Try this; using Chrome on a PC, Mac or Linux, search Google for ‘Responsive Voice’ and listen to your speakers.
Like it? Take a search term that you rank #1 for in Google and your message can be spoken while the search results are displayed on the Google page. Imagine the possibilities when you can actually introduce a special call to action for people to visit your website instead of the competition’s. This is the next evolution of making your listing stand out with rich snippets and we like to call them speech snippets.
All it requires is one line of code generated by the ResponsiveVoice Agent added to your webpage.
It even works when someone searches using the new “OK Google” voice search feature rolled out earlier this year.
Our split test over the last month has shown a 4% increase in click-throughs to our site for those users who heard our custom spoken message on the Google Search Results Page. Google Analytics can’t track this, so we wrote our own simple program to count the traffic. Later this evolved into a full analytics solution included in our Agent.
149 searchers heard the voice message and 163 did not. Of the 149 that heard the message 44 clicked through that’s 30%. For the users who didn’t hear the message only 26% clicked through. That’s a 4% overall increase in click through rate.
For example, if you’re currently ranking #1 for a term that gets 1000 searches per day, that would be an extra 1200 visitors/month or 14,400 people per year seeing your website and potentially converting into sales.
A speech snippet allows you to create a voice message to match and compliment your search engine result. It will speak in response to any text search for your #1 ranked organic search result. Leading to increased engagement, brand retention and higher click-through rates.
Speech snippets are a feature of our ResponsiveVoice Agent, a collection of features to voice enable your website.
Speech snippets will also play for users of “OK Google” voice search which gives the user a complete speech experience in Q&A fashion.
Doesn’t Google Search Already Have Spoken Answers?
Google has a gap for Spoken Answers. Using “Ok Google” voice-search, sometimes Spoken Answers are spoken on the Google search results page. But it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, in fact, here are 4 reasons why the default spoken answers aren’t going to benefit most website owners in the near future.
1. You Have To Be A Recognized Authority Site For It To Work
Spoken Answers are only given for popular information from Wikipedia or from the Google Knowledge Graph – things like “what is the weather today”. For the rest of the SEO world all the user experiences is… silence.
Here is an example of a Google Voice Search Spoken Answer drawn from Wikipedia for “Twinity”:
Twinity has no control over what is spoken, Google speaks whatever information from Wikipedia it chooses.
2. It Won’t Work For All Your Results
It’s up to Google to determine if they will play a Spoken Answer even if you are in Wikipedia or the Google Knowledge Graph. More often than not it will only be played when your brand is a keyword in the search.
(Want to get more clicks from Google Search and add attention grabbing voice
features to your site? Try the Voice Agent free trial here!)
3. You Can’t Customize Your Spoken Message
Using ResponsiveVoice speech snippets you can have your spoken message read out loud for all your #1 ranked searches regardless of keywords and more importantly you get a chance to customize and test the effectiveness of your spoken message to create more value to your audience.
4. Typical Search Results Being Spoken Would Suck
The primary reason we believe Google and others don’t speak search engine results are that they are low quality, speaking the reduced text from a website as a search result will often not make sense.
As this example demonstrates the search result text wouldn’t answer the user’s query.
This presents a low quality experience to the user and is the most likely reason Google and others do not simply speak the text of search results.
Although speech snippets work with “OK Google” voice search, they are not dependent on it. In fact speech snippets do not require the users to have a Microphone on their PC. Regardless of whether Google Voice Search is enabled or not, your speech snippets will be heard.
Speech snippets will play in any Chrome desktop browser regardless of language or country, it is not limited to only those languages supported by “OK Google”.
A selection of female spoken voices are available for your snippet, these are US English, UK English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Korean and Chinese.
How Effective are Spoken Messages?
ResponsiveVoice Agent provides analytics to record and graph how many times your snippet has been heard. Also recorded and graphed is the click-through rate. As a bonus feature for those wanting to test the effectiveness of their spoken messages an A/B split test is supplied, simply check the box and half your searchers will hear the voice message while the other half won’t, correlating this to the recorded click-through rate you can determine your increase in user engagement.
ResponsiveVoice Agent makes it easy to start writing your search speech snippet. A built in search allows you to enter your domain, phrase or keyword to automatically fill out the message with your standard search engine result text. From here you should edit it to be more appropriate for the spoken word. Although Google speech API is limited to 100 characters, ResponsiveVoice is not, so you can make your message however long you choose. We recommend however to keep it short and simple or risk annoying your searcher and they may not click through to visit your site.
Continuing the Conversation
A pertinent feature is the website Welcome Message, the Agent can detect if a user has arrived at your website from a Google search where they have heard your snippet, the Agent will play a custom Welcome Message that continues your voice campaign that started on Google Search. For users who came to your site without hearing the snippet the Agent can play an alternative welcome message.
Where is it available?
Speech snippets work on Google Chrome on Windows, Mac and Linux. Although ResponsiveVoice Agent works across all browsers including Internet Explorer, Safari and Firefox, Google Search Spoken Answers only work with Google Chrome, so on these other browsers no voice will be presented. This still represents a significant percentage of search traffic however, so should not be overlooked.
With over 45% of audience traffic using Google Chrome for desktops that’s inching close to half the internet traffic ready to hear your custom spoken message.
Bonus Voice Features
Marry your speech snippet with a custom Welcome Message, followed by on-page voice cues, spoken calls to action, end-of-page messages and an exit-intent message and you have a powerful toolset for engaging your audience.
Don’t go overboard though! Use voice wisely to augment your website’s purpose otherwise you may make your visitor feel like you are shouting at them without listening…and that could lead to a user looking for the exit.