Should the rise of voice search effect your website content?

Think of your last Google search. Did you ask Siri or put your query to Alexa? More of us are now relying on voice search to answer our immediate questions and its popularity is only set to grow. In fact, comScore predicts that by 2020 a whopping 50% of all searches will be voice!

Creatures of habit, most people naturally opt for one of the first search results they’re presented with. Research by Advanced Web Ranking shows that over 67% of searchers choose one of the top five delivered results, but with voice we get a singular search result deemed most relevant by our personal devices – that result is found in the coveted Position Zero.

Also known as Google’s ‘Featured Snippet’, you’ve probably noticed the appearance of Position Zero directly under paid listings, taking up substantial search result real-estate. And if you’ve noticed it, you’ve most likely clicked it, and you may very well have read several other blogs on ‘how to rank for Position Zero’.

Whilst it’s been around since 2014, the unprecedented growth of voice search means the importance of Position Zero is now paramount to success online. Aimed at directly answering the ‘who, what, when, where, why and how’ questions we regularly ask of our trusted friends Siri and Alexa, results can appear in many forms from tables to a short text answer, or even a recipe.

All this begs the question “How should voice search effect my website content?”

In short, it absolutely extends the type of content your website needs. As our search habits evolve, it’s not uncommon for users to get the answers they want without needing to actually visit the website. With voice search we use natural language, posing questions in the same way as we would to another person, and this in turn changes what search engines ‘look’ for in your site content.

So where do you start to join the voice revolution?

GET INQUISITIVE!

Firstly, work out what opportunity there is for your business. As mentioned, voice is heavily focused on ‘who, what, when, where, how and why’ questions, so put yourself in the shoes of your audience and think what relevant questions they may have and how they fits with your business.

AN ORACLE OF KNOWLEDGE
It’s unlikely that all those questions are already explicitly included on your website. By also assessing whether the answers can be found within your existing site copy? Here is your starting point, taking the questions you’ve come up with and forming concise, relevant answers that consider how a searcher would expect the answer to be structured. For example, is it set out in an accessible, conversational way.

MORE THAN VOICE CENTRIC
Taking this approach to improve your content potential for voice search also bolsters

Position Zero is also important for businesses wanting to deliver the answers first and fast and it’s important for businesses wanting to boost click-through rates especially if their main competitors are currently sitting in the top spot.

According to research by Ahrefs, when Position Zero is triggered, the next result receives 19.6% of click-throughs. vs 26% when there is no Position Zero listing. This means if your main competitors are at Position Zero, you’re losing clicks.

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