Google Home, a new voice-based home assistant device, allows users to interact with connected features entirely through voice, including regular Google searches.
When users ask Google Home a question that requires pulling an answer from the web, it will state the answer out loud, but also send that answer through in text form to a companion app. This popout information also includes the site where the answer was originally found, potentially creating a source of traffic from voice-based queries if a site plays its cards right.
So how can you take advantage of this feature? Simple.
Here are the four steps you need to increase your chances of being a featured Google Home answer site:
- Create a web page exclusively to answer one question or a group of similar questions
- Breakout the question’s answer into a simple numbered list or short paragraph
- Check that your site has all of the needed semantic markup for the page to be indexed
- Wait three to five days
That’s it! It’s not a guarantee, but should satisfy all the factors you need to at least be considered as a featured answer page. How beneficial is this, though? Well, you can read on to find out, but first we have to let you in on a little secret…
You Have Just Been Experimented On
No, don’t bother looking for hidden surgical scars, and our accountant says we can’t reimburse you (sorry), but you have just unwittingly participated in a traffic-generating experiment on our behalf.
How? We are hoping that by following our own rules outlined above that we can become a Google featured snippet. And even if we fail miserably, we still provide you with a solid example of the type of direct answer and clear formatting needed to increase your odds of getting featured.
So why is this so important? Let’s back up.
Why You Should Care About Google Home
A while back we discussed how SEO for voice-enabled search assistants was going to become a huge emerging field in the near future. We anticipate this for three reasons:
- Users enjoy the hands-free simplicity and interactivity of voice assistants
- Companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft are banking hugely on their voice assistant features, including Microsoft shoving Cortana into as many Windows 10 functions as possible
- Everyone’s dreamed about having their own robot butler buddy since The Jetsons made it look cool
Alright, maybe Rosie could be going too far, but the bottom line is that features like Siri have become hugely popular. This popularity has gotten to the point where many think that asking a voice assistant a question will soon happen more often than entering text queries into search engines, mostly out of sheer convenience.
The next step in this evolution sees voice assistants quantum leaping out of smartphones and into dedicated home devices like Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Home. Not only can these device answer search queries, but they can also be used to interact with smart devices, like a Nest thermostat or SmartTV.
For brands wanting to generate organic search traffic, earning traffic from Google Home may seem impossible, but the device actually does send text-based answers to supplement the voice-read ones via the Google Home companion app, which can be accessed from any logged-in device. Only 14 of those text-based cards are saved for later, but users can also find their entire search history in Google – My Activity.
So, you may still be asking, why is this important? Because in the not-too-distant future, where less people skim through organic SERPs pages nine or so posts long, your site only has one shot at generating traffic through a voice query. And if current performance of featured snippets is any indication, being a featured answer does in fact equal a beneficial boost in traffic.
Get Optimized for Google Home, Voice Assistants and Any Other Digital Marketing
At EverSpark, we aim to help our clients maintain or improve traffic even as the rules of the game change all the time. Today, our current worry is how to keep Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant happy and bringing our client’s continued traffic, but who knows what tomorrow may hold?
In the meantime, we always follow best practices for Atlanta SEO and modify them as they continually advance. Join our team and prepare for the future by contacting us today.