knows – voice search is here. Here’s what you can do today to stay relevant and ahead of the curve.  

Almost everyone with a heartbeat and a smartphone has had the experience of searching by voice using Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana or Siri.  Researchers are already surmising that anywhere between 20 and 50 percent of all searches will be voice-initiated by the year 2020. If you have a company that does commerce over the internet, it’s important for SEOs to begin thinking about best practices and methods for optimizing content for voice search and virtual assistants.

While SEO for these new interfaces will undoubtedly evolve as utilization increases and the algorithms powering them improve, opportunities exist for SEOs to begin optimizing existing approaches and trends that will eventually take hold once the wave of voice takes effect. Understanding how to develop content specifically for how your customers will speak about your products and services is a strategy that will pay off for some time to come.

How to Earn Featured Snippets for Your Site

Good in traditional search and imperative in voice search, a specific answer where most of the responses Google provides comes from featured snippets as mapped out in a process for getting just about any type of content:

  • Categorize relatable questions in your market sector
  • Define which of those are important to your business
  • Produce related questions for selected target questions
  • Write content that addresses target and related questions in a single cohesive article

Using this process can help to enable a company to garner featured snippets for several particular questions.

Build a Skill or an Action

Skills are utilized by Alexa to make the device smarter and make everyday tasks faster. Actions are similar processes for Google Assistant. These Skills and Actions can be built manually, but there are sites and services that cater to make it easy for both coders and non-coders to develop these search capabilities.

Of course, developers have already fashioned a million Skills and Actions. For example, you can ask Alexa to check the weather, or ask Google Assistant to map out your family birthdays. Even despite the abundance of these add-ons, there are still an infinite number of openings to generate Skills and Actions related to your brand or company’s business. You should think how your customers would phrase something and start there for sure.

Take the time to design persona models for voice apps. Just as brands work hard to produce a consistent image and promote a unique customer experience, research suggests the actual voices spoken by virtual assistants should have distinctive personalities.

Computer generated speech has already been given gender because people prefer voices that are not just mechanical. People usually recognize a computer voice as empty and soulless and they’re more likely to connect with that has a personality and a life. Make sure you make users of your app feel good about using it.

Fair Marketing