6 Tips to Optimize Your eCommerce Store for Voice Search
“Alexa, make me a steaming hot bowl of miso soup. Extra bonito flakes with edamame on the side. Oh, and crackers to go with it.”
Quite the instruction, right? While we can’t get this specific yet, we can whip up a similar set of more realistic instructions for eCommerce stores. The world is becoming increasingly visual and sonic. Instead of reading walls of text, people are following more visual instructions. And instead of feeding text to search engines, people are increasingly turning to voice commands.
Audio and video are the future of eCommerce. In this blog, we’ll focus on the latter.
The voice revolution is here, and it’s showing no signs of leaving any time soon. Keep reading for a closer look at the importance of voice search for eCommerce. We’ll also cover the top voice search optimization strategies to help you break through the noise and grow your business in the madly competitive eCommerce industry.
Voice Search vs. Text Search
Let’s say you want to look for the best new laptops in 2023. Would you rather type this out as a command or say it out loud? The latter, right? Speaking is almost always easier than manual typing. The golden plus point? It’s also speedier. It’ll take you much longer to type an instruction than to simply say it out loud.
These aren’t just regular differences that give one system a slight edge over the other; they’re significant benefits that revolutionize the way people search for products online. Voice search quite simply takes precedence over text search, and the eCommerce industry is gradually opening its eyes to this vital piece of knowledge.
What’s in it for you as an eCommerce business owner? A lot.
By optimizing your online store for voice search, you’ll give your audience the gift of convenience. They don’t have to manually type queries anymore; they can quite simply use their voice and enjoy greater ease, speed, and accuracy.
Voice search relies on the power of AI voice recognition (a cutting-edge mix of linguistics and computing). AI technology cleverly and accurately identifies words and phrases, including phonemes that help distinguish one word from another.
All you have to do is click on the little microphone icon on your device to initiate a voice search. Say the command out loud and wait for the magic to happen.
Voice AI technology is hyper-advanced; it automatically corrects mispronunciations to fetch accurate search results. Its precision, ease, and speed make it one of the niftiest tools the eCommerce industry has stumbled upon recently.
Voice Search Optimization: What’s the Hype All About?
Okay, we know voice search is important. But so do your top competitors. This is becoming common knowledge.
In 2023, large majority of eCommerce stores are leveraging the power of voice search to simplify and streamline the buyer’s journey, earn more revenue, and secure their bottom line. If you don’t stand out from the competition, your efforts will go in vain.
This is where voice search optimization enters the picture. The goal is to optimize your eCommerce store using the best practices to provide a high-quality voice search experience to your audience.
Each time a web user looks for industry-related products using voice search, your webpages/product pages should appear in the search results. In fact, people should also be able to listen to your content, i.e., it should be capable of being read out loud.
20% of all Google App searches are voice-based. In fact, 40.2% of the American population uses voice search. You’re sitting on a gold mine with this one; make the most of it to steer your eCommerce business in the right direction! We’ll show you the way.
You can’t jump on the AI voice search bandwagon without understanding the following:
- What your audience wants
- The way your audience thinks
- The action your audience takes
Why is this so important? For starters, voice commands are very different from text commands.
When people type, they instinctively adopt a shorthand. If a web user is looking for pool noodles, they won’t type an elaborate question. Written search terms are simple; something like “pool noodles LA” makes more sense.
When people speak, the search terms are more conversational in nature and, consequently, longer. Something like “where can I find pool noodles in LA?” is more fitting.
Keep this in mind. Understand your audience to predict their voice search habits and linguistic patterns. Once you have a good grasp of how different demographics use voice search, you’ll be able to craft a more conversational and contextual content strategy.
Whether you’re writing a product description, working on your store’s bio, or writing a blog, use conversational long-tail keywords. Google will do half the work for you. When you enter a search term, Google will provide suggestions accordingly. Hint: This is what people are actively looking for.
Try to incorporate long phrases and queries into your eCommerce copy and content. Make sure you keep user intent in mind throughout. Use the same strategy for eCommerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, Target, Etsy, and the like. Enter primary keywords and watch the search terms get more and more specific.
Conversational keywords aren’t always questions. People also enter commands like “show me local bookstores” or “show me how to fix a broken phone screen”.
Optimize your store for all types of long-tail voice search commands. Consider performing voice search keyword research for the best results.
2. Answer Frequently Asked Questions in Your Content
Making it to Google’s featured snippet (also known as “position zero”) is like winning the lottery. There’s a guaranteed cash price (hello incoming revenue) and massive reputational gain.
As an eCommerce business owner, you should have a razor-sharp focus on speedily climbing SERPs and making it to the top rung of the ladder. Voice search optimization will help you check this box off the list.
If you want your content to appear as the first search result, start answering frequently asked questions in your content. Listicle-style content is extremely popular on Google.
Let’s say you sell cameras on Amazon. If a web user runs a voice search for the best videography cameras, there’s a high chance that the first search result will include bullet points.
Of course it does!
Voice search yields a lot of listicle-style content. If you want your content to rank at position zero, use lists in your content. Answer questions clearly and concisely; avoid fluff.
If a web user is running a voice search, it goes without saying that they’re trying to save time. If you present big walls of content, they’ll head towards the nearest exit.
Satiate people’s thirst for concise content to improve your rankings and earn more conversions. Keep things short, simple, and snappy.
Let’s say you’re looking for iron doors in New York. If you run a voice search, you’ll specifically ask for iron doors in your location.
“Alexa, where can I find iron doors in NYC?”
Sounds about right.
Voice searches are local. At the very least, they specify the city. You can get more specific than that and look for products in specific towns, neighborhoods, and communities. Or you can go bigger and look for statewide or nationwide goods.
Either way, the location matters. When you optimize your eCommerce store for voice search, make sure you use local keywords. If you haven’t already, claim your Google Business profile. Google fetches a lot of information for local searches from Google Business listings. When your profile is fully updated with accurate information, Google will display that information to web users.
Here’s an example. When you run a voice search for glass doors in Texas, Google will fetch the following 3-Pack:
Look closely. The businesses that made it to the pack have checked a lot of boxes off the list, including:
- Business name
- Contact number
The more comprehensive your eCommerce Google Business listing, the better. Use the “near me” tag in your content to earn a massive boost in visibility. A localized optimization approach will help you turn more local eyes toward your brand and turn visits into speedy sales!
Recommended: What is Local SEO? A Beginner’s Guide [Video]
No matter how great your voice search optimization plan may be, it’s pretty much useless if your eCommerce store isn’t mobile-friendly.
Keep these facts in mind:
- 76%of American adults only buy products using their smartphone
- There are over six billionsmartphone users across the globe
- Smartphones now form 7%of eCommerce sales
It’s pretty simple. If you haven’t jumped on the smartphone bandwagon, you’re missing out. Before you turn your attention to voice search, make sure your online store is accessible via multiple devices, especially smartphones.
Mobile and local are mutually inclusive; you can’t separate the two, no matter how hard you try. Your eCommerce store should be a mobile-friendly treat for web users.
Ask yourself critical questions like:
- Are my webpages loading quickly via mobile?
- Is the checkout process seamless via mobile?
- Is my eCommerce store responsive via mobile?
We’re just scratching the surface here. The goal is to provide a smooth, fast, and streamlined mobile browsing and shopping experience to your audience. And if you add voice search on top of that, you’ve hit the sweet spot!
Mobile-friendly and voice search-friendly eCommerce stores are the real money makers. Use our mobile SEO checklist to kick things off!
Page speed optimization is often left out of the mix. Sure, this falls under the technical SEO category if we go by the rulebook. However, when you look closer, it directly affects voice search rankings.
How and why? Page speed is one of the top Google ranking factors in 2023. Since Google introduced the Core Web Vitals, we now know that URL performance is grouped by:
- Status: Poor, needs improvement, good
- Metric type: Largest contentful paint (LCP), first input delay (FID), cumulative layout shift (CLS)
- URL group: Similar webpages grouped together
Interactivity, visual stability, and speed are imperative; this isn’t up for debate anymore. If you want your eCommerce webpages to rank high for voice commands, make sure your pages load within 2.5 seconds (the faster, the better).
Google looks at page speed when ranking webpages. No matter how great your content quality may be, your rankings will keep stagnating until you rework your page speed. Once this box is checked off the list, your voice search rankings will shape up.
Use PageSpeed Insights to determine where you stand. Once you enter your URL in the box and hit “Analyze”, you’ll receive a set of comprehensive results for both mobile and desktop site performance.
Carefully evaluate the metrics to understand where your website stands. Work on the areas of improvement to get your site back on track.
This example displays the Core Web Vitals assessment for Forbes (DA = 94). Not only have they passed the test, but they’ve passed it with flying colors. Aim to do the same. Both web users and Google should be pretty impressed with your on-page prowess.
6. It’s Still a Quality Game
Quality has always mattered. In 2023, it still matters on top of everything else that has been added to the grid.
Let’s consider a scenario. You’ve done everything in your power to optimize your eCommerce store for voice search. And it shows! Your voice search rankings are phenomenal, your online visibility is off the charts, and you’re generating substantial traffic.
There’s just one catch. Your conversion rate is pretty disappointing.
This usually happens when eCommerce stores do everything right on paper, but their quality game is amiss. The eCommerce landscape has become the abandoned cart graveyard for this reason.
If you fail to provide quality content and a pleasant browsing experience, people will run for the hills, especially if they’re using a smartphone. The average cart abandonment rate is the highest for mobile devices. If you want to undo the damage, start prioritizing quality from the get-go.
Think of an average voice search customer’s journey starting from the initial query all the way to the final conversion. If the sales funnel is leaky, people will dip out.
Understand user behavior and make sure you satisfy user intent every step of the way. Your content should be top-notch, the product quality should be superior, each product should be supplemented with authentic reviews, and the overall engagement rate should be staggeringly high.
Connect the dots and make little tweaks here and there to ensure that the ball isn’t dropped at any point. Once you’ve successfully captured a web user’s interest following a voice search, you shoulder the responsibility of converting them till the very end. Up your quality game, and you’re in for a sweet conversion rate that doesn’t disappoint.
Recommended Read: 11 Ways to Triple Your B2B Ecommerce Conversions
The voice search revolution is upon us! Our troops are gearing up. Are you ready to fight the good fight?
In this blog, we walked you through the importance of voice search optimization in 2023. We also covered the voice search vs. text search debate and delved deeper into the right way to use voice search optimization for eCommerce.
Now that your arsenal is full for the voice search revolution, let’s fire up the cannon!
At Search Berg, we specialize in eCommerce SEO. By optimizing your store using actionable, effective, and power-packed strategies, we help you rank higher, generate more traffic, earn more revenue, and secure your bottom line.
Explore our eCommerce SEO services to give your online store the visibility and traction it deserves.
Once you’ve mastered the art of voice search, explore the remaining influential SEO trends to rank in 2023. Check every box off the list to grow your eCommerce business like a seasoned pro.
We’re not leaving you in the lurch; our pros will help you reach the finishing line! It’s showtime.