Voice activated search refers to the action of using speech recognition technology to execute searches and ask questions by speaking into a device rather than typing out a query. The standard person can type around 38-40 words per minute, but can speak roughly 110-150 words per minute. It’s 3.75x quicker to talk than it is to type out text. So, it comes as no surprise, that currently, while everything is being made quicker and faster, that people want to receive information and complete interactions as fast as possible. This means no more wasted time on typing and texting and more quick enquiries via speech.
Voice technology has been around for a while but the last few years have shown a major influx in technological developments and voice search is in turn currently booming. More and more people are investing in the trendiest technology ergo; voice tech. You may already be operating with voice assistance in the form of Siri, Google Home, Alexa and Amazon Echo. These are just the beginning of a voice tech uprising. What does this have to say for SEO and digital marketing? Not only must you optimize your business as usual but you need to have an operational strategy for voice search so your business appears for that sizeable portion of people who use it. Read on to find out why and how to optimize for voice search.
Why should I include voice search as part of my SEO marketing strategy?
- Stats Speak For Themselves
If you’ve been keeping up with digital marketing news and statistics, you’ll have noticed the major influx in the use of voice assisted searches. 2019 closed out with 59% of people using mobile for search queries and 48% are using voice for web search. 55% of teenagers and 44% of adults are using voice assistants for sourcing information and so it’s clear to see the invasion of speech based queries in day to day life, and the decline in text based enquiries. Stay up to date and build your content and information as voice friendly, because these statistics will most likely only increase.
*statistics pulled from Adobe survey data and Microsoft report.
- Improves Customer Experience
Ensuring you provide a pleasant customer experience is vital in creating a good relationship with your audience. Guaranteeing that your business is findable and the information that shows up when using voice search is important in building trust and professionalism in your business. Including a voice search plan under your digital marketing strategy is not just about keeping up with the times but also about providing an effective and modified experience for every customer. Voice based interaction such as voice notes are also becoming increasingly popular so take this into account when interacting with customers.
- Drives Traffic
Voice assistants on mobile often offer websites to view when assisting the user with a query, and allows them to click on this website for further information; this in turn will create conversions and bring your site to the attention of a whole new audience. The more people you reach via voice optimisation creates more traffic to your website, especially if you are the only one amongst your competitors who has optimised, then you’ll show up ahead of others.
- Be Ahead Of The Game
Contemplate the competitors within your area/field of work/business. If they have optimized for voice search and you have not, then this is a large quantity of potential customers lost to the competition. And if you observe the situation vice versa, your site or business could be the one appearing for those who use voice search and in turn, take business from opponents. It’s easy to see how this is a great opportunity to capitalise on voice searchers and be a step ahead in your digital marketing game.
How To Optimise For Voice Search
- Adapt Content To Spoken Keywords
When we search via text, on a desktop or mobile, we search only a few keywords to save effort to find results ASAP. Voice search works differently in the fact that we can literally ask our virtual assistant a question in the same way we would ask a friend. For example, if we were looking for a restaurant open nearby, we would type “restaurant near me”, but using voice search we’d speak into our phone something like “what restaurants are open near me” or if looking for new shoes one may type “Nike runner’s men’s” but would speak the question like “where can I find Nike runners”. Voice search uses more natural, colloquial language with longer queries and includes question words. You need to understand exactly what your customers are looking for and how they are asking for it in order to include the necessary keywords within your content.
- Top Result/ An Effective Featured Snippet
Showing up on page one of a search result may have worked in the past, since people can still see these results if they’ve typed in their query, can scroll through the page and so possibly see your content. With voice assistants often only relaying the top result to the customer, it’s more important than ever to get those rankings up. Ensure your featured snippet is effective in gripping the listener and gives them the push to physically click into your content, successfully completing conversions.
- Locality / local search
For businesses with a physical location, it’s important to ensure you optimize for voice search since a large percent of voice searches are location related queries. Make sure you claim your business via google my business and if you have multiple locations ensure you optimize for locality. Ensure your opening hours and street addresses are correct to avoid misinformation that can turn a customer away from your business. This is a common mistake made with optimizing for voice search and can attach an aura of untrustworthiness to your business.
- Mobile Friendly
Ensuring your content is voice friendly massively intertwines with it being mobile friendly. Considering that most web searchers use mobile devices as their go-to for information, it only makes sense they’ll soon be using voice tech if they’re not already.
It’s safe to say that this trend is only speeding up and so now is the time to optimize your business for voice search and make the necessary changes to your SEO strategy to do so.