Should You Optimize Your Website for Voice Search?
The technologies we use are quickly evolving. Not long ago, having a smartphone to check out a location, find some ideas or find information for getting a task done still amazed many. Now, 65% more customers look up information online than a few years ago. They are looking for local businesses, something they saw or heard and guides that help them accomplish specific tasks.
Even though that every one of us is still typing strong, a new era of search engines is coming. With the Google AI, Siri and Alexa becoming more sophisticated, we have a lot of new possibilities in how we do our searches. People are becoming lazier, and typing on your phone isn’t always the most comfortable thing to do. So it’s only natural that people will rather use their voice to conjure up search results than waste time with typing.
In 2017, Google has accounted that about 20% of all searches are done by voice search. In 2018, it’s about 30%. Numerous analytical companies have stated that by 2020, about 50% of all searches will be done by voice. This implies that voice search is undeniably growing faster and faster. It is simply a much faster and more convenient way to search and we have seen that speed and convenience is everything today’s technologies aim for.
Though voice search isn’t completely functional by any means; it is still a bit clumsy in recognizing different dialects, but it’s constantly developing. It is actually very clever and with the way they have been developing, there is no stopping this revolution.
It’s time to look at the facts and see why it would be important for you, for us and for everyone to start optimizing their website for voice search.
The Rising Trend
Google doesn’t publish exact information on a regular basis, so it’s still hard to figure out exactly how many people are currently using voice search. But we can be sure that the trend is rising and people will always go with what’s more convenient. Soon enough, the majority of searches are going to be done by voice.
According to Location World, in 2016 a staggering 40% of adults use voice search every day. So, there is no denying that voice search will rise to the top. Voice recognition systems are getting more and more sophisticated. It’s highly likely that we’ll control most of our digital tools through our voice. Also, as digital assistants make voice search much faster, they will continue to invite more people to start using the system. As using voice search becomes more “normal”, only more of the population will start using it.
The Impact of Smart Speakers
Thanks to Google and Amazon Echo, smart speakers have made a strong impact on the voice search revolution. These smart speakers rely exclusively on voice commands to work. They slowly but steadily condition people to solve their problems and answer their questions through voice-based search queries. This only adds more to the rising trend of voice-search.
Changes Voice Search Will Bring To SEO
No revolution comes without the intense strive for change and there will be a lot to adapt to once voice search becomes more popular. Here are some of the strongest effects voice search is going to have on the search engine world.
Audio-only Interfaces Make Their Debut
Smart speakers allow people to discover information, buy products, interact with websites and other interfaces simply through the command of their voice. This means that the value of visual mediums will steadily decline. It will be much easier to talk to your computer aloud than browse a website. Once this happens, the way we present information to our audiences will be completely changed. We’ll have to come up with completely new structures.
Higher Competition For Top Positions
Even though there plenty of options available for answering a search query, digital assistants usually provide answers from the top position entries. This will put even more pressure on SEOs as they strive to get to the top of Google’s search results.
Search Queries Will Become More Complex
Users will no longer need to put any forethought into how they tailor their search queries. They won’t have to think about which keywords they are using. As long as they are asking a question that is even remotely understandable, they’ll get a good selection of answers.
More Local Results Will Be Required
People will be able to do local searches while they drive as well. They’ll usually rely on voice search on the go. Voice search will make it possible for them to find a specific store and navigate through it without having to touch their phone. This will drive many locally-focused search queries. Google and other search engines will place a much larger emphasis on local results for this reason.
Interactions Will Be Shorter
Voice-based searches are short and they are not suited for a long interaction by nature. You can quickly find the name of an actor you saw in a movie, or the restaurants near to you. As interactions become much shorter, websites will have a lot smaller window to make an impression on its users.
How You Can Benefit From Voice Search
In order to reap the benefits of being available for voice searches, you’ll have to adopt the technology as early as possible. Most of your competition is already working with it already. Yet a lot of people on the web still deny the fact that conversational search queries will be the future of the internet.
Use Long-Tail Keywords
The use of long-tail keywords are one of the most important SEO strategies, even if your site has nothing to do with voice search. Internet users are not using as many short keywords. Instead, they ask more direct questions and seek to get more direct and relevant answers to them. This is where the use of long-tail keywords comes into play. As the conversational nature of voice search makes queries longer, using the right long-tail keywords will increase the chance of your content ranking better on search engine pages.
Work On Local Voice Search
People search for local businesses most often. New devices do an internal search in order to find the best businesses in the specific category they have searched in. Here are a few ways you can improve your website’s ranking in local voice search.
- Make Sure Your Information is Correct – Make extra sure that all your contact information on every platform is exactly the same and is completely accurate. If you have an old address in one of the platforms, it might hurt your ranking. Also, be as descriptive as possible when you’re outlining the categories of your business.
- Have Your Business Listed – Your business should be listed on every major online business listing. It should be present on Bing Places, Apple Maps, Yelp and Google My Business. The most important devices pull all their data from these, so you should be present on each of them.
- Get Plenty of Reviews – Getting your business reviewed by its customers plays a huge role in getting a good rank for your business. It’s only natural that people are more attracted to visiting a business that has numerous reviews.
Seek To Implement Long-Tail Keywords
Having a more conversational tone on your website is important for voice search. The user won’t use single keywords during his queries; they will be more conversational instead. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to change your keywords to long-tail keywords. But it does mean that you should implement them in small ways. Start a new FAQ page where you provide more detailed information on certain topics. Create content for it with an informal tone and consider how your audience generally speaks to make your content match their tone.
Also, remember that people don’t speak the way they type. So double down on your use of natural speech patterns. Search engines will soon be able to pick up people’s natural speech patterns and recognize it.
Put Even More Emphasis On Mobile
The amazing popularity of mobile devices is by no means any news. But with the emergence of voice search, mobile is becoming more relevant than ever. With more than 50% of all search queries being done from mobile, it’s important that you aim for the context of a specific voice search to boost your SEO.
Mobile comes before desktop no matter what kind of online presence you’re looking to build. Because voice searches are done on the go from mobile devices, it’s important that your content is optimized for the devices that search for it in.
Try out Google’s mobile-friendly test and see what you get back from it. It will tell you how well your page will rank for mobile searches.
The web is changing and your website and your strategy should change along with it. There is a lot to prepare for in the future and it’s becoming a real challenge as we still don’t know exactly what kind of changes the voice search revolution will bring about. But we do know that it will definitely require you to rethink your advertising game and the way you’re looking to reach out to new customers. Some possibilities will open up and some will be taken away. All you can do to prepare is optimizing your site for voice search as much as it’s possible right now.