If you haven’t heard of Voice Search by now, you will probably be told that you live under a rock. But the the truth is, the digital age is advancing so fast that keeping up is tough! Voice Search has been growing rapidly over the past decade and varied over a range of different products and devices. Not only is it incredibly smart, with only a reported 8% of word error (being 20% in 2012), it’s also incredibly awesome! However, as the number of consumers increase, it becomes more important for businesses with less popular content to make adjustments in order to get an audience that will be happy with the results you are providing.
In this article, I will be giving information about both SEO and Voice Search technology as well as how they impact one another. There will also be tips for fellow marketers reading this that will like some verbal assistance on how to make those adjustments.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the process of affecting the rank of a website on a search engine’s results. Your rank will depend on your quality of your website and it is your responsibility to make sure your page is updated to the audience’s expectations. SEO looks at many varieties of features from your website to determine your rank; For example, analyzing your keywords, titles and meta description are only a few factors that may affect your rank.
In a nutshell, if your content, titles and meta descriptions are effective and relevant, your SEO rank will be high, and the higher your rank is, the more likely your information will be used to answer the questions asked to the voice search devices.
What is it?
Voice Search is a speech recognition software that allows users to search any questions or theories by using their voice instead of a search field. You can ask questions like “what will the weather be like today?”, “what is the best rated restaurant in London?” or “where is the closest service station?”, the questions are limitless! Additionally, there are many different types of voice search that can be used for many different things in different places. For instance:
- Alexa by Amazon is a virtual assistant built into a small smart speaker that is usually located in your home; it plays your music, makes your shopping list, allows you to set reminders etc.
- However things like Siri by Apple and Cortana by Microsoft/Windows allow you to swiftly search your queries with your voice on a mobile device, PC or even a gaming console.
How does it work?
The device senses when a person is talking to them, then it takes keywords from the given question or sentence, and then attempts to find the answer on the internet using a complex national language processing system. However, depending on which device you are using also depends on which search engine is being used to find the answer; Such as, Google Home uses Google (obviously) and Alexa uses Bing but also uses your Amazon account’s shopping data to find the most appropriate answer.
You also have the option to customize your virtual assistant, whether you would like to change the language, accent or even gender. So it just adds more entertainment to using Voice Search.
How does Voice Search impact SEO?
One of the main reasons voice search impacts SEO is because of the use of natural speech; Because of the development of the Voice Search technology, it has allowed SEO to become more advanced as well, also meaning that the competition for top rank is becoming bigger and bigger. Furthermore, Voice Search uses SEO to find the most relevant and effective answer by using the keywords you provided to the device. Using voice search immediately makes consumers talk the way they talk instead of the way they type. It’s true isn’t it? i guarantee most people don’t talk the way they type. So when you use Voice Search, you naturally ask the question the same way you would ask another human being.
As a result, the use of natural speech impacts SEO significantly because it means businesses are required to use specific patterns in their keywords and meta description etc. In order to boost your rankings, I would recommend you put natural speech into your content so it is picked up by SEO data.
Another point, with Voice Search devices becoming more and more advertised, the products are increasing in numbers significantly, which is also majorly affecting the usage of search engine’s – with it being a more conversational gadget, it is understandable that normal search engines are being overtaken by the communicating speakers. Evidently, in 2016, only 20% of answered queries were represented by Voice Search devices, but now, over half of queries are asked on Voice Search using mobile devices. And as the number of consumers keeps on continues increasing, so does the companies that decide to become involved and make their own dupe of an Alexa or Google Home etc. which will mean the percentage will keep on rising.
Research from MindMelds virtual assistant research report states the primary situations why consumers use their Voice Search devices:
- 22% Entertainment
- 24% Difficulty typing
- 61% Useful when user is occupied
- 30% Faster results
- 12% To avoid confusing web pages
- 1% Other reasons.
Therefore, it is highly evident that consumers would prefer to use a Voice Search Assistant than use normal websites and web pages etc. This effects SEO because of it’s usage of natural speech patterns which therefore makes it a lot more advanced for marketers or business owner’s. Meaning, that smart business owner’s should be looking at developing new methods and strategies for SEO so they can boost their rankings. More importantly, you need to add more clever and appropriate key words that will reflect natural speech.
I really hope this Blog helped and provided you with enough information.