folder Filed in Branding tips, Domain tips, Naming tips
Is your domain name ready for the voice search era?
By SmartBranding Team access_time 4 min read

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. Over the last 15 years, we’ve learned to succinctly express ourselves in very few words to traditional search engines. With voice search, spoken language connects people to what they’re searching for with an immediacy, convenience and intimacy that text-only search could never provide.


Voice commerce represents the next major disruption in the retail industry, and just as e-commerce and mobile commerce changed the retail landscape, shopping through smart speaker promises to do the same.

John Franklin, Associate Partner, OC&C

Some of the advantages 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.

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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.

Homonyms

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.

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 a 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.

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Voice search is not a thing of the future – it’s here today, and consumers are quickly adopting it. ComScore expects 50% of all searches to be voice searches by 2020, and voice shopping is presumed to surge from $2 billion to $40 billion by 2022 as per OC&C Strategy Consultants. Why not take advantage of voice search and take your business to the next level? This opportunity should be recognized while the voice search is still rising. It would be good for businesses to prepare for changes when it comes to search engines and to embrace the new voice search era.


We hope the above information will help you in making informed decisions about your brand. If you want to say hi or have any questions about naming, branding, and domain names get in touch, we’re always happy to hear from you.