It’s no question that between the Amazon Echo & Google Home, and whatever other intelligent personal assistant is developed in the not so distant future, communicating with your technology has become the new norm. With this development in technology and how we expect to interact with our devices, the way search results serve up information is changing.

Opposed to a Google search you might perform at your desktop during the day, the addition of virtual assistants sees an increase in queries in the form of a pointed question. For instance, the difference between a typed query “the cloud definition” vs. “Hey Google, what is the cloud?”. Now the answer to these questions in either case comes from featured snippets.

Featured snippets were designed for devices displaying a limited amount of search results, in most cases, mobile phones. They serve up the answer to your question without you having to click through to the content page itself. SEO’s have been utilizing this featured snippet capability or “answer box” section of the SERP’s to rank #1 for core long-tail keywords. It’s important to define a long-tail keyword question that is relevant to your business and then write a targeted piece of content with that exact match long-tail keyword in the most important places ie: title tag, H1, links etc. These featured snippets are now more and more often becoming the source of Google Home’s voice answers on their virtual assistant devices.

So what does that mean for your B2B voice search strategy?

To be honest, a voice response from a virtual assistant device does not necessarily mean any lead generation for your company. There is no action as far as a physical click to your site, however it is tactical to get ahead of this now should these continue to evolve into a way for Google to monetize this trend. Google will often attribute the answer to a question to a source ex.: “According to emagine… etc”. Ranking for featured snippets can only benefit your website. Ranking in the #1 spot for a pointed search query can not only bring organic traffic to your site, but also raise your authority with Google as a whole.

How do I get started on my voice search strategy?

Focus on featured snippets. To do this, start by writing a list of long-tail keyword style questions. Focus particularly on the “what” & “how” style questions you could easily see a potential customer asking in search or via Google Home. You can get inspiration from the FAQ’s you typically get, common questions related to your specific solutions, or even your recruiting efforts ex: “how to get a software development job in Boston”. Once you have this list, perform some keyword research using Google Keyword planner to see how much exact match search volume there is. Select the terms with the most promising search volume and start crafting some content!

Once you have your content piece:

  1. Make sure the title of the piece exactly matches the question
  2. Answer the question in the first two sentences
  3. Craft at least a 250-300 word response
  4. Optimize the title tag

In conclusion, we aren’t quite certain what the future of this looks like and, from our perspective, Google isn’t quite sure either. As mentioned, it can be lucrative to be proactive about the importance of featured snippets on the future of search and there is no time like the present.