Voice Search Ups the Online Furnishings Sales Game


Little Miss Muffet

Shopped for her tuffet,

Combing the malls all day;

When along came a Google,

That brought stuff in oodles,

And stole all her shopping away.


With the introduction of Google Home and Amazon Echo, people are growing more accustomed to accepting automated assistance. Think about it: when was the last time you looked up how many tablespoons are in a ¼ cup? Didn’t you just ask Alexa instead?

And, now that smart speakers and phones are connected to shopping outlets, people are starting to order things – sometimes without the assistance of a screen. Which changes the online retail game . . . again.

How? Voice search.

In simple terms, voice search refers to the natural way people would ask a question in conversation. This means that any time you look to Okay Google or Siri for store hours or to re-order air filters, the search engine breaks down your complex query, “What time does Dairy Queen close?” “I need to reorder air filters,” into searchable terms. Then, it returns the best matches for your request.

“Dairy Queen is closed on Monday” or “I found an order for 14x20x1 air filters. Would you like to order again?”

For your online home furnishings business, this means you’ll need to add longtail search queries to your site copy – in addition to general topic targets and keywords. Here’s the difference:

Keywords: rug, online

Longtail: 8x10 Non-Slip Purple Shag Rug

Voice search is projected to dominate online sales by the end of 2018, so it’s time to revisit your content and SEO strategy now to capitalize on this new opportunity. And, the easiest putt is with your product data. Product data is essential to making sales in the new retail landscape.

In addition to general topic targets, you need to get clear about what people are shopping you for. Visit Google Analytics and use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to get a clear picture of how people are getting to your page. Then, work that content into your web copy.

Just don’t be afraid to get specific. When retailers include specific details about items sold, they rank higher for search terms. But, because the specifics are often clunky, this is the perfect place to rely on your product’s descriptions.

Sign up for a service, like Amber Engine, that auto-populates and updates high-quality product descriptions, dimensions, availability and romance copy. This information can be crawled and helps boost your page presence.

Why? You’ll garner more targeted traffic. And more targeted traffic creates higher conversion rates because you’re selling the exact item they want.

In addition to working longtail search queries into your web copy and polishing up your product data, add a blog to your site. Blogs naturally introduce keywords and are especially effective when they offer a service your customers want – like design tips or decorating ideas.

And if you don’t have the time to create your own content, create a space for guest posts. Let people in the community share stories of their transformed spaces with direct links back to your products. Not only will they mention the product data and details, they’ll add location information and share the post with their friends. This helps you build a natural community of shoppers who want what you’re selling.

Added benefit: Voice search skews local. So, when you optimize your site with location information, you’ll rise to the top of the return.

Getting ahead of Google isn’t as hard as you might expect. Keep implementing key phrases, keep improving your product data, keep working to create a better shopping and you’ll receive high rankings. And, in return, earn shoppers who help you make sales that Google won’t send away.

Now, we want to hear from you. What are you doing to outsmart search for your online business? Do you have other tips and tricks we didn’t mention here? Share your ideas with the AE community – because we want to see everyone in the home furnishings industry do better business!