Does Your Web Design Help or Hinder Voice Search?

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As mobile use increases and mobile-friendly websites become more important than ever, there is another element of a mobile website that experienced web design companies must consider – voice search. Apple’s Siri and Google’s voice search are again changing how people use their phones and search the web. This is now being done in a way that requires a web design to be optimized both visually and for voice search. This requires a design company to know the difference between the two searches and how to help voice search.

Voice Search Acceptance

Voice search is fairly new to mobile users and is expected to grow exponentially once it reaches a threshold point of acceptance. Basically, once people get more used to actually searching this way, it is expected to become the main way in which mobile users search for things while on the go. As it stands, over 100 million Google apps with voice search are installed on smartphones today – and that number continues to rise. Google estimates that the day of the voice search is right ahead in the not-too-distant future. This is the prime time for companies who design websites to optimize for voice search, as users are just beginning to discover the convenience of voice search.

How Voice Search Works

With Google’s voice recognition capabilities, its Hummingbird algorithm takes simple voice recognition and turns it into a search function that can almost think. It understands a query that is longer than what is considered normal in a text-based search and conveniently interprets it into regular, conversational language. This is convenient for people who perform a search while mobile.  They don’t have to think about how they should phrase the search query input. All they need to do is ask a question.

Until recently, text searching has been keyword and location focused, making it awkward to use specific keywords in content and encouraged keyword stuffing. Conversational queries are now becoming the norm as Google continues to penalize a website that is designed only to promote certain keywords in an unnatural manner. With this change, voice search has is more accurate and more prominent. Voice search can strip away accessory words and focus on the key query points, even when asked in a complete sentence. This is because it is programmed to accept questions asked in normal, grammatically-correct language.

Optimizing Websites for Voice Search

Optimizing a website for voice search is easy and uses SEO methods that are already becoming more important in a regular, text search. As searching has become more responsive to long-tailed keywords, so has SEO. A long-tailed keyword is one that consists of a complete phrase rather than stuffed or forced to fit into content. By also mentioning a location within the phrase, any website becomes voice-search responsive.

A proper, grammatical query such as: “Where can I find xxxx in xxxx” is a perfect example of a long-tailed voice or text search. Google’s voice search can ignore what is not important and pay attention to what is important, such as the main key terms and the location. Using correct, long-tailed query phrases that include main keywords and locations will easily optimize any content for local voice and text search.

As mobile web design surges into the future, the best web design company will keep their clients ahead of the pack by optimizing their sites now for voice search. By making these changes and incorporating long-tailed, location-specific key phrases into content, a web designer can have voice search ready when the time is right for a client. This can help clients gain the advantage of mobile-ready sites over their competitors’ sites – and achieve better page rank in both mobile and text-based ranking pages!

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