Let’s start this blog with some interesting findings:
- There were around one billion voice searches every month as of January 2018. (Alpine.AI)
- One in six Americans owns a voice-activated smart speaker. (Edison Research and NPR)
- Majority of those who owned voice-activated smart speakers (72%) say that they use these devices in their daily lives. (Google)
- 65% of those who own an Amazon Echo or Google Home say they can’t imagine going back to the days before they had a smart speaker. (GeoMarketing)
Although voice-activated devices are still relatively new, these figures prove how they’ve become ingrained into the lives of the masses. On top of that, they are expected to continue penetrating more aspects of life, business, and society, especially with the ceaseless advancement of technology.
As a digital marketer, this is a trend you must pay close attention to. Understanding the way your target market conducts searches related to your brand will allow you to show up in the results they get.
Going from Desktop to Mobile, and Finally, to Voice
Before, the only way most people can search for things on the Internet was through web browsers on desktops. Users have to open the search engine of their choice, type in their query, and browse through the results pages.
After smartphones became widely used in the late 2000s, people started using their mobile devices for online searches more. Having a handy device made it easier for them to look things up on the fly, such as “24/7 plumbing services near me”. This behavior change prompted both search engines and marketers to adapt.
It was in 2017 that Google, the biggest search engine today, started rolling out a mobile-first search index. This aims to prioritize websites that are mobile-optimized to help users better.
The recent years then saw the rise of voice search. It is becoming increasingly prevalent at present, just like how mobile search was new yet rapidly becoming widespread during the age of desktop.
Key Differences of Voice Search Compared to Desktop and Mobile Search
While Google voice search has been on the rise in recent years, SEO marketers are still finding it difficult to capture relevant data and adapt to it.
This struggle can be linked to the distinct characteristics of voice search. The main differentiating point is that consumers use different words to find what they are looking for.
In desktop and mobile searches, people tend to use terse and efficient queries. However, when using voice search, people word their queries as if they were asking another human. This makes the queries longer, more conversational, and even grammatically correct.
Such queries consequently require a new keyword strategy—something that considers conversational phrases as well as user interest and intent.
Tips for Voice Search Optimization
While optimizing for voice search in websites can seem like a big project, there are small steps you can take to get started:
- Pay attention to how your customers ask your customer reps questions. These are likely worded the same way they compose their voice search queries.
- Rather than rank for specific keywords, think about how to answer these questions. Your FAQs page can be the best place to include this on your website.
- Verify your local business on Google. Then, add your name, address, and phone number. This will increase your chances of being seen in voice searches for local businesses.
Optimizing your website for voice search is a great way to further improve your online presence and visibility. It allows you to reach your target market easier, especially those which are looking for businesses in your area. While this aspect of digital marketing is still a rapidly growing one, you can get started by following the tips mentioned above and staying updated with the latest trends.
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