Welcome to Voice search – Prepare your SEO now!

Google Voice Search

Mind-blowing statistics are now being released on a daily basis surrounding the adoption of voice search. Whilst it’s not new, growth over the past few years and the mainstream adoption of the technology has been staggering. 

With Google confirming its voice search is now available to over one billion people and the company’s speech recognition software now supporting 119 languages (including emoji!), we thought it’d be a good time to explore how voice is impacting digital marketing and SEO.

Google aren’t the only one monitising voice search with apps and the Google Home Speaker. The cries of “Alexa…” are growing ever more common in households worldwide and with Apple announcing the HomePod, the race for pride of place as the home smart speaker is officially on. With Siri, Google Now and Cortana fighting the same war in our pockets, voice search is now unavoidable.Voice Search GIF

Increase in voice searching on the web means we’d be fools not to consider the ways it will change SEO in particular.

Before we delve into how marketing and SEO strategies will have to adapt, let’s take a look at a few highlight statistics from the thousands available:

  • “A predicted 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020” – Comscore
  • “Nearly 50% of people are now using voice search when researching products.”- Social Media Today
  • “55% of teenagers are using voice search every day and 56% use it because it helps them feel more ‘tech-savvy’”- Northstar Research
  • “40% of adults now use voice search once per day” – Location World

These statistics show the opportunity for businesses to capitialise on voice search by getting their products/ services heard. This matters just as much for local businesses, so what can we do to prepare you for voice search?

Longer Keywords

The increased use of voice search means that long tail keywords are going to become more important within digital marketing strategies. Voice search encourages users to search for longer more detailed queries. When typing, users tend to adopt a shorthand searching approach for quick search phrases. When using voice search we are more likely to use long search queries with more details, this means a focus on long tail keywords for products and services may be beneficial in your quest for higher ranking positions.

Importance of natural language

Natural conversation mannerisms influence how we search with voice. Instead of stating phrases, we ask more questions. Use of terms like ‘who, what, where, when and how’ will become more important to implement on your website. Similar to the length of search terms, users are less likely to search for short queries such as ‘web design Peterborough’ and more likely to ask “Who can build me a website in Peterborough?” An FAQ section on your site can help to use these exact phrases while supplying the answers your customers are looking for. We also need to start delving deeper into the intent of the user, what are they looking for? Finding out these answers means you can evolve your content to become more user-focused.

Content is still King, but will need to adapt as well.

As technologies evolve, your content will also need to adapt. With users now asking Google questions aloud, the importance of your content reading in a natural and conversational manner becomes even more important than it has been perceived to be previously. Read it aloud to ensure it would make sense if Alexa was dictating it to a customer. In the same respect, it will also make sense from an SEO perspective.

We’ve touched on the tip of the iceberg here and look forward to investigating this more in follow-up blogs. We’re also interested to hear from those of you already embracing voice. What are your experiences? What have you ordered already using voice only? Let us know in the comments below.