It started as a cute gimmick.
Ask your phone a few awkward questions, get a few witty responses.
But today, voice search is huge. And if your web content isn’t geared up for it, you’re missing out.
Here’s how to get more hits without clicks:
1. OK, Google: How can I create content that brings in more voice searches?
People don’t speak like they Google.
When people type, they’re lazy. They write in fragmented segments to save time – things like ‘cheap mattress London’, or ‘mattress shop king size’.
But when they talk to their fancy new voice search device, they’re a little more fluid.
They’re going to ask fully phrased questions with specific details – especially after being liberated from the struggles of trying to type on a mobile device.
They’ll be asking things like:
- ‘Where can I buy a king-size memory-foam mattress in London for under £200?’
- ‘What’s the cheapest single mattress with free next-day delivery in London?’
- ‘What’s the difference between memory foam and spring mattresses?’
So how can you make sure your web content is ready for these longer search terms?
Build your content around questions, not just keywords.
The easiest way to do this is to create a dedicated FAQ page. (Or develop your current FAQ page into a monster resource that covers everything your audience is likely to ask.)
If you’ve already got an FAQ page, it’s probably filled with questions specific to your business: questions about shipping and returns, or questions about your company’s values and history. These are fine in moderation.
But if you really want to pull in the punters from Google, you’ll need to target the specific questions people are asking about your industry and products like yours.
The best place to start is with a tool like Answer The Public. You can type in a keyword or phrase, and get a list of the most common questions asked around that topic:
From this list, you can easily see a few valuable questions that ought to be in any mattress company’s FAQ page:
- How do I choose a mattress?
- Are mattress warranties worth it?
- How much should I spend on a mattress?
Just remember that this isn’t the time to start selling your products.
This is the time to give honest and helpful answers that give your searchers the knowledge they’re looking for.
You might not hit a sale straight away. But if you can give clear and transparent answers to the questions people are asking, Google will start to see your FAQ page as a useful and authoritative solution to these problems.
And over time, you’ll start getting more interested buyers visiting your page.
2. Match the question to the buying stage
Not all questions asked in searches are the same.
We can categorise them based on how close your visitor is to making a decision to buy. They could be asking:
- Knowledge questions (‘What’s the difference between memory foam and spring mattresses?’)
- Learning questions (‘How do I clean a mattress?’)
- Location questions (‘Where can I find a mattress shop near me?’)
- Or ‘Gimme‘ questions (‘Where can I buy a king-size memory foam mattress in London for less than £200?’)
When someone asks Google a knowledge question, they’re not particularly close to making a purchase. They’re just dipping their toes in, asking for general information to be more educated about a product.
That makes this question a perfect fit for an FAQ page or a dedicated blog post. They’ll come to your site looking for an answer, and they’ll immediately get the answer they were looking for.
It’s a positive experience. And if it happens a few times, they’ll remember your website when they’re ready to start shopping.
(And if you’re lucky, you might get featured as a Google Snippet.)
But when they ask a ‘Gimme’ question – like ‘Where can I buy a king-size memory foam mattress in London for less than £200?’ – it’s a sign that someone is painfully close to making a decision. And that’s the sort of question you want to include on a sales page or product page.
3. Use natural, conversational language – now more than ever
Business jargon is truly horrendous. And so are the awkward technical terms that usually accompany it.
But for some reason, lots of businesses write their web content as if they’ve never had a conversation with one of their customers.
People don’t like formal language. They don’t like to use it, and they don’t like to say it out loud.
They might type it in an email from time to time. They might even type it in the occasional Google search.
But we’re talking about voice search – so you need to use the natural language your audience uses when they speak.
No one in their right mind would ask Siri or Alexa for ‘project collaboration technology’.
Instead, they’d probably ask for ‘apps to share screens’ or ‘an app that lets people work on the same document’.
And if that’s the language people use when they search for stuff, then that’s the you should be using on your website.
Don’t talk about ‘software that improves team co-ordination and collaboration while streamlining the project management process’. That’s ugly and difficult, and no one wants to read it or search for it.
Instead, talk about how your app ‘lets people work on the same files at the same time, making it easier to work together while sharing the same screen’.
And even if you don’t care about voice search, this kind of thinking comes with an added bonus:
Any web content that uses natural language is simply more pleasant to read.
Your visitors will get an instant understanding, and they’ll be happy to spend more time on your site – which means Google will love your site even more.
4. Capture the people who need you right now
There’s an urgency that goes along with voice searches that you don’t find with regular desktop searches.
People using voice are more likely to be on mobile devices – out on the street or out in their cars – and they’re more likely to want an instant solution to their current problem.
In other words, voice searches are more likely to need ‘things near me’ rather than ‘things in general’.
They might be out driving around looking for fun stuff to do. They might be out shopping with some friends and need to find a coffee shop with sofas, free Wi-Fi and gluten-free cake.
What’s important is that your business is correctly listed as a local solution. That means you need to:
- Register with the right directories (like Google My Business) – especially the ones that are specific to your industry.
- Do what you can to make your online reviews positive. Encourage your happy customers to leave feedback, and try to resolve any negative reviews as soon as you get them.
- Keep your details up to date. An out-dated address on a single directory (or an out-dated set of opening hours) could mean that your business simply won’t show up when someone needs you – and that means you’re missing out.
Sounds easy, right?
Tweaking your SEO content for voice search doesn’t have to be complicated.
But getting the balance right can be.
There’s a fine line between writing for robots and writing for humans. And if you want your site to please both of them, you’ll need to be careful with how you structure your content and craft your messages.
You’ll need questions that fit the context, keywords that fit naturally, and an experienced pair of human eyes – to make sure you’re hitting the sweet spot between charming your customers and buttering up the search engines.
If only you had a copywriter who was just a click away.