How Google Answer Box can fortify Voice Search for brands: Ravi Kumar

According to Gartner’s report, web searches will be dominated by voice interactions by the beginning of next year, to be around 30 per cent, laying keyboard, screen and mouse to rest. When a voice search is made into Google, we get one answer which is based upon what is fed into Google’s answer box. Now, this poses a challenge before marketers that how do they initiate efforts to be that answer.

‘Google Answer Box’ is placed between the search query and organic results. Every search fetches an answer box, which is also referred to as “position zero”, “featured snippet” and “instant answer”.

To marketers, voice search can be a boon, since the brands which position themselves at the top spots with featured snippet are likely to get 28.2 per cent+ of the clicks. Compared to this, the brands that are on the top position, but not highlighted in the featured snippet, are likely to get only 26 per cent clicks.

Presenting some of the useful tips about how brands can strive to become a Google Answer:

  • Keyword Research – People Also Ask

Here, one needs to realise that traditional keyword planning and research won’t do at all, since we must focus upon voice search.

As an expert, we recommend that you have a direct connect with your customers’ voice through the customer facing departments in your business. Use the queries received by sales and customer service departments to generate answers using online content.

At this point, you are all equipped with key insight and getting ahead, you can now zero-in on a list of popular questions that your customers ask and such can be included into your “Keyword Listing”.

Here, this becomes way too crucial to know exact word, phrases and/ or sentences that are being used most of the times or in majority of customers’ queries.

Now, prepare a list of such questions, get them typed into Google and you shall find out some other questions under the caption “People Also Ask”.

  • Harping Upon Competitors

At this point, it should be kept in mind that our competitors in this voice search contest are not the ones that we otherwise have in real world. In fact, our competitors are those products or services that get highlighted in the snippet that’s pulled up as a result of the voice query.

To begin with, consider the keyword centric list of questions that we made in step 1. Now type those questions into Google and see the result that is being generated thereby in the form of featured snippet.

We, here, emphasise upon the following aspects:

  • How the featured snippet is being drafted and in what format.
  • Is it mentioned in the form of a bulleted list?
  • Is the info in tabular form?
  • Which of the words and phrases are used most commonly?
  • How the answers are given? In short sentences or long sentences?

At this juncture again, we stress upon jotting down some base ideas that centre around your product. In case of the product, say a toothpaste brand that is Ayurvedic, meaning totally herbal in its formulation, the possible ideas can be:

‘teeth whitening ways, teeth whitening toothpaste, how to make gums strong, how to remove tooth cavity, how to cure tooth decay, how to cure tartar or plaque, etc. which broadly revolve around your search.’

Clearly, researching for and then adding such details into the content makes it broader and more insightful and hence useful to readers.

In other words, readers will find it more fulfilling to their initial query and more relevant to their needs, thereby making it a favourable brand.

  • Crafting Ideas to Create Content

This stage is about content creation and including all possible ideas to make it broader in its approach.

For example, take the topic “how to whiten our teeth?” (which came to fore front during keyword research). Now, in order to make it more useful, we can add another related aspect to it, by adding sub-topic as “how to make gums strong?”

Please note that your brand, (Ayurvedic toothpaste in this example or some other product in the range), should be capable of curing such a range of problems commonly faced by people.

Read more:What Indians search online… and implications for brands

We can also find some other topics related to oral health, which attract greater number of searches. Such as, “how to cure bad breaths?”

By going for such different aspect of the game will eventually make our content deep enough to cater to several popular queries and searches simultaneously.

  • Planning A Content Structure

During this step, this is a blend of all 3 steps mentioned above, that is, keyword researching, researching competitors and crafting ideas to draft a content. We can now proceed ahead to include the details of in our formidable (marketing) content. Besides, we need to decide about whether it is going to be a podcast or a just a blog post?

We need to look back at the details we collected when we saw the snippet that were featured during competitor research and direct the strategy accordingly. We need to pay attention to a handful of aspects, such as:

  • Does the answer cover all of the questions in one blog? Or,
  • Is it split into a series of long content?

Examine such a pattern and we need to follow the similar strategy as is being mentioned thereby.

  • Content Development and Publishing

Here, we need to assess the shortcoming of our competitors’ content and take further steps to capitalise on it for our own branding efforts during voice search.

For instance, is there any acronym which still needs to be elaborated? Have they given responded to one query but have failed to give answers to other critical questions?

We need to find out the unanswered questions and put a clear answer to it, resulting in Google acknowledging us to be a better answer. Please note that while answering to the critical questions, we need to put a HTML enabled H2 headings. This is simply because Google is just a searching software and it must be indicated that this is an attempt to answer a question and H2 tag is simply that indicator here.

In same way, even questions need to be in the form of H2 header and answers should follow these, with similar format as what our competitors use. If paragraph gets a preference, answer in the form of a paragraph then, if it is in the form of a table, go for a tabular info.

  • Optimise Content Answers Technically

Here, the IT team or web developers’ role comes into play. Schema mark-up or structured data comes first, and this is a crucial one, as Google gets to know about the origin of content only through HTML mark up. In fact, all the literary and informative stuff (articles, reviews and FAQs) fall under the category of structured data. Such type of structured data can be utilised to explain our content.

Technical SEO aspect comes next, where we optimise the content to let search engines crawl the website. The sitemap should be complete and functional for crawlers. If such is not taken care of, Google is likely to index incorrect words, which could be catastrophic to your voice search rankings.

(Ravi Kumar is a Digital Marketing Consultant and currently working as Assistant Vice President-Sales and BD with AdLift. Riding on the digital wave while serving companies likes AdGlobal360, mydala and Digital Monkeys, Kumar has experienced the digital world as a universe that provides the perfect blend of applied strategy and creative flair.)


News in the domain of Advertising, Marketing, Media and Business of Entertainment