Voice Search is a speech recognition technology that allows users to speak directly to a search engine via their home and handheld devices. Using finely tuned automatic speech recognition (ASR) and natural language understanding (NLU) mechanisms, voice search looks for data that reflects the user’s query based on the voice command.
Voice Search Trends
Voice search has been around for well over a decade, but it is just recently surpassing the usage of its text-based counterpart.
Voice search is a developing trend both in terms of its adoption among consumers and its technological advancement. The increased speed of speaking versus typing and the hands-free advantage make it a more effective and efficient method of requesting information.
Technology is also continually evolving to better understand the intent of the user along with the context of their search, accounting for things such as past searches and location. As a result, the implications of voice search mean incredible marketing opportunities when embraced with a user-centric, search-first perspective.
According to a Google study conducted by Northstar Research, over half of U.S. teens and 41% of U.S. adults use voice search daily, with its use continuing to grow every day. This demographic insight indicates that voice search will become more prevalent over time; not just because of improvements in technology, but also because of the increased number of people who have grown up with voice search who are accustomed to using it.
By the end of 2017 there will be more than 30 million voice assistants (Amazon Echo, Google Home, Siri, etc.) in U.S. homes. For 2017, the number of smartphone users in the United States is projected to reach 222.9 million with worldwide users predicted to exceed 2 billion! Increasing access to these platforms will also be contributing factors in the expansion of Voice Search usage.
Optimizing for Voice Search
Many search marketers over optimize their web pages by placing keywords everywhere. Voice search doesn’t use solely keywords to provide customers with the closest information that’s relative to their search.
Steps can be taken to get your website voice search optimized by writing content in a rational voice, using natural phrases and questions instead of SEO-driven keyword language.
Because voice-based search queries are structured differently than typed queries, businesses will need to focus their SEO to address the likelihood of speaking mannerisms and conversational tones associated with natural voice search inquiries to draw in the most traffic to their site.
This requires the inclusion of long-tail keywords and full phrases versus the shorter keyword strategy of the past. Searches will need to adapt to a more conversational approach as voice queries tend to be longer and more detailed.
Natural Language Processing
The effective nature of voice searches prompts urgent needs to be fulfilled in our search queries. Major cornerstone phrases outline the most common speaking terminology when users utilize voice search technology such as “how to,” “near me,” and “I want to know.”
66% of smartphone users use the ‘I want to know’ query on their mobile device to learn more about TV commercials. With each search, users provide the advertiser with an opportunity to establish greater traffic to their site which, in turn, can lead to more total conversions.
SEO strategy focuses around the goal of shortening the gap between initial drawn interest and final sale conversion and voice search technology is an instrumental piece of that puzzle. Through the efficient approach of voice search technology advertisers can generate more interest in their product, drive more traffic onto their site, and better captivate the interest of the customer.
Importance of Mobile Friendliness
As voice search technology continues to advance, search queries continue to enhance their efficiency and mobile friendliness. The easy nature of utilizing mobile devices prompts users to turn to their phones, in fact, 82% of smartphone users consult their phone while in a store. The accessibility of voice search on a mobile device has prompted businesses to implement search engine optimization techniques into their digital marketing strategies in attempt to land more potential customers on their page. Utilizing the advantages of the mobile friendly voice search nature creates endless opportunities for many companies.
This action can initiate an enormous amount of external impact on the commonalities of potential customers using apps and specific landing pages more frequently. The common “how to” inquiry search phrase has generated 70% growth on YouTube year-over-year. This growth directly stems from the furthering development of voice search mechanics that continues to land users on relevant sites. This traffic generated highlights the advancement of voice search and the search efficiency it provides for its users.
Targeting Local Searches
Location based searches have been a major advancement for voice search technology as “near me” search queries have doubled in the past year. This truly exemplifies the value we assess on local based searches, putting emphasis on the importance of maps to pinpoint you and provide venues of interest near you. Location plays a role in 80% of all searches, but wording plays an important role in today’s digital marketing approach.
For example, someone may be more likely to say, “Where is the closest coffee shop?” then “Coffee shop New York City”. If you ask, “Which toy shops open at 8 AM near me?” you need to make sure you list the exact location and hours of operations to be able to be a viable answer for the user.
Voice Search is undoubtedly one of the top SEO trends for 2017 and beyond. Optimizing your digital marketing to address this evolving opportunity for customer interface is critical for future success!