What is Voice Search and what are the benefits?
Are you ready for voice search? Over the next few years, voice search will be taking over from traditional websites, now is the time to prepare an SEO strategy
What Is Voice Search
Every so often there are technological advances that can greatly affect business landscape such as smart phones and social media, one advance that has been on the rise is voice search. Remember the way people used to talk about Facebook as a marketing tool? Many said it wouldn’t amount to much, and now it is a powerhouse that all the top marketers use. The same thing is happening with voice search, but it is past the stage of it being a presumption these days one in five searches is done via voice.
Voice such has grown particularly in the advance of smart speakers and smart televisions. Google Home and Amazon Echo are taking the biggest chunk of the pie. People have been acquiring them like no tomorrow as they no longer even have to take their phone out to do a search. A Consumer can just call out a command and get the answer they’re looking for, or purchase a product they need, according to Edison research 22% of US Smart speaker owners have purchased something using their devices. Apple and Google are constantly working on developing their voice assistance within mobile.
Voice search will likely alter how we create content. The most valuable content will have a more conversational human tone that answers questions directly. The idea of creating pieces of content around specific keyword bucket will no longer exist as it currently does. people are starting to type, as well as ask, longer-form key phrases or sentences. So rather than “Manchester Plumber” we are now searching for “who is the best plumber in Manchester?” we need to think how this integrates with our content. It’s about creating for the potential consumers intent. Search engines can interpret context, that means content that answers a question and contains useful information will win.
Google currently states that 20% of searches via mobile are voice searches and 40% of adults are estimated to use voice search at least once per day with an estimated rise of voice search being accountable for 50% of all searches. Voice searches tend to be more location based than text searches which is also something to keep in mind.
One of the updates that changed Google for the long-term is the Hummingbird update. This update emphasised semantic search, which aims to create more accurate results through understanding the context and the intent of the user’s search inquiry. This shifted the focus to meaningful search queries, which mean, searches that are structured in sentences and phrases.
Take this query, for example. When I asked Google about “What is the closest shopping mall to my current location”, it immediately responded by giving me a list of the nearest shopping malls. Other search engines tend to read only the keywords of your search term, like “shopping mall”, but Google takes into account the whole statement, which helps it “learn” language better.
The premise of Who, What, When, Where and Why have always been around, but they are back on the rise in the world of SEO. People generally prefer to ask questions when doing voice searches. instead of asking for “Top 20 SEO tips for 2019”, they are more likely to ask, “What are the top 20 SEO tips of 2019?”
Old-fashioned text searches will still be more prevalent in 2019, but as we move forward through the years, the SEO keywords you use will need to adapt in order to accommodate how people search with voice. You will also need to focus on directly answering questions consumers might have. In traditional SEO, search results are ranked from position 1-10 etc however, in voice search, the goal is to be position 0 – the only answer your users need.
Most common voice search tools in order are,
Apple Siri – Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod 40%
Google Assistant – Google Home, Pixel phone, Android 6.0+ devices, iOS and Android apps 26%
Microsoft Cortana – Windows 10, Windows phone, Xbox One, iOS and Android apps 6%
Amazon Alexa – Echo 2%
Further proof is that facebook intends to soon implement its own voice search assistant which is planned to roll out within 2019. We can no longer afford to ignore voice search, if we do we could end up trying to catch up when it is already too late to take full advantage.
The main takeaway from all of this is that voice search will play a big part in the future of SEO so it is vital to be prepared for what is here and what is to come or risk your business lagging behind competitors and not being able to sufficiently reach or serve your desired costumers.