The Guide To Preparing Your eCommerce Site For Voice Search

Published on:

‘Alexa…..Play Baby Shark’; ‘Siri….What time is it in Australia?’; “Hey, Google... How do you make a New York cheesecake?’ As you can see, we are already fairly familiar and heavily reliant on a number of voice search devices for menial everyday tasks, but have you thought what impact it could actually have on your startup and eCommerce site?

Some startups are doomed from the start, you need to be flexible in terms of new trends and not be afraid to take small risks. Don’t put the whole company at risk, but make sure you stand out from the crowd and offer seamless, user-friendly experiences for your customers – that’s where voice search can be very beneficial.

As a startup, it’s imperative that you get on board with voice search as soon as possible. Implementing techniques in your search marketing strategy that allows your startup to rank highly in search results will be beneficial in the long run.

Although reports show that by 2020 over 50% of online queries will be searched using voice recognition software have been highly exaggerated, voice search isn’t going away any time soon and you need to be up to speed in order not to be left behind in the business world.

You may think that the likes of Google Home, Amazon Echo/Alexa, and Microsoft Cortana are just fads, that they have no bearing on your startup and they will be forgotten about in a few years time, but can you really afford to take that risk?

Over the years, a number of well-established business have failed to adapt to changes or got involved too late and are no longer in existence. Borders the bookstore is a great example of this – the book and music retailer was known globally after first being founded in 1971, but they had mounting debts and the introduction of digital and online books saw them unable to compete. They eventually got on board with the new trend but by then it was too late and all their retail locations were closed or sold off and they ceased to function in 2011.

It’s not too dramatic to suggest that if you are too late to the party, your startup could be the next to fall by the wayside. If well-known established businesses suffer because of their reluctance to move with the times then your startup could be in trouble before you even get going.

The main question you need to ask yourself is, ‘can you afford not to have voice search on your website?’ This article will explain how to prepare your eCommerce site for voice search.

What Is Voice Search?

Voice search is a speech recognition software that allows users to search for various things via a voice command.

It’s become increasingly popular over the past few years with the likes of Google Home and Amazon Echo/Alexa entering the market. The increase in mobile phones and tablets has seen the popularity of voice search software soar, even if it’s for mundane tasks like asking if a train is running on time or when your favorite football team is playing.

We used the popular everyday examples at the start of the article, but it’s important you realize how this form of technology can benefit your startup. The largest keyword voice search to generate more traffic is ‘how’ with ‘what’ and ‘best’ next in line. So if you’re going to implement voice search, you will need to come up with questions that your site can answer. More on this later.

Having your company invested in voice search is vital in the modern world. Speaking to a device instead of typing is here to stay, and having your business website hooked up to it can only be a good thing. Not investing time and effort in voice search will most probably see you left behind just like Borders, Kodak, and Blockbuster.

Some Voice Search Statistics

Adding voice search to your startup gets more important every day, here a few of the more crucial statistics surrounding voice search and why it’s an absolute must for your business:

  • Around 30% of all internet searches will be done without a screen by 2020.
  • The industry of voice recognition will be worth $601 million by 2019.
  • Around 65% or Amazon Echo or Google Home users admit they can’t imagine living without a smart speaker.
  • Two in five adults use voice search each day.
  • Voice search commerce sales exceeded $1.8 million in 2017, expected to reach $40 billion by 2020.
  • Around 22% of smart speaker owners in the US have purchased something using their device.
  • It’s reported that 52% of owners would prefer to receive information about deals, sales and promotions from different brands, around 39% would like to see more information relating to a business.
  • Around 19% of consumers have made a purchase using voice search through their device, while another 33% are expected to do so in the next 12 months.
  • 46% of voice search users look for local businesses on a daily basis.
  • On average, 27% visit the local business’ website after conducting a voice search.
  • 76% of smart home speaker users search for local businesses at least once a week, while 53% perform daily searches.

Bear these statistics in mind when you’re starting up your new business, sometimes it’s not good practice to just follow popular trends but in the case of voice search ignore that rule.

#1 Ensure Your Site Is Ultra Fast

The easiest way to lose a whole load of potential customers is to have a slow-loading website. We live in a world where everyone is in a rush and the thought of waiting over six seconds for a page to open up is some people’s idea of hell.

If your customer feels they are waiting too long, they will exit your site in a heartbeat and it becomes increasingly difficult to persuade that customer to put their trust in you once again. First impressions mean everything when loading a website, so make sure you have no issues with yours.

Ideally, you will need to have a loading time of under two seconds – Google aims to have a load time of 500 milliseconds! If you are thinking of changing your hosting site, don’t just take their word for it. Check out their reviews and make sure you get what you pay for or your eCommerce site could fall at the first hurdle.

It is important to note that if you have just a one-second delay in loading your page, the following will happen:

  • 11% fewer views
  • 16% decrease in customer satisfaction (massively important!)
  • 7% loss in conversions

If you are still unsure whether or not having a super fast website is important in 2018, just read this quote from American researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky to see how highly the internet ranks in our method of everyday thinking:

“I don’t care where I live, so long as there’s a roof to keep the rain off my books and high-speed internet access.”

#2 Be Aware Of Search Query Trends And Consumer Behavior

As you know, a voice search is a little bit different and more specific than a regular search. If you were typing in a search, you would probably type something like ‘Paris restaurants’. But using voice search, you are more likely to ask the full question: ‘What are the best restaurants in Paris?’ or ‘Where are the best places to eat in Paris?’

This is important to note because most people tend to talk in a conversational style when using voice search and, as a matter of fact, 41% of people who own a voice-activated device say it actually feels like they are talking to a real person.

Other statistics show that around 70% of requests to the Google Assistant are expressed using natural language and not the typical keywords used in a web search.

Another important trend to notice is to be aware of what the consumer is doing; 62% of people who regularly use a voice-activated speaker admit they are more than likely going to buy something through their speaker within a month.

It’s imperative that you produce a list of keywords and popular phrases on your site that will help your business. Sticking to the old-fashioned format of Who, What, Where, When, Why and How is a good formula to use as long as it relates to what you are selling.

As already mentioned, voice search is more conversational than your regular type search and you should be aware of that. This format means your business will have to do the legwork in terms of structuring sentences to become adaptable with voice queries and the content on your site will match this.

#3 Use Natural Language

We’ve already touched on the use of natural language when using voice search. It has been reported that the average Google voice search is written at a 9th-grade level, so it’s very important to ensure your content is simple and easy to read.

We mention the term simple and that’s exactly what Google expects, they prefer short and to the point answers to all voice search queries – the average voice search result is expected to be 29 words in length.

#4 Use Long-Tail Keywords

We’ve already mentioned how important keywords and phrases are in terms of search trends, but there is no point in including a bunch of random keywords in the hope you get extra visitors and customers to your site.

One, two, or three-word keywords may seem the right way to go when trying to attract more traffic to your site, but in the long run, it could be doing more damage. You need to be more descriptive in your keywords – your business will not stand out if you are not specific enough when it comes to online searches.

For example, if your company sells men’s trainers then having keywords such as ‘trainers’ or ‘men’s trainers’ are not going to work because there will be thousands and thousands of pages relating to these keywords.

The Guide To Preparing Your eCommerce Site For Voice Search

You need to be more specific in order to rank high in any search, so think about using a long-tail keyword such as ‘blue Adidas men’s running trainers’.

The Guide To Preparing Your eCommerce Site For Voice Search

#5 Secure Your Site With SSL

Not all websites on the internet are 100% trustworthy and the majority of people buying online want to do so with the assurance they are not going to be scammed and ripped off.

This is where SSL is crucial to the future of your website and business. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is an encryption technology that creates an encrypted connection between your server and the browser of your visitor that allows any private information to be transmitted without falling into the hands of other people.

In order to ensure your website is secure with SSL, you need to download and install an SSL certificate. You will know if a website is fully secured if there is a padlock icon displayed in the top left corner, while your URL will change from http:// to https://.

Remember, trust is very important when it comes to persuading people to take an interest in your business and what you’re selling.

#6 Include Schema Markup

Schema markup is a form of microdata that allows search engines to interpret information more effectively on the pages of your website.

The schema is applied to content on your webpage to define what it is and how it should be treated. It’s then added directly to the HTML code to provide the search engines with the relevant information.

The Guide To Preparing Your eCommerce Site For Voice Search

Having a featured snippet, like the one above, could help you receive a high ranking in a voice search. Around 40.7% of all voice search answers came from a featured snippet.

#7 Be Proactive On Social Media

Don’t rest on your laurels and think that by having a website that allows voice search that all the hard work is done and you’ll receive the peak in traffic you were hoping. There is still more to be done!

Everyone is glued to social media these days, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, and their main aim is to share their interests, opinions and favorite memes with the world.

Make sure that your social media followers know that your website is now voice search compatible! After all, how will potential customers know if you don’t promote it?! You could have the best website in the world but it would mean absolutely nothing if no-one knew about.

Away You Go

Hopefully, these tips will be helpful for when you venture into the world of voice search – but don’t leave it too late or you could miss out altogether.

Also after reading this, hopefully, you won’t just picture mundane tasks in your head when you hear about voice search. There are massive benefits out there for your business by getting involved now.

If your startup business is seriously not considering getting involved with voice search, then you are already falling behind the leading pack. Voice search is not the next big thing in terms of technology, it is the big thing TODAY!



Sharing is caring!