News & Insights


Is your content ready for the voice search explosion?by Amanda Taylor

Whether you use Siri, Alexa or Google Voice Assistant, voice technology is becoming an integral part of our everyday lives.

According to PWC, 65% of 25-49 year olds currently speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once a day and Gartner predicts that the proportion of web searches done without a screen will rise from the current 20% to 30% by 2020.

As with any emerging technology, voice search still has obstacles to overcome and a recent survey by AnswerLab found financial services firms face the greatest challenges in terms of leveraging this new platform.

Of the smart speaker owners surveyed, less than 30% were interested in applying for a credit card, while less than 40% were interested in searching for financial advice through a smart speaker, with privacy and the risk of having their financial information hacked listed as the greatest concerns.

In Australia, a number of financial services businesses are getting on the front foot by launching their own solutions. ING, for example, launched voice-activated checking of bank balances in 2018, while Westpac became the first Australian bank to announce plans to use voice technology to enable customers to make payments.

How voice-activated technology will shape content

As the reliance on voice communications grows, financial brands must also adapt their online content to better interact with target audiences. For marketers, the challenge is in creating content that is adapted to a new way of searching. Rather than inputting key words or brand names, voice-activated searches generally consist of a longer form question, like ‘What’s the best mortgage rate in Australia?’ or ‘How does car financing work?’

In fact, according to Google, voice searches are 30 times more likely than text searches to be question queries, which require specific answers.

Optimising content for voice search

Though voice search may be years away from becoming fully mainstream, it has gained enough traction for marketers to be taking it seriously. To prepare your business’ content, here are a few tips:
  1. Optimise for ‘position zero’
With only one audio result available for each conversational query, you need to ensure your brand is the one selected.

Google Home and Google Assistant typically provide answers using position zero results, also known as ‘featured snippets’. This is the summary of an answer that often appears in a box at the top of page when you submit a Google query.

Featured snippets favour content that answers specific questions in natural language. So when creating content for your website, try to anticipate the questions your audience would ask about a particular topic. Aim to display answers in a user-friendly way – on a Frequently Asked Questions page, for example.

You then begin creating content that is conversational and specific enough to be cherry-picked from the organic listing of a search engine’s first-page results. Google’s ‘People Also Ask’ feature can also provide insights into the questions people are asking when they search.
  1. Create mobile-friendly content
There is a powerful link between search and mobile, and data from Statista shows online searches on mobile devices have exploded in the last eight years, reaching 52% today, up from just 3% in 2010.

Ensuring that all content has been prepared for mobile devices is therefore a crucial step towards optimising for voice. This includes mobile-friendly layouts and content and access to your company’s physical locations through listings on Google, Yelp, Bing and Apple Maps – particularly if your business is a local one.
  1. Stay up to date
Search algorithms change regularly, so it is important to keep up with any changes to the search rules (or engage an agency with the know-how to manage this for you). And don’t be afraid to experiment with your content until you get the results you are looking for. As a wise man once said, change is the only constant. 

Stay Connected

If you wish to stay connected to Honner and receive future blogs, simply enter your email address below.


Latest News And Insights

Honner Blog 22/07/2019

Ten strategies to ignite your content at the publishing stage

In the fifth key phase of Honner’s 8 Step #ContentMarketing model we look at different strategies to push out winning content. These include serialising your content, publishing under your CEO’s personal brand and A/B split testing. 


Honner Blog 1/07/2019

Nine strategies for creating winning content

As marketing content reaches critical mass, marketers need to work smarter to achieve content that cuts through. In the fourth key phase of Honner’s 8 Step #ContentMarketing model we look at strategies to bring valuable and engaging content to your audience.


Honner Blog 24/06/2019

Growing to greatness – Have regional newspapers found their white knight, and why should brands care?

Antony Catalano’s purchase of 160 regional and rural newspapers from Nine Entertainment raised hopes of better times for publishing outside the big smoke. Our latest blog looks at the challenges Catalano faces in turning the business around, and what the deal means for financial services brands seeking national reach in the media.


Honner Blog 17/06/2019

Finding your authentic voice: Step 3 in the Honner Content Model, to Connect, Converse and Convince

When the Honner Content Team pulled together an outline of what a firm needs to do to transform its content marketing process, we recognised the need to elevate the idea of authenticity to be a major element of the process. Here are eight strategies that bring a more authentic style to your content marketing process.


Honner Blog 11/06/2019

It’s a wrap – Honner’s quarterly media roundup (Q119)

Your Money closes, Anthony Catalano buys 150 regional newspapers from Nine, and Apple launches its subscription news service—and that’s just the start. Find the latest in news, insights, quotable quotes and industry moves in Honner’s latest Quarterly Media Roundup.


View All    >