The Arrival of Voice Search and Why You Need to Prepare For It

Search engines are always working hard to return better results for users’ queries. They frequently update their algorithms to improve customer experience and return results that best answer the search terms entered by users. User behaviour itself is changing as more people now prefer voice search over typing. No one can deny the importance of voice search these days, especially with the rise of digital assistants and smart home devices. Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and Alexa are the sign of things to come as science fiction transforms into reality right before our eyes. There are still significant challenges to overcome but the pace of progress so far has been phenomenal and it is only expected to continue. They are also collaborating, as it was recently announced that Alexa and Cortana would be accessing each other to provide a better user experience. Advancements in voice-based search also tie in closely with other developments in fields like IoT and machine learning.

 

As per Google’s own report, about half of all Android users already use voice search at least once every day. Understandably, the numbers are biased in favour of younger users, particularly teenagers. Even so, when taken together, this demographic represents the bulk of online business drivers. This is precisely the reason why you need to work to make your website voice-search friendly. As you may have guessed, voice searches are a breed apart from normal searches we are so used to. Consequently, before you make any drastic changes to your website, it is important to understand how voice search is different from text-based search. Here are few things to keep in mind.

 

Voice-based Search is Conversational: Voice search, by its very nature, is conversational. People are less likely to speak just keywords when talking to a voice search assistant. It is the content that best matches the user intent based on the spoken search query gets to rank in the search results. The same content may rank differently for text-based search queries. However, since voice-based search is growing rapidly, it is essential to create content with this in mind. A reputed content writing company can help you create new content to better match voice-based search queries of your potential users.

 

It Uses More Words than Text-based Search Queries: When people use digital assistants, they tend to use complete phrases and sentences to ask their questions. One of the reasons is that they are not confined to the typically small search box on their browser. They are free to speak as if they were talking to a real person. It is, therefore, important to have different variations of your keywords in your content. Currently, search assistants use advanced algorithms to filter out conversational words and they are getting better at recognising user intent. Furthermore, different people have their own way of speaking and you need to spend some time to consider user intent and language of your potential customers. What words are they more likely to use? Not industry jargon, for sure. Unless, of course, you are trying to optimise for something industry-specific.

 

The Questions are More Direct and Specific: As discussed already, a spoken search query is longer than a typical text search parameter. For similar reasons, people often ask direct and specific questions when they use voice-based search or digital assistants on mobile devices. They are often in a hurry to get the answer. To get a chance to be ranked for voice-based search queries, your content must have a conversational tone and succinct answers. It will be helpful to have a content strategy based on your potential customer’s frequently asked questions.

 

Local Search Accounts for a Considerable Chunk of Voice Search Queries: According to Google, more than 20% of all web searches are now voice-based. This number is only going to increase with more people adopting digital assistants as they get better and offer increased functions and usability. One of the major factors that you must keep in mind is that localised search is even more important for voice searches. A user may not even specify the location but the search engine returns local results anyway. For example, if you ask Siri to find a good restaurant, you do not want to see results for another city. A good SEO Services Company can help you rank high for your keywords in local searches. They will also be able to guide you to create content that matches voice-based search queries.

 

Web search is evolving with voice enabled technology and it is will pay off well if you start adapting right now. With voice-based search quickly gaining traction, you must be prepared to keep your SEO strategies focused on creating value and great customer experience for the user. This is about more than just getting an edge over your competitors in search rankings. It also ensures you provide your customers with a great experience right from the moment they start their search.

Posted in Google Updates