The Future of Voice Search

The Future of Voice Search

14 Dec 2017 | Amy Wood

Imagine being able to book flights, find hotels, order room service, … all with a simple verbal command to your phone. 

"Hey Siri, book me a flight to Sydney next Thursday."

"Ok Google, what are the best hotels in Brisbane?"

"Hey Cortana, can you order me 1 extra-extra cheesy Margherita pizza, 1 serve of loaded fries and 2 lemonades from room service. "

The way people search for information is changing. No longer is search just about keywords or simple phrases like “Hotel in Brisbane” or “Flights to Hawaii”. Voice search has grown rapidly in the past few years with the introduction of personal voice assistants such as Siri, Google Home devices and Microsoft’s Cortana. Google now claims that 20% of its mobile searches are coming through voice and ComScore estimates by 2020 that 50% of all searches will be voice.

Why the rise in voice search? It’s fast, convenient and more natural for the user. And with innovations in technology, these voice assistants are getting smarter and more reliable by the day. So what does voice search mean to you as a hotelier and how will it affect your website content and SEO strategy?

The Mightiness of Mobile

We all know mobile is king, but with the increase of voice search reports are saying that nearly 60% of searches are now on mobile.

The voice search emergence is not happening on desktop, it’s happening on the go, via smartphones. You need to make sure that your content is optimised for mobile devices so you can appear higher in voice search rankings. This means a mobile-friendly landing page, easy to use navigation and quick load times. If you’re not sure if your website is mobile-friendly there are a number of online sites that will run tests for you or contact the Fastrack team!

Q&A Sessions

One of the most common reasons for Googling something is because you want an answer to your question. A user might say something like “things to do in brisbane at night”. Answer this question and the user (and Google) will be happy about it. Using Q&A formats will provide answers to the basic questions that people want to know about your hotel and potentially boost your rankings for other general terms.

You’ll also want to structure these in a natural, more conversational tone using words and phrases people actually say, rather than terms they would use in a search box. You could simply add a few simple answers to the end of your blog post or add an FAQ page to your website. It’s easy to set up and will help all of your customers find more information about your hotel. Some examples include check in and check outs, local restaurants, airport transfers and the closest public transport.

List it out

Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) are continually updated with new elements and features to improve user experience. Featured snippets is one such element that appear at the top of a search results page and contain a URL, page title and ‘snippet’ of information related to the search query.

Example of a featured snippet for the search term "things to do in Sydney with toddlers"

How can you get your website content featured in this box? Use lists and tables.

Google decides what information to feature and will pull this content directly from websites. By using lists and tables, you’re more likely to have your content featured and read out by a voice assistant. This will leapfrog your page to position zero (the very top of search results) and increase your organic reach.

How can you be ready for voice search?

  1. Make sure your mobile site is really good
  2. Starting thinking in terms of voice search
  3. Create FAQ’s for your site
  4. Put listed content in your blogs and pages to be featured in Google snippets

Voice search is an exciting, new feature that we predict will only get bigger in the coming years. By making a few small tweaks to your SEO and website, you’ll be ready for the future of voice search and the changes it will bring.

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About Amy Wood

Amy is a Digital Marketing Assistant at Fastrack Group. Originating as a Fastrack Intern, Amy was promoted to full-time Fastrack employee after completing her Bachelor of Business, Marketing at QUT. Amy’s dived head first into the digital world, helping clients across all channels of SEO, PPC, EDM and Social. Having recently spent a year abroad in Germany, Amy is currently deciding on her next overseas holiday. When she’s not dreaming of freshly baked Brezel and Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle), she spends her time catching up on the latest hard-hitting documentary on SBS.

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