In the age of the internet, we are living in a voice activated world where consumers use voice search on their tablets, smartphones or voice assistants such as Amazon Echo, Siri, Alexa, of Google Home devices to search the web. The advent of smartphones has unarguably changed the sculpture of digital marketing.
Google’s mobile-friendly updates compel companies to accept the fact that mobile is the future. Thus, companies across the world are now keeping mobiles on their radar to shape up their digital marketing strategies.
SEO a critical and integral part of digital marketing is also affected by the evolution of voice- based search and smartphones. Local searches through mobile devices have already dominated the market in conventional ways of searching information.
Due to major technological breakthroughs, digital marketing has become dynamic in nature and one such technological advancement is the voice searches through smart phones. Technology is aimed at making lives easier and voice search is the best example of it.
With voice searching, the user doesn’t need to type a keyword or phrase on their device to gather information; instead all they need to do is speak their query to get their results.
Voice searches have changed the outlook of finding information through smart phones and furthermore, voice based searching has affected SEO equations, which is why marketers nowadays, are considering these crucial changes and trying to incorporate them as a part of their SEO tactics.
Some striking stats of voice searches are:
- In coming times, the voice based search is going to explode as a report according to USA Today shows that the word error rates had come down to roughly 8 per cent from 25 per cent a few years ago.
- According to Google, half of the youth use voice search on daily basis. Though, this information was published in 2018, you can estimate up to what extent voice searches would have increased with the rise in smartphone users.
Voice search also known as ‘Speech Recognition’ technology, utilizes voice command to accomplish an online search by saying terms verbally as an alternative of typing words into a search bar.
Even though voice search was designed as a software application, it is also being utilized as a service by smartphones and small web-enabled assistants. As multitasking is a constant occurrence in today’s internet world, it is almost easier to speak than to type the things the user is searching for.
However, voice search is about more than just convenience of the user. Every person speaks differently from the way they type, as well as they expect different responses from the assistants. Search engines must have the capacity to interpret the meaning of the user queries and context beyond simple keywords.
Voice search applications include voice dialling, carrying out queries of search engines, launching apps and programs, option selection, requesting particular information, demonstrating the details of the request, searching for content video or audio files, directory assistance and other local searches.
In short, voice search is just a system of question-answering and often referred to as a personal digital assistant. These software applications have been intended to assist end-users in accomplishing tasks online.
These tasks include managing the users’ schedules, answering questions, playing music, making an online booking and many more.
Impact of Voice Search on SEO
The majority of businesses invest their money to optimize their website on the basis of their primary keywords on search terms that are more often said than typed.
Although the evolution of voice search does not mean that typing commands will completely vanish, it means that digital marketing must adapt to this current new consumer trend. Due to Voice search SEO is something which is affected and here is how:
- Length of queries
The number of queries that are spoken differs completely from type-based ones. The text based searches are approximately based on two to three word lengths, whereas voice activated commands can sometimes be longer than ten words. In order to adapt to these larger queries, natural language keywords much become increasingly essential.
- Question based searches
Apart from being lengthier, most of the voice search queries are in the form of a question. For examples, a search that would usually type as ‘voice search and SEO’, would sound like ‘how will search impact SEO?’ while in voice-activated command. Due to this it is important to look at keywords more in the form of a question as a part of the content writing strategy.
- Queries with clear Intent
As voice search queries frequently come in the form of a question, they disclose the level of purpose the user has with the doubt. If a user is a marketer, it’s essential to recognize these high-value queries and optimize relevant content accordingly.
Utilizing natural language in these situations is more crucial than ever because the more the keywords match with the consumer content searches, the high the user will rank them.
Voice Search and Future of SEO
In order to be at the top level, it is not only about growing but also improving. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are progressing at an exponential level, which means the user needs to optimize their SEO strategies today for voice search.
While users might be thinking, ‘I already produce great content’, it needs to be written in a conversational tone to answer the audience questions.
Besides this, people entering text-based queries into search engines, and people undertaking voice activated commands are usually looking for very different things from their search. With typing commands, the people are more likely to happily go into a detailed list of queries.
With voice commands, the people are looking for a prompt and instant result. The content needs to continue to be appeal and attractive to text-based as well as voice based searches.
Does Voice Search Drive Website Traffic?
Although it does not appear that voice search results directly contribute to an uptick in the Google Analytics reports, it does drive traffic to the website.
Firstly, when Google reads results from voice search listings, it gives sites a shout out through a simple ‘according to’, which of course increases brand awareness.
In addition, users can scroll through written dictation of search results that include links to the website used as resources. This enables the users to navigate to the website traditionally and increase organic traffic when they do so.
Finally voice search can help improve other important metrics, such as online sales or media plays on websites like Spotify and Pandora.
Voice search is important to increasing the brand conversions and brand awareness. But the brands cannot view their voice search ranking to see where they are at and make improvements.
In 2018, it was reported that a digital agency built automation software that enabled them to run various queries and report on results for their clients. Although this report was not perfect and little rough around the edges, it will likely pave the way for more accurate voice search ranking reports in the near future.
Until then, the best thing that brands can do is keep optimizing for SEO and voice search. Eventually they will be able to view concrete reports showing the fruits of their labour and make more specific improvements.
Adapting to Voice Search
Voice technology is impacting SEO in different ways. Below are a few recommended steps businesses can adapt accordingly:
- Google voices prioritize websites which load quickly, so companies and brands should make sure their images are optimized, response time is reduced, files are compressed and the website is fully responsive.
- Content must be optimized to long-tail keywords that reflect the popular queries utilized in voice search, making sure to concentrate on natural and ordinary language.
- Local information related to the services should be provided to meet the increased search volumes of local businesses with voice commands with the help of Google My Business
- Enhancing domain authority will assist with search ranking and can also be improved by including high-quality backlinks.
Investing in voice search optimization is proven to improve the brand’s awareness, online purchases and revenue. In fact a study found that voice search ecommerce results in $1.8 billion in Amazon revenue.
The figure alone is expected to increase to $40 billion by the year 2022. But despite the ever-growing prominence of voice search, its popularity and professional use are still rising.
But if the brand optimizes their site for voice search now, they are more likely be ahead of their competition and see strong voice search ranking that will effectively grow their brand long-term.