Recorded June 19, 2018 | 12 mins
Presented by: Abbi Plunkett, SEO Specialist & Mike Hutchinson, Technology Strategist
For a recap and a more in-depth look at the contents of this webinar, visit our blog post on it.
About this webinar
People are using personal voice assistants now more than ever. And usage is continuing to grow. In fact, by 2020, 50% of all searches are expected to be performed using voice.
What does that mean for B2B marketers? We need to evolve the way we think about SEO.
To achieve page-one ranking, your B2B website must be optimized for the way people are searching for information. During this webinar, we’ll dive into easy modifications you can make in areas, such as:
Good morning, I would like to thank you all for joining us today for our webinar on how to optimize your B2B website for voice search
Before we get started, I would like you all to note the control panel on the right side of the screen. During this presentation, if you have any questions please put them in chat. We will try to answer as many of them at the end of this presentation.
Again welcome, my name is Mike Hutchinson I’m a technology strategist at AMG. I’ve been working in the digital technology space with B2B for nearly a decade. Speaking with me today is Abbi Plunkett, one of our SEO specialists who has been here for over 3 years.
2 years from now, $2.5 billion in B2B sales will take place thanks to voice technology. It is also worth noting that according to research by the Cap Gemini digital transformation institute, in 2020 50% of all searches will be conducted by voice.
Before we get into optimizing your site for voice search, I want to make sure that we’re all on the same page for the scale of the importance in emerging voice trends.
So let’s go back 11 years to the mid 2000’s. if we had a conversation and I told you that your company’s website would need to not just be viewable, but fully functional on a screen as big as a playing card, you wouldn’t have called me a visionary. You would have said I was delusional. 10 days later when the iPhone 1 was released, you may have reconsidered.
Last year, so 10 years from when mobile really started, B2B ecommerce on mobile devices was over $10 billion dollars.
When we’re talking about voice today remember, we’re still in the infancy of this trend and like mobile devices before, voice will lead to a fundamental change in the way we interact and use our technology.
Right now, why are people using voice? According to Cantar and Sonar reports, specific product information is the most common reason with brand or company research being prevalent as well.
Business wire last year published research saying that 92% of senior executives have a business smartphone. 77% of senior executives report regularly using their smartphone to do research for products and purchases for their companies.
This means that executives with purchasing power are already researching on their mobile devices. But will they switch to search? The answer is yes, because voice search is the next natural evolution in friction-less technology.
The average person in the U.S types 38-44 words per minute. While they speak at 100-120 word per minute sometimes more when they’re nervous giving a webinar.
This means that voice has the ability to save the average person between one half and two thirds of the time it takes to conduct a search. When we add in the intuitive nature of voice, backed by the power of context driven responses, we see why voice adoption is progressing faster than mobile did nearly a decade ago.
According to a study commissioned by the Boston Consulting Group, in 2017 60% of B2B buyers already considered mobile devices a significant part of their purchase process. That means 60% of B2B buyers are primed to start using voice regularly as their industry is adopting.
Like with mobile before, companies that optimize and adopt early will see a significant advantage in this space moving forward.
Like all emerging technology though, voice is not a win button or a magic wand. You will still need to understand your potential clients, have your content aligned with your conversion pipeline, and integrate it with your overall sales engagement strategy.
So what might a voice strategy across your pipeline look like? Starting in the awareness stage, you’ll want your content set around larger industry terms and questions. For example, what is a PIM or what does corporate responsibility stand for? While most of these questions won’t directly lead to a conversion like a form fill, it will allow you to retarget them later.
As you move further into your pipeline, the consideration and evaluation stages, the content you will need to focus on will be your product and its strategic advantage. For example, why is PPR piping superior to steel?
Once a prospect has reached a point where they are ready to convert, instead of voice being used to serve content, it instead becomes a convenience tool reducing the time and effort it will take for the prospect to easily connect with your company.
For this, make sure your google business listing is up to date with your phone number and email address. Currently, there is not a lot of voice technology centered around loyalty or re-ordering. With Alexa’s skills for business being released a little over 2 months ago, and other companies adapting voice technology, we will start to see out of the box voice integration software to plug into your sales, ecommerce, and other technology platforms within the next 12 months.
Before Abbi walks you through some ways you can optimize your site for voice search, remember, voice search optimization is an extension of your current SEO. If you already have a strong foundation, then building voice on top will lead to increased visibility, leads, and sales. The companies that invest in voice early, will have a strong advantage in this space moving forward.
As Mike mentioned the importance of SEO best practices and voice search, it’s important you have these three following factors implemented on your site.
First one is page speed. Page Speed plays a major role in voice search SEO. Google search is no longer in the business of delivering content, they are delivering an experience. The more positive it is, the more people will continue to use it. Due to page speed being one of the most important factors to the search experience, a slow loading site provides a poor user experience which no search engine wants to deliver. In fact, the average voice search result page loads in 4.6 seconds which is 52% faster than the average website page.
Second factor is site security. It’s 2018, all websites should be secure by now. If your site isn’t secure, you aren’t just hurting your search efforts, but your digital experience as well.Secured websites dominate Google’s voice search results. In fact, 70.4% of Google Home result pages are secured with a SSL Certificate. To check if your site is secure, confirm that you see “https:” at the beginning of your domain name in any web browser.
The third factor is an authoritative domain. Luckily, unlike the early days of mobile search, your site domain authority still matters. Authoritative domains tend to produce voice search results significantly more than non-authoritative domains. The mean Domain Rating of a Google Home result is 76.8. This pie chart does a good job explaining the break-down of factors that impact your Domain Authority score. MOZ is a great tool to use if you want to see what your own site’s domain authority is.
So the higher you rank in Google, the better chance you have of being the answer for a voice search result. As you can see on this graph, the top 3 positions in regular search make up 70% of the top voice search results. Over 90% of the time the top voice search results are also within the top 5 google search results This ultimately points out how important SEO best practices play a role into Voice Search. To reiterate what Mike mentioned, these factors not only help you optimize for voice search but for google and other search engines as well.
Voice search is different than regular search. Usually, voice search users conduct search queries in a natural conversational language with long-tail keywords. Conversational keywords mimic how real people talk and ask questions. Long tail keywords are those three and four keyword phrases which are very, very specific to whatever you are selling. To target your prospects the right way and to win them as leads, you need to optimize your content as per long tail keywords in a conversational tone:
Question and Answer style content works effectively if it is user-friendly. Keep the user intent based queries the center of your content. You should also know more about the ways your targeted audience speaks. Once keyword list has been established, it must need to contain simple words that are easy for Google to pronounce, need to be comprehendible information without any visual reference, and avoid challenging words or phrases
Concise Answers and readability. Google prefers short, concise answers to voice search queries. The typical voice search result is only 29 words in length. As for Readability, simple, easy-to-read content is crucial. The average Google voice search result is written at a 9th grade level. You must phrase the answer to be of general knowledge. If the user has to search further afterwards, this will most likely lose the customer.
You should narrow your content and be specific – if it doesn’t answer or pertain to the search query, it won’t have a chance at ranking or being a positive experience. You should focus on providing value or tips for the readers and avoid acronyms or jargon that the average person won’t understand. Use common words: for ex- see vs. observe, change vs. augment. A little tip is there are a lot of readability tools out there to score your content to rate what level it is written at (ex: readable.io)
Optimizing FAQ pages. A great way to use the information from the previous slides is to create FAQ pages that focus on those long-tail & conversational keyword phrases.
This helps bridge the connection between site content and the criteria search engines are looking to serve for voice search queries. It’s important to remember what are the high-level questions that your target audience is asking. A good place to start would be by conducting sales team & prospects interviews to gather the common trends. Also by looking at customer support emails to see what is being asked there.
Once the list is established, try to group these common questions on the same page. Go for natural-sounding questions and phrases instead of the traditional SEO-keyword phrases. If you need to create several different pages so that the voice search technologies have a better chance of pulling information from your site, this is also recommended.
Featured Snippets (or Google answers): When a featured snippet is populated for a query, voice search devices read the snippet and source aloud. This is a huge boost for brand recognition and authority, as Google essentially declares one company the expert here. As far as voice search is concerned, “position zero” is the new page one.
In order to do this, it all starts with creating a compelling snippet. You should find the right question to answer by understanding what your target audience is asking. Concise answers and readability as mentioned will provide lots of value here. Along with an awesome CTA and conversational keywords. Content MUST answer the question completely – while it shouldn’t be too long, it does need to thoroughly explain the answer.
We don’t want to send you away empty-handed, so as a takeaway we will be sending a PDF of our checklist which covers the steps we discussed to take to optimize your website for voice. This email will also include the recording of the presentation we just went through.