Did you ever notice how voice search has become a part of our everyday life? It is predicted by 2020, that half of all online searches will be made through voice search. Of those searches, 30% will be made using a device without a screen. This means that people have changed their behavior on how they used to type a search query. So, the question is will there be any changes to your current SEO strategy? The answer is yes. Read on as we will tell you the reason why and give you some useful tips on how to optimize your website using voice search.
What is Voice Search?
Voice search allows users to speak into a mobile or computer or device (smart speakers) to search for information. If you’ve ever said, “hey Siri, hey Google or hey Alexa”, then chances are, you were actively using voice search to find information, for example, to find a restaurant, to find out if it’s raining on the weekend or directions to a friend’s house. Recent stats show that 41% of adults use voice search daily, 20% of Google mobile queries are voice searches and voice search has grown 35x since 2008.
Voice Search and Smart Speakers Marketing
So, what is driving the popularity of Voice Search? Simply put it’s easier to speak than to type. An average person can type around 40 words per minute but can speak around 150 words per minute. This is the reason why companies like Amazon and Google focused on developing smart speakers so that they could improve user experiences for search.
The other driver behind voice search is that it’s both convenient and perfect for mobile searches. It’s a fact that nearly 60% of mobile searchers use voice search at some point. The popularity of smart speakers will no doubt lead to both and homes and offices having smart speakers to control other devices such as lights, televisions and even the temperature.
Eventually, with the rise of demand and availability of a wider selection of smart speakers will lead to the products becoming more affordable. Woolworths recently began surprising their online customers with a free Google Home Mini when they purchased their groceries online. But there is a marketing trick unbeknownst to their customers. It’s designed to encourage Woolworths’ customers to add items to their Woolworths shopping list via voice through Google Home.
How does it work?
Well, Google has introduced Actions on Google which allows brands to create their own software to extend the functionality of the Google Assistant. Actions are equivalent to apps for mobile devices in the voice-assistant world. When a user gives a voice request, speech recognition would connect the request with the most relevant Action and activate it.
To capitalize on voice search, smart speakers’ companies have been working hard on refining the accuracy of their voice recognition. Google has an accuracy of 95% and China’s iFlytek has a speech recognition system with an accuracy rate of 98%. Their system has translation function that not only able to translate English to Mandarin, but also Mandarin to other different languages such as Korean, Japanese and other Chinese dialects. They are working on achieving 99% accuracy in the next three years.
This global trend to perfect voice technology shows that marketers or business owners should regularly fine-tune their SEO strategy to optimize for voice search. Here are some of our best tips to optimize your website for voice search:
#1 Consider User Intent
Most people who used voice search are most likely were looking for a very specific piece of information, for example, the address or opening hours of a store, the price of a specific product or whether a business is offering a specific type of service. Therefore, it is substantial to answer those questions pre-emptively in your website content.
User intent includes How-to guides, for example, someone could ask, how do I change a light bulb? And this may be linked to an article provided by a lighting company.
Don’t stop there, consider optimizing your FAQ page or add an FAQ page to your website, so that Google can present your content when people do a search.
#2 Target and Bid on Long-Tail Keywords
As the voice queries are getting more specific, long-tail keywords may work better for your website optimization. By utilizing conversational keywords and phrases, you will stand a higher chance of ranking for these enquires and appearing prominently in search results.
For owners who invest in Google Ads, long-tail keywords are often significantly cheaper and boost much better click-through rates than shorter queries.
#3 Update your Google My Business Listing
22% of voice search queries are looking for location-based content. Therefore, it is important to concentrate on local searches while investing in voice search marketing.
Firstly, you need to make sure your business is updated on Google My Business. The more current the information in your Google My Business listing is, the more useful it will be for your business. You can even update information such as whether parking is available at your business location.
#4 Optimize Ad Campaigns for ‘Near Me’ Searches
AdWords’ location extension and Local Search Ads in Google Maps are the powerful techniques that you should consider, and they ensure your ads are being displayed to those high-motivated on-the-go shoppers.
This is crucially important if you want to stand out in those strongly commercial ‘near me’ searches and it can help drive more foot traffic to your store or location.
As we can see, smart speakers are quickly becoming integrated into our everyday lifestyle and will no doubt become a significant mainstream of advertising in the future. Therefore, it is important to start now in formalizing a good SEO and marketing strategy for voice-based search in order to ensure your business is discoverable in the next five years.
Want to learn more about utilizing voice search as your competitive advantage? Join us in our upcoming event on 4th July 2019 as we are going to discuss the future of Voice Search and Smart Speakers. Book your ticket now