The Evolving Landscape of Voice Search in Digital Marketing
Voice search, the most convenient mode of search used by most of the folks in this era has been dominating the usual search scenarios over these years. Voice search is not at all a new one to the table and it has certainly been a habit of many to search their queries on the internet instead of typing the entire keyword, saving one’s valuable time.
On average, 65% of the individuals in the 25 to 50 age group use their voice-enabled devices at least once a day- PwC reports. Mobile users are buzzing to adopt voice search more rapidly as compared to other devices. Around 27% of the online population and 31% of mobile users across the world make use of voice search more than once a week, and a lion’s share of users comes under the age of 18.
Estimates show that over half of the searches done on Google are via Voice and the reason for the strong impact on searches is due to the increase in accuracy and ease of use. It continues to experience a technological breakthrough with the introduction of Voice Assistants like Alexa by Amazon, Google Assistant, and Siri by Apple.
Google Voice Search
Developed in Google Labs, Google Voice Search was initially launched on May 20, 2012. Its functions were complicated at the earlier times and now voice search has become more streamlined. The version we use today is compatible with most products and applications, and plays as the core part of Google that is grabbing its popularity day by day.
It was the introduction of the Google Hummingbird update that has made a significant change in Google searches. Hummingbird helped search engines to find and provide better search results much easier even if the user intent is vague, the same applies with voice search also. Google has enabled voice search in its other apps such as Google Maps to easily find the directions one looks for while driving and also in Google Mobile App that featured one-touch voice search.
Trending Voice Search Devices and Platforms
The rise in usage of voice search has pushed the IT companies to invent devices that simply work on user directions. Let’s have a look at these platforms.
Siri is the voice-enabled assistant introduced by Apple and it is available on all devices where you can find it very useful. It can search for the information you want, can be used for sending messages and setting appointments, reminders, etc. via voice-activated commands. Furthermore, it can rephrase and narrow your search if it does not get your intent or query properly.
Google Home is a voice-activated device that came to enrich the smart speakers developed by the search giant. It uses the wake words “Ok Google” or “Hey Google” like that we use in our mobile devices.
Amazon introduced Alexa as an answer to Siri and Google Home. Alexa offers many more features than other voice assistants including making calls based on your contact list, controlling TV/AV system, playing radio stations, etc.
Microsoft hosted their voice assistant Cortana in 2014, relatively late to the table. Cortana works with algorithms that help it to fetch your preferences and habits, and can offer you web searches and can schedule your daily activities accordingly.
Voice Search Optimization
Now it’s time to discuss how voice search impacts on digital marketing landscape and how you can prepare for the change.
Prioritizing Featured Snippets
You all are already familiar with the featured snippets, the search results that get featured at the top of the SERPs. It has a vital role in ranking your pages and gained much importance with the voice search as well.
While asking a question to any voice assistant, it first reads the featured snippet for your search query. That simply implies you need to effectively strategize and optimize your content in such a way that it attains a featured snippet on Google’s SERP. By creating high-quality content in question-answer format, you can achieve this goal.
Changing Search Semantics
Most of the people use a conversational tone while using the voice search. For instance, they may be typing “coffee benefits” while doing the normal text searches, they may ask “what are the benefits of consuming coffee” for voice search. So, it has become more often users like to phrase what they want to search as questions. Voice search is natural and conversational in nature, so the semantics of search queries gets prioritized with an impact on the digital marketing landscape where you need to change the overall marketing strategy, re-evaluating the keywords used in the content.
Practice using long-tail keywords in your SEO techniques instead of the short ones and find direct answer’s to the most common questions of the crowd. Learn how they talk, their tone, and the phrasing used in voice search, thereby improving your website ranking in SERPs.
Voice Search and the Mobile Devices
In this modern era where technology is always evolving, people are no longer searching only on their desktop devices. Voice search is dominating the mobile environment as its hands-free features along with mobile makes a convenient tool for the users. It simply means that most of us make use of voice search in our mobile while we are driving, cooking, learning, etc.
Around 70% of people are more likely to buy products from a mobile-friendly website. So you need to make certain that your business website is optimized for mobile, as it will help you stay ahead of the game. This can be done by improving the loading time of your webpage, using larger texts and integrating vertical content, making information easier to find for people, redesigning pop-ups, etc.
Impact of Voice Search on Local SEO
Most people use voice search to easily find things in their local area. For example, folks may be searching “petrol pumps near me” or “Chinese restaurants near me” and reach there without chaos. Studies show that around 22% of voice search queries are looking for location-based content that made local businesses take this opportunity to plan a powerful SEO strategy for voice search. Doing so will drive traffic to your business website and hence grow the sales.
Focussing on both voice search as well as standard search in your local SEO tactic can pave a dominant way to ensure that the customers near you can have quick access to your information via quick searches on their smartphones or smart speakers.
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