Voice recognition has been around for a while and there is a lot of hype around it. From what every digital blogger says, it sounds like everyone will be transferring to voice search in the nearest future. The trend is noticeable and yet it might not be as prominent as digital bloggers claim.
Voice search is definitely on the rise as more people start to use Google Assistant and Siri to request information from search engines. Additionally, consumers are buying smart speakers in bulks which points at the rising popularity of voice search.
What is voice search and why does it matter?
Voice search is here to stay but what does voice search actually mean? Voice search allows people to find information online using their devices and voice. Voice search has been made possible after the integration of such services as Google Assistant and Siri into mobile devices. Voice search is most frequently used to find information about businesses nearby using a “near me” phrase.
In 2016, Google declared that 20% of all searches are made using a voice search assistant. That’s a large number of people to use voice search in one country. Of course, the statistic represents only people in the United States and it doesn’t include devices other than Android devices with Google app installed on them. But still, 20% constitutes a significant number of people.
Another important point to consider is a smart speaker search that has been gaining traction lately. It has been confirmed that the usage of Amazon’s Alexa has increased by 325%. While smart speaker search is different to mobile voice search this statistic confirms the overall enthusiasm of people to use voice search.
Optimising for voice search
Mobile voice search is hard to optimize for because there is not enough data that can confirm the wide popularity of this search method. In fact, most people simply ask their phone to search for contacts and personal emails rather than for products. So the urgency of optimizing for mobile search can be argued. Yet, mobile voice search should be taken into account and planned for by small and large businesses as the number of voice search users is quite high.
Optimizing for mobile voice search can give you an edge in the competitive market, especially if the majority of your users use mobile devices. Some industries can benefit from voice search more than others. For example, while cooking and working on DIY projects, people are more likely to ask search for help using their voices. Similarly, when driving, users might be more willing to use voice search to ask for directions as well as search for a restaurant or petrol station nearby.
If you’d like to start optimizing for mobile voice search – here are some tips to help you get started:
Steps for optimizing for voice search
Local search is perhaps the most applicable area of mobile voice search. In order to optimize for local search, get a business profile online, make sure you feature the right address and correct contact details and collect some positive customer reviews for an added effect.
Review your mobile SEO and check if the loading speed on mobile is fast enough. Also, make sure user experience on the site is top notch and doesn’t drive people away from the page.
Schema markup is a code that helps search engines return better results for users. Schema markups identify elements of the website that might be relevant and then display these elements to the user. If you’d like to stand out in search results, schema markups can also pull up featured snippets that improve the visibility of your website in search results.
Think like a customer
Mobile voice search implies that the user is always on the go. This means that users rarely have the time to read long paragraphs of text. When optimizing for mobile voice search you need to make sure that you provide concise and clear answers to voice search queries. Instead of writing about what you want, think about what customers want to hear when they search for an answer.
Remember that voice search is conversational
Voice search queries are a lot longer than general search queries. When you type on your computer you might not type the whole questions but only part of the phrase. Ont the contrary, voice search makes it really easy to say the whole sentence. General search queries may contain long phrases as well, but the main difference between long phrases and mobile search queries is that mobile search queries are conversational in nature and are more focused on finding the information about the product or service, while general search queries are often used to find and buy the product.
Understand user behavior
When using mobile voice search, people don’t want to be overloaded with swathes of data and information even though the information might be related to the search query. Instead, the users want exact answers that are easily scanned and accessible. Try to find the tools that give those exact answers to the users in an instant. For example, Google SERP’s Featured Snippet helps you provide the most straightforward answers to the users on the first page of search results.
Content that answers customer queries
Apart from website copy and business listing on Google, you can try to get ahead of your competitors by creating blog posts that answer customer questions. Most people use standard search queries when they write content, but you want to optimize your current and future posts for mobile search queries as well. Don’t assume that the FAQ section will be enough. Ideally, you should create blog posts that respond to each mobile search query.
It’s hard to predict what the future of voice search will look like. For now, people actively engage with new technology and often ask questions using voice search assistants such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. But despite the ambiguity of it all, as a marketer, you need to keep your hand on the pulse of what’s trending.
Voice search optimization is a great marketing tool that can help you deliver information to customers at times when they most need it. It’s not easy but if you want to beat your competitors at the SEO game, it’s better to to optimize for voice search now than regret it later.