One trend that may govern the future of SEO is voice search.
As per Comscore, by the year 2020, 50% of the online searches would be performed with voice search.
In another study, Gartner forecasts that 30% of all the browsing sessions will include voice search by 2020.
The statistics show that voice search is an emerging trend in the search world and something that marketers should be keeping their eyes on.
Before we dive deeper, let’s understand the basics:
What is Voice Search?
Voice search is a speech recognition technology that allows users to verbalize their questions instead of typing them on a search engine. It could be through smartphones, tablets, and voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, etc.
You can use voice search to find information online, including business locations, answers to questions that you are curious about, or to schedule upcoming events.
The Evolution of Voice Search Technology
Just a few years ago, voice search was a new phenomenon. Siri was not even considered a practical function on your iPhone. That was because the technology wasn’t perfect and people didn’t see any need for a hands-free search option.
However, with time, the use of mobile search and the desire for customer convenience has increased. Therefore, the tech got better.
History of Voice Search in Brief:
Inventors have been attracted to language and technology since ages. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that a machine named ‘Audrey’ created by Bell Laboratories was built that could identify the sound of a spoken digit – zero to nine – with more than 90% accuracy. Until the 1990s, successful systems were there but they still needed improvements to be right.
Yet, with all the innovation, the voice recognition software that came out in the early 2000s was costly and was still not accurate to use for mass-market appeal.
Then, in 2008 Apple released a voice search app for their smartphones. This proved to be the best platform to check voice recognition and control software since everyone had access to it.
It was at the end of 2010 that the technology made it to the masses. By now, both hardware and technology were in place, so it made sense for companies to make voice technology available to the market.
Further, integrating voice recognition technology with other voice control products like Amazon’s Echo, Voice Search, and Google’s assistant is truly capitalizing the power of voice technology.
Therefore, voice recognition technology with close to 100% accuracy is advancing rapidly and has become a part of every big business.
Voice Search at Present
Voice search has now gained mileage in the way we interact with technology for information. As voice search technology keeps evolving and the capabilities of connected devices enhance every day, digital marketers can use the current voice search statistics to recognize new trends that reveal how our search habits continue to change. Here are the most important voice search statistics and trends to know in 2019:
65% of Google Home or Amazon Echo users don’t imagine going back to the days of keyboard input.
20% of all Google mobile queries are voice searches.
With increased adoption and better user experience, voice search is continuously climbing.
So, are you ready for this search disruption?
Impact of Voice Search on SEO
Voice recognition from Google already has an accuracy of 95%, and Google is not the only tech company working on the perfection of voice recognition to capitalize on voice search. China’s iflytek also has a speech recognition system with an accuracy of 98%. Their system will not just translate English to Mandarin accurately, but it will also translate Mandarin into English, Japanese, Korean and 22 different Chinese dialects. They predict that they will achieve around 99% accuracy within three years.
Such a global movement to implement voice technology demonstrates that it will leave a great impact on voice search optimization strategy.
Here’s how it affects SEO for your Business:
Traditional and Voice Search SEOVoice search SEO is different from traditional SEO.
Traditional search and SEO focus mainly on the keyword terms and how your website ranks for them. Voice search, on the other hand, tends to focus on searching in a conversational way.
That’s why, using traditional SEO strategy may not be helpful with voice search websites.
Search Engines Turning into Answer Engines
Voice search has greatly changed the way people get search results. That’s why Google has changed from being a search engine to an answer engine.
And because the information is available out there, you need not visit a site to get your answer. It is there in the search results.
And, Google is using a similar answer-focused technology to offer voice search results.
Therefore, when users ask something on Google, it reads the featured snippet back to you. That is why it is important for your business to identify and optimize your content and SEO strategy.
With such an impact, it is crucial for marketers to keep fine-tuning their optimization strategy for voice search.
How to Optimize for Voice Search
Use Conversational Language – Majority of voice search queries are made using natural language and in question form, so it is important to consider it. This will require building content using long-tail question queries.
Local SEO – Voice Search is a natural fit for local businesses. Therefore, the first step is to fine-tune your Google My Business Listing which should include business address, information about services or products, prices, working hours and every little thing that matters.
Emphasis on Featured Snippets – Ranking in zero position increases your chances of being read. And, to grab this position your content should be organized in a way that it answers questions.
Page Speed and Security – Both these factors affect the voice search results with respect to ranking and user experience. An average voice search page loads in 4.6 seconds which means your website should load quickly.
Schema Markup Schema Markups are critical for Voice Search. Rich results can be generated through Schema Markups.
Future of Voice Search
As predicted by Comscore, by 2020 it will touch the tipping point when 50% of all the searches will be performed by voice.
We are switching towards a hands-free digital world. In fact, most mobile devices now are equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, allowing users to use voice search instead of typing.
Hence, voice search as a whole is not just restricted to mobile or smart speakers.
It’s getting more advanced, which is why marketers should focus on their site’s readiness.
How Are You Preparing for Voice Search Optimization?
Optimizing for voice search is not just one of the latest marketing trends, but it is a necessity. Those who are not preparing should start now, or they risk losing their position to those who have already positioned themselves to capitalize on voice search.
As voice recognition continues to improve, and use of voice assistants like Cortana, Alexa, and Google continues to grow, it will become even more difficult to stay ahead of your competitors.
Want to incorporate voice search into your overall optimization efforts? Contact us
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