It is a fact that people nowadays are becoming search dependent. We do a search when we want to know what’s the best in restaurant in our area, or the best route going to work or even how to fix a broken sink. And with the convenience of our own personal digital assistant on our desktop or smart phones, more and more users are making voice search a part of their daily lives.
There is no doubt that voice search is changing the way people look for things and in today’s blog post, we’ll be discussing the impact of voice search on digital marketing.
What is voice search?
Voice Search or ‘voice-enabled search’, is a function that allows users to use voice command to search the web rather than typing. This can be used on both desktop and mobiles searches.
The concept of voice search initially started with smartphones then quickly evolved to include smart speakers and virtual assistants worldwide.
Voice search and virtual assistants are different but related technologies. Voice search is the simpler of the two but is a key contributor to many of the advanced capabilities of today’s virtual assistants such as Google Assistant, Apple Siri. Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa.
Voice search is the process in which voice command is first fetched and then recognized. The recognized speech is then converted into text. The system submits relevant text to a search engine, and presents the results to the user. Voice search can function alone or within a virtual assistant.
With the help of voice search and voice assistant, users can search to start phone calls, to search something, to set alarms, to play music, get directions while driving and for accessing other basic functionalities.
This can be done either via a hands-free voice command on certain mobile devices and operating systems, and even by tapping or clicking on the microphone icon to the right of the main Google search field.
To start a voice search query, users must say a “wake” phrase. An example for Google Voice Search to begin analyzing is when the user says “OK, Google…” Wake phrase for other voice search can defer for smartphone virtual assistants
Where Do Voice-Activated Devices Source Their Information From?
For local search, Amazon Alexa is partnered up with Yelp, Google is driven by Google Maps, and Siri sources information from Apple Maps.
Meanwhile, Cortana, which is the built-in voice search tech for Microsoft computers, is powered by Bing.
Why is voice search getting bigger?
Over the past several years, the popularity and usage of voice search has skyrocketed. Last 2019, there were 3.25 billion users of digital voice assistants worldwide. By this year’s end, there will be 4.08 billion users and it is projected to rise to 8 billion users by 2023, according to a study by Statista.
Voice search is faster than traditional methods of searching for a query; this is what makes it the number one reason for people adopting the trend.
In the same study, it was found that 43% of users say that they use voice search since “it is quicker than going on a website or app”, 42% say that “I can use it while driving or at other times when I can’t interact with my handset”. Approximately 38% said that “it is easier than going to a website or using an app” and “it is more fun than other search methods”
Voice search is highly convenient and has become a part of everyday life. With the use of smart phones, people find it a breeze and access voice search on the go.
How does voice search affect SEO?
Voice search combines speech recognition technology with search engine keyword queries to enable users to speak questions rather than type them. The software ingests what it hears, queries one or more search engines, and presents relevant answers to the user.
Unlike searching with a device, voice search only reads back the top ranked position on the search engine to the user. This means being number two or three in the rankings isn’t good enough anymore and making the number one ranked spot for that search extremely valuable to a company, but it also can be extremely difficult to achieve.
Another major impact of this new way of searching is how people search differently with voice search compared to text search.
Digital marketers realized that the way that people search for things is different when they type in their search compared to doing a voice search. When a user searches through text search, they use the minimal amount of words to find what they are looking for. On the other hand, when people search using their voice assistant, they use statements and even ask questions.
For example, when a user searches using a computer to look for Chinese food nearby, they would use Google Maps or simply type “Chinese food” followed by the name of the city they are near, into the search engine. When it comes to voice searching, people use more words and usually ask, “What is the closest Chinese restaurant near me?”
It is important to understand SEO not only for text searches but voice searches as well to be seen by searchers and to stay relevant in the market.
There are many virtual assistants people use every day so it is essential that digital marketing managers include voice searches in their marketing efforts. Otherwise, it will be difficult to gain any organic traction.
How can I optimize for voice search?
Considering all the advantages of digital marketing through voice search, many digital marketing agencies are coming up with new plans for voice search strategies. Here are some techniques:
1. Use Natural Language
Follow a more conversational, long-tail keyword phrases in your content as this will help you to better answer natural language questions. You need to find the natural language keyword phrases that your target audience is most likely to ask.
Question keywords should be targeted since voice search queries contain a lot of question words like who, how, what, when, why, where.
“Filler words” are also a must in questions which make the query more conversational and human. The examples of filler words are “I, the, of the, on the, to, for,” etc.
The next time you add keywords for voice search, make sure you include these.
2. Keep it Local
People are relying more on their voice assistants and smart speakers to explore their local area than ever before. According to a Google survey, people want to get information about deals and sales, personalized tips, information about upcoming events and even customer support.
More than 55 percent of consumers use voice search to find local businesses. In addition, more than 75 percent of voice-enabled speaker users conduct a local voice search on a weekly basis, whether it be to find a new restaurant, check the latest movie times, or find a service provider.
By using ‘near me’ voice commands, digital marketers can drive foot traffic to brick-and-mortar locations.
3. Claim your Google My Business listing
A Google My Business listing is a way to let Google know that your business is located at a particular area. When someone asks Google to display similar businesses in that location, your business could rank for that query.
Name, address, and phone number must be included in your listing. Choosing the right business categories and providing area codes is also important. You can even add photos and posts with special deals, news, or updates to make your business stand out.
4. Give a Concise Answer
Searchers want quick and immediate results, and search engines understands this. The same applies to voice search as well, where direct answers are the top priority.
5. Improve loading time of your website
Your website’s speed is an essential factor for voice search. Websites that take longer to load are abandoned quickly by users compared to those that are fast.
Voice searchers need immediate results, and if you have a slow website which is slow to load, your content will not be used to answer verbal queries.
Why is Voice Search Optimization important to your business?
Voice search optimization presents a rare opportunity for businesses looking to get ahead of the game. While adoption of voice search is still growing, smart marketers are now optimizing to get the most out of search marketing in the short and long term.
Both small businesses and chain companies can benefit from voice search optimization. Adopting a voice search strategy isn’t just about remaining relevant, it’s also about creating a unique and optimized customer experience that will foster customer relationships and build brand loyalty.
At Reach Digital Group, we are forward-thinkers and are always looking ahead at digital leading-edge marketing trends so we can help businesses like yours, achieve the search rankings, leads and revenue growth that you desire from your website.
Today is the perfect time to jump on the enhanced voice search strategy trend and gain an edge over your competition. Contact us today!