Voice Search Optimization Phases, Tools & Development
Consider the Phases Prior To Implementing a Voice Search Optimization Strategy
The first thing to understand about what it means for large businesses to get started with voice search is that there are phases. Before all of the phases, there will be discovery where stakeholders consider the cost and benefits of innovating an existing infrastructure and updating it to be voice search friendly, just like what was done with mobile. It took some companies years to upgrade to responsive, once they realized it was an inevitably.
Once the commitment is made on an executive level, and there is a voice search budget (which should at the minimum be 100k on the content side just to move some viable research into implementation - for development, depending on what kind of voice search application, more like 500k, unless it is an Alexa skill- the cost to create an Alexa skill starts around 50k for a reputable firm to take on a project like this) to do what needs to be done.
Then there is a research phase which involves using a lot of different tools and platforms.There is a planning stage phase where the competition is assessed and considered. There is finally the implementation phase where before anything is done all approvals must be made, and phases created for each (content, voice search app dev, etc.). Then once implementation occurs, put tracking in place so improvements or modifications can be made, and learnings can be gained in order to evolve the campaign / products as a whole.
The research phase of voice search optimization includes figuring out what phrases or keywords your customers will likely to be using. Because Google is now evolved to become more of an answers engine rather than a search engine much of the research phase will involve selecting and finding keywords and phrases that are more geared towards asking questions, and providing answers. So, you will need to find a lot of keywords that match those questions and shape the answers. For example a voice optimization search research phase for a restaurant may find people are asking, where is the best chicken sandwich near me, and the corresponding answer may be, the best chicken sandwich in X City (New York City, etc.) is at X. That content may also have ratings and other supporting content in order to validate that claim.
Once all of this is done then there is a lot of raw search data and a lot of opportunities that can be considered from this data set. This is where priorities are made based on business goals or where many of the keywords and phrases are eliminated because maybe they are too competitive or maybe they are just not relevant so there is actually a lot of planning that needs to be done to prepare a final strategy.
The implementation phase is when all the planning has been done and a final strategic approach has been determined in terms of what voice keywords will be used, on what pages they will be used, on how the content will be created or modified, and how to accommodate those keywords. Usually during implementation there are number of approvals that need to be gained before making these changes. There are of course sub-phases to consider with this, which would be content planning and implementation graphic design that supports that content development. For example consider a restaurant that wants its customers to be able to go to the website and order food right there from the website. That is a case where the web development team will need to create a order by voice application that lets visitors to that restaurant's website order by voice right there from an order page. That build will require it's own set of phases.
Voice search tool sets and platforms
While there are a number of seo keyword research tools that can be used to figure out what types of keywords are being used for voice search commands and queries, such as MOZ, BrightEdge, SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc., it is important to note that there will likely be new voice search optimization tools or existing tools that are updated for voice search, so stay turned.