Voice search is here. Voice search is now. And voice search is our future. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, now is the time to start optimizing your content for voice.
Originating from the smartphone trend of voice search, where Apple and Google introduced voice assistants on their smartphone operating systems, we now have voice interactions through the likes of Apple Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa/Echo. This seems to be a growing trend across all the main digital platform providers and these voice assistants are predominately used for search queries.
The younger they are, the more they use voice search!
Google highlighted that more than 20% of mobile queries are voice-based and this will only grow by 2020. 40% of millennials have already started making search queries through a voice assistant, prior to making a purchase. In fact, statistics show that the younger you are, the more likely you are to switch to and prefer voice-activated search as opposed to traditional search engines.
Yet for most SEO professionals, not much has changed in the way they optimize content for this new way to search. Now is the perfect time to pay attention to voice search and to start incorporating SEO strategies that can increase your chances to show up in voice results.
How they search is different!
Voice search and personal voice assistants like Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, Google Home, Amazon Echo and the Apple HomePod have shifted how people search. Instead of typing a cryptic search phrase like “hair stylist Chicago,” people using voice search can ask a question as if they’re talking to another person: “OK, Google, where should I go to get a haircut?”
If you ask Alexa what’s going on today, you can hear your personalized “flash briefing” that contains information like the local weather forecast, local news highlights, what’s on your calendar and other quick tidbits of things Alexa already knows you’re interested in. It’s a great time-saver.
Use of voice technology and number of devices are growing
There are many search assistants on the market, but there are new players emerging as well. According to reports, Alexa will be added to personal computers (PCs) and laptops from a couple of the big brands. This could make Alexa a significant challenger to Cortana.
Google Assistant is available on 400 million devices (like Android smartphones, Google Home and other tablets and devices.) According to specialists, the use of smart devices will continue to grow.
Voice search continues to grow
According to statistics, half of smartphone users use voice technology, and of those, one in three use it daily.
When it comes to SEO, you need to have a solid understanding of some of the search strategies that can help you rank for voice search, especially since voice search volumes continue to climb. By understanding these strategies and effectively using them on your site, you can increase your odds of being the answer to a question.
Voice search optimization basics
When you’re optimizing for voice search, you need to think about SEO differently. For instance, unlike typical searches you do on your computer, voice search are longer than their text counterparts; they tend to be three to five or more keywords. This means you need to change the way you do keyword research and think about longer long-tail keywords.
Search queries also tend to specifically ask a question and typically use trigger words like who, how, what, where, best, where, why and when. Use these words in your content.