What is Voice Search? Is it the Future of Search Marketing?
You go to your browser, open Google and there, a query has to be typed in order to find something whereas one of your pals just asks Alexa and she brings the answer right away. Your friend did not even have to pick his phone and you are jealous already! Why to worry? Do you know that by 2020, 50% of the searches are going to happen through Voice as stated by the former chief scientist at Baidu? You do not have to have any kind of device to use voice search. You rarely use it, but your smartphone is capable to offer you that handsfree feel.
What is Voice Search?
Voice search allows you to use your voice in order to give any search command. You must have used an app or some program having speech-to-text feature, voice search works something like that. If you have an online business running then you must have heard about Search Engine Optimization. It is an array of processes done by your Digital Marketing Company to bring your website on the top of the search engine results. It is dependent upon Keywords. Now, businesses have to also optimize their websites for voice commands. Some businesses have already adopted the ways to do it and are doing pretty good.
When do people use Voice Search?
Voice search can be used for a lot of purposes like calling someone, asking for directions, booking a cab or any other task that can be performed through your smartphone. There have been a lot of survey conducted in order to know how many people are actually using it at this point of time. A recent survey has found that 43% of the teens have used it to call and more than 40% of adults used it to take help in getting right directions.
Users are also understanding the benefits of using voice recognition devices now and we can see it through the extensive amount of sales by Amazon and Google. According to the latest quarterly research from Strategy Analytics, “global smart speaker shipments grew an astonishing 197% year-over-year to reach a record 22.7 million units in Q3 2018 putting the market on track to surpass 100 million units in use during the final quarter of the year. Amazon remained the number one ranked vendor in Q3 with 32% share followed by Google at 23% share.” People do use voice search for a lot of other things as well, like if you want to search for something through search engines to take out any information, you can do it by using Voice commands.
Do businesses need to focus on Voice Search SEO?
Definitely! It is a no brainer that if people start searching using Voice commands then your website has to be optimized for voice searches. We cannot remain dependent upon the keywords completely, Voice has to be a part of our marketing strategies. The trending Voice technologies are surely going to affect the way we look at marketing. You need to be prepared according to the changing scenario to use the enormous advantages of voice search.
For optimizing your website for voice commands, you have to take into account Google’s mobile-first index as well. Voice search is basically smoothing the user experience because it comes up with faster results. User does not have to type a long query in order to know something or get something done. Make sure that your website is also optimized for the digital personal assistants as they are widely in use for a lot of purposes such as Directions, Booking a Cab etc.
Some statistics related to Voice Search:
1. Location World states, “40% of adults use voice search once per day”
2. Microsoft/Tech Radar further finds out “Microsoft Cortana now has 133 million monthly users”
3. MindMeld states, “60% of voice search users have started using it in the last year”
4. Hubspot stated that there are 19% of people who use Siri on a daily basis.
5. AYTM’s post says“45% of those who have used AI personal assistants said they have used Apple’s Siri. 27% used Microsoft’s Cortana. 33% have used Google Now. 10% have used Amazon Echo or Alexa.”
6. According to Hubspot, “19% use Amazon’s Alexa AI, 37% use Siri, and 23% use Microsoft’s Cortana AI at least once monthly.”
There are many more stats left untouched which collectively serve as an evidence of rising usage of Voice search. That time is not far when more than 50% of the searches will be made through using voice.
Industries affected by Voice Searchers:
A. Healthcare: We will start with the industry which is steadily allowing all technologies to pass into itself for the easiness and comfort of the patients. If we talk about old people, Voice search is a bliss since reading information through various website interfaces might confuse them and also bring discomfort.There are many current applications for voice assistants that can provide patients with increased access to healthcare. For instance, a person who is not in condition to get up due to an accident or serious health condition can ask Alexa to call an ambulance without having to pick phone or dialing the number. In the near future, we will see most of the patients scheduling appointments with their doctors through Voice command and even use it to book rides to and from the hospital. There are many applications we might see in the future.
B. Automotives: Having Voice assistants in your vehicle can help you in getting to know the correct directions and also reduce the risk of accidents by alarming you at adverse conditions. A lot of cars are now coming up with voice first features so that user does not have to use their phones while driving and merely their voice can work.
C. Hospitality: The travel companies are adopting voice first strategy to make searching and booking a hasslefree experience. Many of the restaurants are slowly getting equipped with the features to enable voice ordering.
D. Banking: Slowly, financial companies are allowing customers interact with their accounts through voice search. Voice payment is probably going to be the future though has to come up with the added layer of security such as fingerprint scanning.
Best and Widely-Used Voice Searching Devices:
1. Google Home: First in the list, Google Home has won the hearts of many by coming up with 81% of correct answers for the voice search queries according to a study. In the past year, 54 million models of Google Home were sold so we can easily evaluate how many voice searches have been made so far. Google Home is basically a wifi-speaker that is more than a smart home control hub. It’s a personal assistant for your entire family which used artificial intelligence to understand and interpret your queries and generate response.
2. Siri: Siri i.e. Apple’s personal assistance service answers 99.4% of the queries with accuracy. HomePod by Apple also comes in the same category but it failed to gain popularity due to its very high cost. Siri’s work initiates when it listens to any command prompted by the word ‘Siri’ and this request is sent to Apple’s server for translation process. If you are searching for any kind of service then you will automatically get local results. Siri asks Google and Google searches it over search results, its own database, local results or directories then the answer comes up to us.
3. Amazon Echo: It is increasingly becoming the choice of people not only for their personal use but it also makes a good, decent and useful gift. In the year 2018, Amazon Echo was the best selling product over Amazon while holidays. It has been found that 64% of the queries are correctly answered by Amazon Echo. In the Q2 of 2018, people purchased 4.1 Million Echo devices from Amazon.
4. Amazon Alexa: There are over 100 million Alexas sold through Amazon. Even after having voice assistants over phones, people are preferring to buy Alexa which really comes in handy.
There are other personal assistants as well which have gained immense popularity in the recent past such as Cortana, Google assistant etc.
How to optimize your web presence for Voice search?
There is a significant change you need to bring in your marketing strategy so as to serve the voice searches. Much of our SEO is based on Keywords at this point of time, though due to rise of voice searches, top digital marketing companies now need to focus on changes. There are a few tendencies of these new kind of users affecting old school SEO such as Searches fed in conversational language or very long form of queries. When it comes to typing search query, it is rarely longer than 5-7 words though while speaking we might go beyond it which would make it difficult for marketers to focus on many such long queries. An added stress will also be experienced for the featured snippets. The content has to be to the point and more informative now to make it to the one result which the assistant plays. Try to provide the answer of popular questions in your niche so that you can appear in the featured snippets. This way you can also increase your click through rate. Here is a list of some important steps in order to optimize your website for voice searches.
a. Google gives preference to the websites which load faster and we all are already aware of it but for the Google Voice Searches, you need to work upon it even more as the responses have to be really quick so that users do not lose their trust on virtual assistants. You can consider compressing the pictures and heavy files to get picked.
b. The content has to be detailed with high usage of long tail keywords. Consider including as much content as you can and give comparatively lesser proportion to the pictures or videos.
c. Create featured snippets as they appear just after the paid results increasing your click through rate significantly. Bullet points, H tags and lists perform well to serve feature snippets.
d. Keep the language of the content simple so that it can actually assist the search done by the user.
e. Improve your Local SEO as we have already mentioned that these assistants tend to bring the local results on top if someone is looking for some kind of service.
f. You need to put a heavy focus on the search intent and action queries of the users so that the right thing can come as a response.
g. It is also important to fill out all the information in your Google My Business profile.
Businesses need to keep up with the advancement coming into the sphere in order to beat competition and build a huge user base. Slowly, we are making smart assistants a part of our lives right from taking an aid for listening to our favorite workout music in the morning to setting an alarm at night. If you are an online business owner not including Voice search in your SEO strategy, you might fall behind in the near future. Whether we talk about Voice searches, IoT or any such advanced technology, a good amount of capital has to be diverted to such advanced things so as to reach your audience in the quickest manner. By the increased usage of personal assistants, we can say that the future of Voice search s already bright. Businesses existing in every industry line have to focus on the new methodologies in order to broaden their reach and achieve their marketing and sales objectives.
Content has always been important since we have stepped onto digital platforms. If you think that you are already serving your audience with the best content, it is high time for you to realise that you have to now write in a more conversational tone so as to answer specific customer questions through voice commands. Voice search is definitely on rise so do not turn a blind eye to it.