Embracing new technology is one of the best ways for companies to reach consumers. Voice assistant devices are among the most talked about hardware, with voice search being pegged as the next major trend in the marketing world. People are using virtual assistants like Alexa and Google Home to shop online and to find new experiences, which has created a lot of potential for B2B companies to optimise their services around this new form of search marketing.
As voice search becomes more prevalent, B2B prospects will inevitably start using it to search for relevant information. Considering 50% of all searches are predicted to be done via voice search by 2020, B2B brands need to adapt to new search habits.
Voice search optimisation (VSO) involves tailoring your content and brand information for voice search queries. It’s useful for reaching customers on the go. According to Martech, customer spending on voice commerce is expected to increase 18% by 2022.
A VSO strategy can be beneficial for businesses that are looking to branch out into voice search technology. Here are five techniques that can help you break into the world of VSO marketing.
1. Focus on long-tailed keywords
People speak to voice assistants as if they are addressing another person. In other words, they don’t use keyword speech. They ask questions. For example, a business owner might ask ‘Hey Alexa, how can I align my sales and marketing teams’?’ This is a much more conversational approach than what might be typed into a search engine, such as ‘sales and marketing alignment.’
B2B businesses should focus on long-tail keyword phrases that their customers are likely to ask. This ensures a higher level of human connection.
2. Tap into the power of featured snippets
Featured snippets are Google’s way of displaying direct answers to people’s questions when they search. They appear at the top of the search engine result page, removing the need for a user to click through to see the result. Google gathers the most relevant content and places it inside the text box.
In terms of voice search optimisation, featured snippets are invaluable because a voice assistant will likely pull its answer from the text box section. To rank for voice search results, it’s worth supplying high-quality data that Google displays in the featured snippet.
3. Increase page speed
Page speed is highly relevant to voice search because consumers want fast-paced results. A lot of people use voice search on their phone, so it makes sense to think about finding ways to increase the loading time for your website.
A great tool for analysing your page speed is Google’s Page Insights. You’ll be able to see how long it takes your page to load and find ways of improving its speed.
4. Account for local search
Local search should be another factor in your VSO strategy. A lot of voice search queries are based on information about places that people want to visit. This might take the form of a phrase like ‘Pasta restaurants in Manchester.’ Or it may be a more general query like ‘Pasta restaurants near me.’ Google will instantly track someone’s location and make relevant suggestions based on nearby venues.
In a B2B context, local search can apply to prospects who are looking for professional services in their neighbourhood. For example, a construction company looking for steel hollow sections might use the query ‘steel stockholder near me.’
The ‘near me’ keyword is a popular phrase that needs to be considered in your VSO strategy. Whenever the two words are picked up, Google’s voice search algorithms go to Google’s business listings. This means your details should always be up to date.
Make sure you include company name, address and phone number to increase the chances of ranking on Google.
5. Test the software
Constant testing is one of the most effective ways to develop a practical VSO strategy. This can be achieved through testing different devices.
How does Cortana compare with Alexa for business listings? Where are you ranking for common questions and how are your competitors measuring their data?
As voice search technology develops, voice search optimisation will feed into the way that businesses reach customers. It’s good for companies to be aware of what’s out there. Be sure to download our guide to voice search.