Drupal voice search has gone from trend to standard these days.
So, you can't help ask yourself:
"How do I enable search based on voice recognition on my Drupal website?"
And that's precisely the question that I'm about to answer in this blog post.
That, along with all the other ones that must be "haunting" you:
- How does voice search impact my revenues?
- How do I optimize my website content for voice search queries?
- How do I set up a custom voice search engine on my Drupal site?
- Can I even build a voice-powered app with Drupal? How?
1. How Does Voice Search Impact Your Traffic, Conversions, Revenues?
“Voice Shopping Set to Jump to $40 Billion By 2022, Rising From $2 Billion Today“ (source: prnewswire.com)
How does making your Drupal website voice search-friendly translate into higher conversion rates?
The logic is simple:
- it's more convenient for users to speak to the search bar than to type in their queries in order to find the needed products or services
- by allowing them this convenience, you improve their experience on your website and that'll bubble up to your web traffic, conversions... revenues
"Becoming voice-first is going to be the new mobile first" (DrupalCon Nashville 2018)
In other words:
- understanding how search engines provide accurate answers to users' vocal queries
- optimizing your content to the patterns that you will have identified
… will have a huge impact on the user experience on your Drupal site.
And great user experience is what sets high ranking websites apart from... the rest.
2. Here's How You Make Your Content Cater to Voice Search Queries
Spoiler alert: I'll be pinpointing just the main techniques to apply for optimizing your content for voice search.
If you feel like delving deeper into this topic, we have a full post focused solely on actionable tips for optimizing your website for voice search.
That being said, here's the list of essential voice search SEO techniques to implement:
2.1. Incorporate Short, Simple, Clear Answers Into Your Content
30 words at most, according to Backlinko's research.
2.2. Fine-Tune the FAQ Page on Your Drupal Site
This page alone plays a key role in your voice search optimization strategy. It's there that search engines often “extract” their answers from.
2.3. Use Natural Language When Writing Your Content
A user would speak to a search bar as he/she would ask a question to a person. Which is significantly different from him/her interacting with a text search box via a robotic keyword search entry.
2.4. Configuring Drupal for Voice Search: Optimize Your Content for Google's Featured Snippets
I'm not going to get into details here, but there are lots of highly valuable MOZ blog posts on this topic that I recommend you have a look at.
2.5. Center Your Drupal Voice Search Strategy Around Question Keywords
“How to...”, “What to...”, “Why use...”
2.6. Make Sure to Include (Really) Long-Tail Keywords Into Your Content
5+ word keywords, I mean.
3. Set Up a Drupal Voice Search Engine in Just a Few Steps
How do you create a search system based on voice on your Drupal website?
- First of all, you need a google tag manager account, a Gmail id, access to your Drupal admin dashboard and a valid sitemap
- Set up an account on https://cse.expertrec.com??platform=cse using your Gmail ID
- Enter your website's URL login to your Drupal admin panel and install google tag manager: https://www.drupal.org/project/google_tag
- Enter your google tag manager ID and save the configuration
- Access https://cse.expertrec.com/csedashboard/home/code and copy that code
- Add the first part of the code in your control panel, using Google tag manager
- Use the custom HTML option and configure the trigger to place it on all the web pages on your Drupal site where you want the voice search enabled
- Go to Structure-> Block layout-> Header ->Place block-> Add custom block-> click on source and enter: <ci-search></ci-search> (opt for "full HTML"). It's this code that will display a search box in your website's header
- Hit the Save button and finally, navigate to UI customization->features-> enable voice search
And that's it: 9 simple steps to add voice search to your Drupal site.
4. Building Your Own Voice App: Why Would You Want to Use Drupal?
Now, let's say that you've optimized your Drupal website for voice search, improved your search ranking and given your traffic a major boost.
And you've decided to go further and... build your first voice app, as well.
Why would you use Drupal to build it?
Here are some of the most solid reasons:
- Drupal provides you with a sophisticated user permissions and access control system
- it allows you to restrict access to content
- it provides you with fieldable content
- it ships with a pre-built front-end Drupal
- it enables you to put together complex content workflows
- it provides multi-language support out of the box
- it provides you with an API module
Note: in the end, it's your use case, along with all the specific feature needs deriving from there, that should influence your final decision.
But how would your Drupal voice app work, more precisely?
Here's the whole "mechanism" in the back-end, summed up to 4 stages:
- the user talks to the voice assistant (Alexa, Siri, Cortana...)
- the voice assistant talks to Drupal
- Drupal provides an answer to the voice assistant
- the voice assistant delivers the answer to the user
Chatbot API is the module that makes communication between Drupal and the AI voice assistant possible. It integrates, out of the box, with Dialogue Flow and Alexa.
I won't go into detail on the basics of a voice-powered app and the fundamentals of a VUI design.
Yet, I recommend you watched the DrupalCon session on Powering an Alexa App with Drupal. It includes a handful of useful tips and actionable information on building a Drupal-powered voice search.
In this chapter, my sole intention was to outline those Drupal features and functionalities that make it the best candidate for a voice app.
I won't hide it: I'm curious whether you've already got your Drupal website voice-search friendly or not just yet.
What strategies have you implemented so far to make your content more findable for vocal queries?
Have you set up your own Drupal voice search engine?
Are there any obstacles that Drupal challenged you with? That made the whole optimization for voice search more complex than expected?
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