Voice technology has come a long way in a little less than a decade. From the occasionally-intelligent, often-laughable responses (when Siri was first introduced in 2011), to the highly intelligent answers today, voice-enabled searches are making big waves in the SEO landscape.
In fact, voice commands are not restricted to mobiles, laptops or tabs. The ever-growing digital assistants market is transforming the way voice search is being used in everyday activities. Whether it is to set an alarm, look up a recipe, get directions, play music, or narrate a joke to entertain the family, voice assistants are performing several other tasks, beyond spitting out crisp, relevant responses to users’ search requests.
A popular prediction (originally published in a ComScore Whitepaper) splashed across every voice search-related publication states that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice-based. It is currently unclear if this statistic will come true. So why should businesses optimize for voice search? In order to be future-ready from an SEO standpoint, there are some compelling reasons to include voice optimization in your SEO strategy.
Top 3 Reasons to take Voice Search Seriously
1. Voice-enabled Search is Catching On: There are many reasons for its growing popularity.
- Improved accuracy: According to a reputed research study published in May 2017, Google’s machine learning-backed voice recognition is about 95% accurate, as it successfully detects a wide range of speech types, and generates meaningful results.
- Versatility: Since voice-assistants are utilizing the full potential of artificial intelligence, while doing a voice search, you can simply speak in a colloquial manner, without worrying about whether your query will be understood.
- Flexibility for the User: Whether you are driving, cooking, watching TV, or working, voice search lets you multitask, while empowering you with quick responses to any information you seek.
2. Voice Search is Conversational: Voice search users are hungry for quick, simple answers and an integrated user experience. From ‘near-me’ queries, business information (store hours, location, etc.) and customer support, to personalized tips about sales, deals and upcoming events, users are demanding a variety of responses through voice searches.
3. Unrecognized Potential: Since voice-enabled search is an emerging phenomenon, businesses may not realize its true potential just yet. However, by mid-2016, one-fifth of Google search queries were already entirely through voice. Additionally, the rapid adoption of voice-activated technology, digital assistants and mobile devices will only further boost voice searches in the future.
How to Optimize Your Business for Voice Search
Whether it is a brick-and-mortar outlet, or a service offering, voice-search optimization presents a huge opportunity to drive traffic to your business website. As SEO experts, you can optimize your site for voice search through three key steps.
1. Effectively Research the Keywords: Consider the semantic differences in typed searches versus voice searches, and take the help of SEO tools to research your target keywords. Adopt long-tailed keywords (usually 5 or more words) that offer specificity to your target audience and rank higher on Google.
2. Modify Site Structure and Develop Relevant Content: While modifying or building your website for voice search optimization, consider critical aspects of the user journey, which often begins with questions, such as ‘What is’, ‘Can’, ‘Who’, ‘How much’, ‘Where’, ‘Why’, etc. This is reflective of the need for awareness/ information, evaluation/ comparison, purchase intent/decision and customer support. This, in turn, will help you organize your content into:
- Information – Guides, FAQs, How-Tos
- Navigation – Store hours, location, services, customer service information
- Transaction – Product comparison, reviews, pricing
3. Structured Data Optimization: Ensure you submit your sitemap to the Google Search Console, make your site structure easy for Google to crawl through, earn as many content-rich snippets as possible, and use correct schemas for crucial markups on your site.
Give Your Business a Competitive Edge through Voice Search Optimization
Searchers are always on the lookout for simple, fast and accurate responses. A voice search optimized website will help to:
- Boost your on-SERP rankings
- Provide relevant and satisfying answers to user searches
- Increase traffic to your landing pages
Unlock the true potential of voice search optimization and enjoy the benefits of being an early adopter of this phenomenon. Not sure where to start or how to go about being future-ready?
Book a discovery meeting with your SEO Ottawa experts at WSI eStrategies. Let’s meet and discuss a customized voice content strategy that helps you dominate the voice search results for your industry.