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6 Steps To Optimize Your Ecommerce Website For Voice Search

If you are an eCommerce website owner, you should know that it is essential to optimize your website for search engines. Many online buyers look up the products they intend to buy on search engines before buying them, even if they intend to purchase them offline. 

Whenever an online search is mentioned, you get the idea of typing in keywords in a search engine, but voice search is beginning to gain ground. According to Google Stats, about 27 percent of global online users use voice search on their mobile devices; that’s about 945 million internet users.

Therefore, it’ll be an advantage if you optimize your eCommerce website for voice search. In this post, I will show you 6 steps to optimize your eCommerce website for voice search.

Voice Search Overview 

Voice search began in 2011 as Google Voice Search (aka Search by Voice). It is different from traditional search where you have to type in keywords and click enter. 

For voice search, all you should do is say your search query. As a result, it is more comfortable and faster than the traditional search method. Also, it is suitable for mobile users.

Voice search works on search engines like Google and Bing; both on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. However, it is mostly used with digital assistants like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Samsung Bixby, etc.

To get started, you should activate the voice search and register your voice using your device’s microphone for search engines. For voice assistant devices, you have to call out the name of the assistant e.g. “Hey Google,” “Hey Siri,” “Hey Alexa,” etc.

Overall, voice search is based on AI algorithms, so these voice assistants are intelligent. It is the future of eCommerce and if you want your website not to be left behind, follow these 6 steps to optimize your website for voice search. 

How To Optimize Your Ecommerce Website For Voice Search

1. Understand Your Customer & Device Behavior

This first step is simple; Know Thy Customer. As an eCommerce website owner, you should ensure that your website is optimized to give your customers the best experience, but that starts by knowing your customers. When you know your customers, their age, gender, standard browsing devices, what they need, etc., you’ll know what to expect from their voice searches.

Conversely, knowing your customer has to do with digital tracking; hence, you need to use analytics tools. Fortunately, top eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, etc., feature a native analytics dashboard where you can get all the stats you need. Google Analytics is also recommended for gaining in-depth insights, most especially from Google.

While working with analytics, keywords are most important. However, since you’re interested in optimizing your eCommerce website for voice search, you will have to dig deep into analytics data from ‘voice searchers’.

While none of these analytics tools will single out search queries emanating via voice search, there are ways to identify such queries. One way is by looking at the length of search queries, most especially those from mobile devices. Search queries from voice search will contain a more natural language and be lengthier than those from keywords.

This is understandable because it’ll be easier to say a long sentence than to type or write it down. For instance, a search engine user may type in “best laptop under $100” while a voice searcher can say, “what is the best laptop to buy for less than $100”. Also, as you would have noticed, they are most likely questions. 

The next important data from analytics to know about your customer is their browsing device. If a high percentage of your customers use mobile devices (which is most likely), then optimizing your website for voice search is even more necessary. 

Furthermore, the location is essential. While voice search is becoming more popular, its popularity is dominant in specific countries; so you should target the countries where voice search is dominant. For example, data from Statista shows that 42 percent of worldwide smart speakers installed in 2019 were in the United States, followed by China at 28 percent. Excluding the UK, Germany, South Korea, Canada, and Japan, the rest of the world had just 16 percent. 

2. Perform Keyword Research for Voice Search, Conversational Keywords Focus, Target Long-Tail Keyword Phrases

Keywords are the backbone of SEO. Interestingly, voice search is changing SEO, which is why you must optimize your website differently and exclusively for it.

Typically, one way to increase traffic is by placing strategic keywords on your eCommerce website so that search engine users can find you when they search for them. It is the same when optimizing your website for voice search, but you are optimizing for a different type of keyword. This includes long-tail keywords (more than five words in length) and conversational keywords. 

As mentioned earlier, voice search keywords are most likely questions since prospective customers are asking their digital assistants to help them search. Therefore, you’ll have to focus on related keywords that include the five Ws – What, When, Where, Who, Why – and How. These keywords are conversational because the customer is talking to the digital assistant and expecting a response. 

Performing keyword research for voice search keywords doesn’t have to be difficult if you’ve gone through the first step of knowing your customers. This is because you start your keyword research from the past, i.e., identifying voice search queries that have led customers to your eCommerce website, and those still leading.

If you have a top-notch keyword research tool, simply enter the common keywords that your eCommerce website ranks for. Plus, add question modifiers like the five ‘W’s and ‘How’ to generate conversational keywords for your eCommerce website. You can also add more question modifiers like Should, Would, Could, Which, Is, Do, Does, Will, Can, etc. 

Also, look for any keyword that includes the phrases “Hey Siri,” “Hey Alexa,” “Hey Google.” These keywords are 100 percent from voice searches.

Some keyword research tools recommended are Answer The Public (most recommended), WordTracker, and Keyword Tool

Below is an example of possible conversational and long-tail keywords you can get with a tool like Answer The Public. Here I searched for “Nike shoes.”

You can download and save these keywords as a CSV file. However, since you will not be using all the generated conversational keywords, you have to trim your list to remove any negative keywords. Then, add these keywords strategically like you would for regular SEO.

3. Use Conversational Language for Content (Create Compelling Based Content)

Blogging is the most cost-effective form of eCommerce marketing. Therefore, you should ensure that your eCommerce website has an active blog with content. While the main focus is to sell products in your store, a blog with valuable content is most likely to rank on Google and other search engines. 

Product pages are difficult to rank because most of the time, they contain duplicate content, i.e., a different store might be selling your products with similar product descriptions.

Where do you place the voice search keywords you’ve researched? You can’t fix them anywhere in the description on your product pages, so you don’t appear desperate. However, you can flexibly create several blog content to place all your keywords. Moreover, traffic to your blog page is traffic to your website. Plus, if your content is compelling enough, you can convert website visitors to loyal customers.

If you want your online store to rank in voice search results, the content that you create should be conversational. There are different writing tones, but you should adopt the conversational tone. Conversational language is everyday language, natural language. In fact, conversational content appears like you’re speaking with your reader, but it is still different from talking because it is informal writing.

As discussed in the previous step, conversational keywords are common with voice search. Search engines are likely to bring up results with conversational language because they are easily related to the ‘searchers.’ When customers read the content, it will appear more genuine, which increases the chances of enticing them to purchase the product you are selling.

You don’t need to be an expert to craft compelling conversational content. Also, you don’t need to dig deep into your dictionary and thesaurus. All you have to do is use easy-to-understand and straightforward words. Make use of words like “You” and “I” because you will be writing in the first person. Furthermore, your sentences should be short to increase readability.

An important thing to note when creating conversational content is that you can break the grammar rules. Sentences can include contractions, begin with but/and, and end with prepositions. To make it easier, you can use tone checker tools to analyze your content.

4. Provide Context with Schema Markup (Technical On-site SEO)

If you’re not already using Schema Markup on your website, you should start now. Schema Markup is simply a code that helps search engines to bring up more informative results from your website to users. However, for voice search, you won’t be focusing on the regular Schema Markups but also Speakable Schema Markups.

Regular schema markups ensures that your content is quickly highlighted for rich snippets and content boxes on search engines. On the other hand, the speakable schema property highlights your website sections that are appropriate for text-to-speech (TTS) conversion. Google introduced this schema property in 2018, and although still in its Beta stage, it is being used by lots of webmasters.

As stated by Google, this schema helps voice assistants identify content to read aloud. This means that content marked with the speakable schema property is ideal to be recognized and read out by Google Home or Google Voice Search. Additionally, your website will also be attributed as the source, while your website’s URL is sent to the user’s device. 

Nevertheless, your content has to meet specific criteria to pass for TTS. It should be focused – based on one subject – and should contain accurate, factual information. Also, it should not contain vulgar words, hate speech, and ad campaigns. Not to mention, it should contain the details of the publisher.

Below is an example of a Speakable schema markup value to see how it’s structured:

However, Speakable Schema Markup will give you an advantage only on Google Search By Voice. Conversely, Alexa, Siri, Cortana all make use of Bing search results. Therefore, you still have to work on the regular schema markups for these voice assistants and Bing.

After structuring your web pages, you can check to see if you’ve got the correct schema markup. Thankfully, Google features a Structured Data Testing Tool, while Bing features a Markup Validator that you can use.

5. Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

The majority of internet users are mobile users, while the majority of online shoppers use mobile devices. According to Statista, 65 percent of global eCommerce visits as of the first quarter of 2019 were via smartphones, with 46 percent orders. So, if you want to optimize your eCommerce website for voice search, it is best to make it mobile-friendly.

You can run a quick test now for your eCommerce website with the Mobile-Friendly Test tool by Google. Alternatively, you can use the Bing Mobile Friendliness Test Tool, Mobile Friendly Test by SmallSeoTools, etc. All you have to do is supply your website’s URL.

There are two major factors to consider when making your website mobile-friendly, i.e., appearance and speed. 

Appearance has to do with how well your website fits on digital screens. It’s always crucial that your site features a responsive design that will adjust automatically on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices. Responsive eCommerce themes are the norm now, so it is easy to find one to use.

Nevertheless, information on your website should be readable and conspicuous. Therefore, you should use visible texts (in size and style) and friendly colors. If you have ads on your website, place them strategically, so they don’t affect your users. Likewise, checkout buttons on your website should be large enough, so customers don’t miss them.

When it comes to speed, your website needs to load swiftly. An eCommerce website must load fast so that customers will not ditch it for the next available one. Likewise, slow loading can increase your site’s bounce rate. If voice assistants are to fetch information from your website, they will load your site just like a regular user. A good site loading time is between 1 and 4s.

You can reduce your site loading time by compressing your CSS codes and images. While compressing images, ensure they don’t lose quality because high-quality images can also bring you traffic from image searches.

6. Utilize FAQ Pages That Directly Answer Your Queries

Interestingly, voice search is making FAQ pages more relevant. This is because FAQs directly answer queries; most of the time, voice assistants get a 100 percent FAQ question and answer match. Therefore, FAQ pages are ideal for your eCommerce website’s voice search optimization.

As mentioned earlier, most voice search keywords are questions. So instead of blending them with your blog content, simply create an FAQ page with them and provide direct answers. FAQs are also the best way to create conversational content. You can either embed related FAQs in your blog posts or create exclusive pages for FAQs.

If you’re going to use FAQs, you should mark them with structured data. That way, search engine bots will recognize that they are FAQs. Thankfully, there’s a FAQPage Schema Markup type that ensures your website appear in FAQ rich snippets on Google. In fact, this feature will display on both mobile and desktop devices.

However, to use the FAQPage markup, you must provide a list of questions and answers, not just one or two. Furthermore, try to keep your answers as neutral as possible. It shouldn’t appear like you’re advertising your product.

Apart from the question-related keywords you have already researched, you can get ideal questions for your FAQ pages by consulting the ‘People Also Ask’ section on Google. Also, visit forums like Reddit, Quora, etc., to collate questions people ask related to the type of products you are selling.

Lastly, FAQs are not just beneficial in voice search alone; they also improve your customers’ buying experience. They provide quick information that will help customers make their purchase decision, which will boost sales.

Conclusion 

Voice search is gradually transforming eCommerce marketing. With the massive number of people using voice assistants, you’ll lose out if your eCommerce website is not optimized for voice search. 

Nevertheless, by applying the 6 steps listed above, you can optimize your eCommerce website for voice search.

Vibhav Gaur plays a key role in empowering Ebzion’s Automobile Aftermarket clients to sustainably grow their online revenues by leveraging technology + digital marketing. With a strong background in technology and key focus in Automotive marketing he has helped multiple aftermarket OEMs and Retailers make it big online. Need quick insights to improve your current online strategy? Feel free to reach out: vgaur@ebizontek.com

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