Voice search is of great importance in the modern world. People often multitask and appreciate being able to request assistance simply by talking. In fact, more products now sell with the help of voice assistance. As technology improves, the voice assistants are enhanced, thus they will become more important to individuals. For this reason, every business needs to ensure they have optimized for voice search. Companies that fail to do so will likely find they fall behind their competitors, and no business can afford to do so in today’s competitive market.
Why Voice Search Matters
Voice search has changed the way people obtain information. Individuals turn to Siri when using their Apple device, while Google voice search has increased in popularity on Android devices. Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Amazon Echo have revolutionized the way Americans live and function in their homes, and Microsoft now includes Cortana on their personal computers and smartphones. Everywhere a person turns, they will have access to this technology, thus more people are opting to take advantage of it.
Mind Meld reports voice searches jumped in 2015 from zero searches a month to 50 billion. Google also has taken note of this trend and reports that 20 percent of queries are now made by voice, and this figure continues to grow. The ratio of voice searches continues to grow at a faster rate than typed searches. Hitwise also agrees with this, stating 60 percent of searches are now conducted using this technology. While there are differing opinions as to how often people use this technology, one thing is certain: people do make use of voice search regularly, and businesses need to recognize this fact.
One reason for the growth in voice searches is the rise in the use of mobile devices. Individuals now make use of a mobile device more frequently than they do a PC or laptop. The smaller screens on the mobile devices, however, can make it harder to search for an item or information. A voice assistant solves this problem for the device user, as they obtain the information they desire without typing. What does this mean for businesses?
Voice Search SEO
Businesses need to ensure they are prioritizing voice search seo if they wish to remain competitive in their industry. Voice searches differ greatly from typed searches, however, thus SEO tactics need to change. First and foremost, keyword phrases tend to be succinct when a person is typing a query. In contrast, voice searches typically are more conversational and natural. Furthermore, voice searches frequently focus on the user’s geographical area and are conducted on a mobile device. These differences often mean the voice search query is longer than one conducted using text.
As many voice searches are local in nature, every business needs to ensure they claim their Google My Business listing. Doing so allows Google to obtain more information about the business, and this information can be shared during a voice search. The importance of optimizing for a geographical region has now become more important thanks to this technology, and businesses need to ensure they do not fall behind in this area.
Keywords also tend to be of the long-tail variety when a person conducts a voice query. When optimizing a site, web designers need to take into account how people talk during a natural conversation and how they ask questions when doing so. Use the exact words they use during a conversation when optimizing the site for the best results.
Every site must be mobile friendly to benefit from voice technology. Fortunately, there are tools available that can help a webmaster determine whether their site is friendly to the search engines, including WebSite Auditor by Google. Every page on a site should be tested using this tool to ensure it is optimized for the search engines and will be indexed in these engines. Things that need to be taken into consideration at this time include the load time of the page, whether Flash is used, and if any resources are blocked.
Learn what micro-moments are and why they are of importance. Each micro-moment is nothing more than a step in a person’s journey to obtain information. For example, a person decides they want to go out to eat and they want Chinese food. This decision is a micro-moment. They then conduct a voice query to find Chinese restaurants in the area. This is another micro-moment, and numerous more occur as they choose a restaurant, arrive, order, and eat the meal. At each step, the consumer wants useful information quickly. Brands that respond accordingly will win their business, thus sites must ensure they are in the position to respond in this manner, and voice search plays a large role in this.
Voice search for mobile devices and PCs is only the first step in a natural progression. Over time, this technology will come to other devices, such as the Apple Watch. Every company needs to stay ahead of this trend and ensure they are making changes as needed. Any that fail to do so will find they are falling behind in their industry, and some will not be able to recover. Don’t let this happen, as more and more industries will embrace this technology. Imagine ordering at a restaurant using a voice assistant or booking an appointment to have the car serviced. Doing so isn’t that far in the future thanks to voice technology.
Businesses need to recognize that search engine optimization for voice queries will be an ongoing task. As the technology advances, changes will need to be made to a site to ensure it will be indexed in the search engines. Don’t make the mistake of assuming this is a one-and-done process. Nothing is further from the truth. Those businesses that stay on top of changes in technology will find they obtain the best results over the long run.