As life gets busier, people tend to use voice search now more than ever since it’s quicker than typing a search query. Google reports that 27% of the online global population is using voice search on mobile. Search engines are following those behavioral changes by optimizing algorithms for voice search. We now have voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana.
Voice search makes internet browsing much easier for users since it’s faster and more convenient, but it can also help your brand. Domain.com stated a few ways in which optimizing for voice search can be beneficial for your business. Some of the advantages they mention are more website traffic, better brand awareness and visibility, more foot traffic to your stores, stronger, more relevant connection with the users, enhanced user engagement, and better chances of conversion.
So how can you optimize your domain name for voice search?
Simple and short words
Google’s speech recognition technology has a 95% accuracy rate when the spoken language is English. This means that the domain name should be simple and easy to spell so that maximum accuracy is reached when someone is searching for your website. For example, it will be easier to find BohoJewelry.com than BohemianNecklacesAndEarrings.com since the first one is much shorter.
Pronunciation and spelling
If a word is hard to pronounce, speech recognition may find it harder to find, even if it’s a short one. Words like “Applicable” or “Worcestershire”, and other difficult to pronounce words, although recognizable, may not be the best choice for your domain name if you want to be easily found. Also, if you play with spelling to achieve a more creative name, that might affect voice search since it won’t recognize the word properly. Let’s say you sell tech products and you added a letter to your brand name so it sounds different. Now your domain name is Tecch.com and when someone is trying to voice search it, the search engine won’t recognize that the initial word was tech.
Using homonyms may also cause a problem with word recognition. For example, using words like “dear” and “deer” may take your potential customers to a completely different website since it’s pronounced the same. Imagine your brand is about deers and you have the Deer.com domain. When someone uses a voice search to find you they can easily end up on DearMom.com.
Hyphens and numbers
Adding hyphens and numbers to your domain name makes it harder to reach when typing, so imagine what happens when someone uses a voice search to find it. You will have to spell any numbers out - is it 4 or four? Is it a hyphen or -? This results in missed opportunities, leads, and conversions.
Finally some good news for new TLDs! It is known that established, global brands or brands with the view to become global, tend to gravitate towards exact match .com domains. When it comes to voice search, new TLDs give the opportunity for entrepreneurs who can not afford a matching .com for their brand to still get a name easy to pronounce, without breaking the bank. They can now have extensions like .store, .company, .website and still make it since voice search recognizes these just as good as other TLDs.
Natural or conversational language
When using voice search people use natural language in the opposite of how they would write a search query. They wouldn’t use fancy words but simple everyday expressions. For example, a voice search would be “Where to find a good bakery?” instead of typing “delicious soul food”. So instead of naming domain something complicated and words that are rarely used, it’s more efficient to use conversational language.
If you still think that you don’t need voice search, take into consideration that marketers predict voice search sales to reach $40 billion in the next year.