Optimizing for Voice Search

Searching for information has been a continually developing process since humanity could read and write. From tablets and scrolls to the printing press and mass printing, information keeps moving faster. The internet took that speed of getting information to the next level with readily available databases and search engines.

The search process was revolutionized again with voice search and digital assistants. Virtual assistants have been helpful to what can be done when one decides to search for information. Digital assistants like Siri, Cortana, and google assistant have expanded the way people search online. People are no longer limited to typing words on a keyboard to find information. The use of voice search will have new challenges as developers evaluate what users want in this method.

The Challenge

As more people use voice search and digital assistants to find information, a new challenge for businesses is to tailor their websites to match this new search method. Adapting to search methods has been a trend that companies have had to follow since the rise of the internet.

Website development had to go from desktops to smartphones while maintaining and updating sites to match functional user interfaces. Did you know, nearly half of all online searches will be initiated by voice search on smartphones? Developers have worked to improve voice recognition technology to better serve this upcoming need. Even with the current capabilities of voice search, there are still many improvements to be made.

We have put together three tips on how you can better improve voice search for your business: featured snippets, skillsets, and persona models.

Snippets & Skill Sets

A featured snippet can be a frequently asked question with a precise answer. The same question could also lead to new questions that develop user interest. Skills and actions will be a factor with voice search; asking programs like Siri or Cortana to find things like football scores or weather reports. This is an area that will be in great in development as users will desire more in-depth capabilities.

Get Personal

Another area that should strongly be considered are personas for digital assistants. Research has shown that people tend to use their assistants more when they have a “personality” that is familiar and perceiving to be helpful.

These are only a few of what can be done to improve voice search technology. There are still unhidden challenges with voice search due to the lack of use in its current stage. This is not a new trend as humanity has always been in search of information since we have been on earth. The speed of attaining information today was almost unimaginable over 50 years ago, but now is changing again. Voice search will be the next method of information search on a large scale, but even that will give way to a new method.