Today, we are at the brink of a new digital marketing era that can bring users search results they need more easily and quickly than ever before. Thanks to voice search and personal assistant, the landscape of digital marketing is changing and with it, bringing both new challenges and new opportunities for marketers and businesses.
However, this also means people will have to rethink and adjust their SEO strategy to stay in touch with current trends. After all, it’s predicted that voice and image search will make up at least half of all searches by 2020.
But, users are still warming up to this new style of search use, so data connected to voice search SEO is still limited.
Ultimately, though, more and more users will realize the potential of voice search, so you must alter your SEO strategy and adopt new ways of thinking. Here’s all you need to know about voice search and how to jump on board with it.
How does it work?
Every time you’re asking Google “What’s the temperature outside? “ or asking Alexa “What’s the recipe for apple pie?” you’re conducting a simple voice search.
In order to perform a voice search, all you have to do is click the little microphone icon on your search bar and you’re ready to state your command. It’s just as simple and quick (if not quicker) than doing any typed search.
All of these searches are possible thanks to a voice assistant that replaces typing in your questions into a browser. There are different assistants available today and they are also compatible with different devices.
For instance, Apple Siri is compatible with all iPhones, iPads and iPods. Google Assistant is compatible with Google Home, Pixel smartphones, Android 6.0+ devices, iOS and Android apps. There’s also Cortana that’s compatible with Windows 10, Windows phones, Xbox One, Android apps and iOS. Alexa comes from Amazon and is compatible with their Echo speakers. Siri and Google Assistant are the most popular, thanks to the number of devices they can be accessed from.
You can read about them closer and see how they compare to one another here.
How it impacts SEO?
A good portion of all internet searches are being conducted using a voice command, so it naturally affects the world of SEO. Optimizing your website for voice search is starting to be the key element that can increase internet traffic for your keywords and even help you create new keywords that will help users find your business and buy your product.
Because voice search is so fast and practical, it will continue being an important part of SEO and even replace the traditional way of written search.
Why should businesses consider it?
Voice search is indeed catching up, but most people aren’t aware of the fact that it’s going to make up around 50% of all searches by 2020. That’s a lot of traffic you’re going to miss out on if you don’t optimize your business for voice search.
According to research, almost 20% of people who complete a purchase of more than $500 are doing so using voice search. But, it can also do another great thing for your business: voice search may increase purchasing by influencing users choice. This means that businesses have a new opportunity to direct consumers towards their brand, services and products.
How to optimize for voice search?
There are several ways that can help you gain more traffic and reach users who would like to use your products and services. When optimizing your website for voice search you might want to keep these points in mind:
Identify the purpose of the search
The first thing you need to know is why and what for are people using voice search. Thanks to various statistics, experts know the most common purposes of the searches as stated in the infographic below.
Source: Google Blog
If you look at this infographic closely, you’ll see that both teens and adults tend to use voice search in a pretty similar way. Both groups use it to make calls, ask for directions, play music and so on.
So, in order to put your business “out there”, you should get listed on Google My Business. Why? Well, if Google has your location, your business will come up the most in all location-based searches. For instance, if you want to find out where’s the nearest car mechanic, businesses that are listed on Google My Business will pop out first.
Use proper phrases
Another important thing when optimizing for voice search is creating the right terms. The best thing you can do is come up with utterances that people use in most chances. For instance, the most common terms are question phrases like where, what, who, when, why and how and they are very much preferred when conducting voice search.
As we can see from the previous example with the car mechanic, the question “where” is the best choice for most types of businesses. On the other hand, “how” and “why” are the best terms for sites that offer tutorials, guides and other helpful information.
To further improve voice search, keep your terms short and simple and try to create a question and answer format on voice search targeted pages. Google prefers these websites and will put them on top of the search results page.
Rethink your website design
As always, user-friendliness should be at the top of your list of priorities. However, as more and more people use their mobile phones to conduct searches, you must have a responsive website design that will allow them to navigate your content quickly, easily and smoothly. When you combine good web design with a fast load speed, your bounce rate will be just right. Your page will also have a higher dwell time (the amount of time a user spends on a page before returning to the search results page).
To answer the question from the title, yes, voice search will be the next big thing in SEO future, so it’s best to be prepared. However, now that you know in which direction the SEO game is changing, you will be able to make the most of voice search and use it to your advantage.