Here’s a little food for thought: By 2020, it’s predicted that 30% of all website sessions will be done without any kind of screen. Wild, isn’t it?

It’s a glimpse of the future.

We’re now reaching a point where the average business that relies on its online presence really needs to adjust and get ready. There are some subtle and not-so-subtle differences in how to serve customers and clients who search by voice, so let’s cut the introduction and get to the meat of the matter.

SEO and voice: What’s changing.

Desktop search is increasingly going hand in hand with smartwatches, mobiles and tablets – that just about everyone knows. The numbers aren’t lying, though: while studies vary, major players are seeing sharp increases, such as a fifth of UK adults using voice search several times a day – mostly from millennials.

This gives some food for thought in your messaging and branding to that generation. We’ve talked on the blog before about the rise of millennials into decision-making positions, and the changes in advertising and messaging that goes with that – the same applies to the voice search market.

Local SEO: A great opportunity for voice.

The increasing use of local search ties in here. Many voice searches are local or ‘near me’ searches, and that’s a big deal for small businesses. Local SEO is now more than a nice to have; it’s an easy way to blow past the competition on voice search and be top of the list for people looking for similar services and products literally down the street from your store.

Trust is expected to be a key issue here. Convincing searchers of the legitimacy and credibility of your business and its physical location will be a major consideration if you want to access the local SEO voice search boom – it’s a good time to think about updating your site with more testimonials, awards and shiny badges and logos from clients and awards won.

Four tips from the Digiconomy team.

So, let’s give some tangible tips to help steer you in the right direction.

It’s important to remember that when an individual uses voice search, they’re usually hoping to get a fast result – to complete an action, or to rapidly get information on a subject that’s important to them right now.

Check your load times.

You’ll fail in getting business from voice searchers if your website isn’t sharp on loading times. Responsive website design goes hand in hand here – most voice searches are done on mobile.

There’s no end of advice on the internet about how to accomplish this, so a simple session of Google searches will give you the advice you need to get started. Alternatively, you can contact the DIgiconomy team for some no-obligation advice – we’d be happy to help!

Write like you speak.

Voice search strings are short and to the point. You can improve your results by reflecting this type of searching in your messaging.

Think about including long-tail keywords in your content; the key here is for them to read naturally. Experiment with reading these important snippets out loud, and tailor them until they flow off the tongue.

You’ll also want to keep your phrases short. Avoid fancy language; remember the golden rule of copywriting: Express everything you need to, but do it as simply as you can.

Start on snippets.

Featured snippets are perfect for voice search, so you should consider taking advantage of them.

These should be summaries of your main content, placed above the fold, of about thirty words in total. You can find a little more on this subject right here.

Concentrate on local.

About a quarter of voice queries are looking for results that are about location. It’s expected this number to rise, and that’s a great opportunity for brands to tap into the voice search market and demographics.

For your website and general content, look at including a location-based copy. An example would be having website text that says ‘Looking for great clothing near you? We’re right here at x’. Keep in mind that Google can pick up on slight variations of the desired text – you don’t have to awkwardly shoehorn in exact phrases here.

This will help you dominate the local search results around your business.

Thanks for stopping by!

Another day, another great article from our Digiconomy nerds! We hope you found this one useful. Voice search isn’t going anywhere, so it’s time to get stuck in.

If we can help you with any advice or projects to do with your digital marketing, drop us a line. We’re always happy to chat and to get involved.