How to Optimize Your Travel Site for Voice Search

Meeting and event planners are on the go. Always. And attendees are constantly searching for ways to experience a destination. So, they search. And more and more often, they are using their voices to do it. For most people, it’s just faster and easier to talk than type.

So as they — along with nearly 36 million Americans that use a voice-activated assistant device (Source: eMarketer) — shift from typing less to talking more, your DMO’s website needs to be up to snuff. A voice search optimized site will accommodate planners’ and attendees’ web curiosities while giving them what they’re looking for, faster and with less effort.

So Say the Sources

Again, nearly 36 million Americans use a voice-activated digital assistant, with the majority being millennials at 35.8%. Baby boomers are the least likely demographic with only 10%. And a total of 46% of voice search users look for a local business daily (Source: BrightLocal Study).

How Voice Search Is Used

Voice search is heavily used for scouting out local places based on the user’s phone coordinates. Let’s say, for example, a planner has a group that is already meeting in your destination, but some attendees would like to make an extended stay out of the week. They will more than likely retreat to their devices to find places and things to do that will round out their trip and give them that “bleisure’ feel. (Bleisure, p.s.: the hybrid travel trend that lets attendees experience a new destination during their meeting without the commitment of a full-on vacation.)

One survey found that people are significantly more likely to use voice search in public places, like a restaurant, at the gym…and even in a public bathroom (Source: Stone Temple). The point is, improving your site content for voice search can provide people who are in or around your destination answers to their searches from your DMO’s site.

Changing the Written Word

Typed search is usually a phrase or some components of a search phrase, whereas, with voice search, users are speaking as if they are conversing or inquiring about something; this changes the way your content should be written.

Voice search optimized content should be conversational. If a planner or attendee asks their device a question and the answer turns out to be on your DMO’s site, this helps bring traffic to your site and also provides useful content to the searcher.

Some Nice-to-Knows & Tips

• Use keywords that are natural in language.

• Target question keywords that planners or attendees might use. “Hey Google, what are the best restaurants near (user’s landmark or hotel)?” Or, “Siri, how do I increase meeting attendance?” A good tool for digging into these keywords is Answer the Public. (Plus, that header video … forget about it.)

• FAQs are content gold. Beyond a detailed, keyword-friendly FAQ page on your site, you can create content based on frequently asked questions throughout your blogs. Blogs are already, by their natural format, more conversational than other formats. Your marketing team can use Google Suggest, Quora and the intel from your sales team to find out some of the top FAQs planners or attendees are asking about your destination. Make these FAQs your blog titles, then, let the body of the blogs provide the answers.

• Voice search is not a one size fits all. Different search assistants use different data. Keyword research is significant because the various data may influence your SEO efforts when you are looking at multiple search engines and not concentrating on just one. For answers in Google’s snippet or answer box, find out exactly what keywords are being featured in this and try to provide a better and more direct solution on your DMO’s travel site.

• Think about the personas you are trying to reach via voice search. Consider what else you know about the demographics or search habits of the planners and even the attendees and how those relate to voice search. For example, corporate meeting planners are being tasked with more team building as a result of teams working remotely and being spread across multiple locations. So, having a blog or site page optimized for voice search to answer questions about team building activities in your destination can be a great source of content.

For other tips and information regarding the improvement of your DMO website, check out 5 Tips for Reaching More Planners on Your Meetings Website or our Website Audit and Strategy services.

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