The rise of voice search in across the world is going to play a massive role in the way consumers find answers that businesses provide. It’s predicted that 50% of all online searches will be voice searches by the year 2020. While there are many cultural and societal factors to consider when it comes to the growth of voice search, the reality is that the rise in digital assistants and the continuous improvement of word and phrase recognition abilities are the two biggest factors influencing this trend.
Key stats to know about voice search
- There are over 1 billion voice searches per month. (January 2018)
- There will be over 1 Billion Voice Assistant enabled devices in circulation by the end of 2018.
- By the end of the 2018 (Google) Assistant will reach 95 percent of all eligible Android phones worldwide
We can clearly see the focus that is being put on voice search by consumers, so what do we do as marketers to counteract this change?
The first step is to understand the differences in each forms of search, humans on average can speak about 150 words per minute, where as they can type roughly 40 words per minute.
Difference between voice and traditional search
What this means, is that when a previously typed search for the iPhone X might have been “iPhone X cost” we can begin to anticipate searches like “How much does the iPhone X cost and do you think it’s worth it?”. This will play a key role in the future of your SEO strategies. The ability to identify what are being called “conversational, long-tail keyword phrases” will be more valuable now than ever before, as customers will be searching for answers to more specific questions.
Voice Assistants things to know
Understanding the role that voice assistants will have in consumers daily lives is a key factor for the future of your company’s SEO plans. There are a few primary differences between a voice assistant’s capabilities and those of voice search from a smart phone:
- Voice assistants can only respond with one answer
- Certain assistants like Alexa will not respond if the answer is not a 100% factual response to the question
- Most voice assistants can’t display photo or video content, they simply respond with answers to questions
From these three things we can obviously see that there are a few key factors to consider when creating and updating your website. First of all, we can see the importance of being located as the number in “position 0” on popular search sites like Google, Yahoo! and Bing as those are the responses that will be given to consumers. Second you can see the importance of answering questions clearly and correctly on your website in order to garner a response from a voice assistant. Finally, with the rise of visual content production it is important to remember the role that answering questions via different formats can play.
Recommendations for your business
For the reasons previously mentioned, a frequently asked questions page can play an extremely important role in the future of your SERP results. As more searches will be related to distinct questions it is important that your business provide the answers to those questions in order to drive results.
Ultimately when it comes to new technology that effects your business there’s no better way to understand it than to test it. Using your smartphone or voice assistant and repeatedly searching for the answers that your company provides to client questions is the most surefire way of understanding Voice Search Engine Optimization or VSEO. However, due to the increasing capabilities of search engine algorithms, it is important to remain proactive with this practice, because Alexa giving you an answer one day doesn’t mean it will be the same the next.
If you’re not preparing your SEO for the changes in the future of Search, your missing out on many opportunities. I hope these thoughts helped you get started!
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