How Can your Business Take Advantage of the Meteoric Rise of Voice Search?

Voice search usage is seeing unprecedented growth with personal assistant devices such as Siri, Alexa, Google Now and Cortana leading the way.

Advances in voice commands being accurately captured is certainly contributing to the rise.

Many providers are now moving towards 95% accuracy, but there’s still significant room for improvement.

As new technologies develop, consumer behaviour is evolving with it and this brings with it demand for new SEO and search strategies. Optimising web content for verbal search queries is now an essential tactic to be adopted.

In 2016, Google revealed 20% of mobile queries on the Android app were voice searches and this number is only set to increase as more and more people adopt digital assistants through mobile and tablet devices. Comscore is predicting 50% of all search queries will be voice search by the year 2020!

The primary reason voice search is used are usually when hands or vision is in use – for instance when driving.  Apple’s carplay for example, enables iPhone users to talk to Siri through their vehicle console and conduct hands free searches.

However, there is further evidence suggesting voice search primary use is at home across four key areas including; personal assistant type activities, such as creating calendar events and appointment reminders, making shopping lists, making phone calls.  Fun and Entertainment factors highly, buying or listening to music, sports line-ups and TV listings. General information for web search, recipes, news updates and travel and for accessing Local information, such as directions for shopping, restaurants, pizza delivery, weather forecasts and traffic congestion.

It’s a convenient on the go alternative enabling users to operate hands free, it’s no surprise its growing in popularity

A key question this growth raises, how might businesses create a strategy for taking advantage of the rise in voice search? It certainly has great potential to affect how local businesses are found. And what can be expected in the future?

The way individuals interact through voice versus the search box are different and there are significant challenges to be overcome in the future.

Marketers are continuing to figure out how voice search queries and their results are differentiated to search engine results and how they can help their customers take advantage of the opportunity the growth in voice search presents.

Some factors to consider how voice search is changing the nature of search.

  1. Keyword Optimisation will change and migrate more towards Longer Search Queries. People speak differently to how they type. Online businesses might consider optimising their websites for longer-tail search terms.
  1. Bing searches may increase. Given Alexa will respond with answers based on the Bing search engine and Amazon Echo uptake is on the rise, it’s worth ensuring your organic Bing rankings are performing and assess long tail keywords using Bings keyword research tool.
  1. Use of more natural language. Considering writing content that matches conversational tones of voice and researching common phrases are being used when speaking to digital assistants, is another way to approach optimisation.
  1. Schema Markup should be given real priority. This HTML add-on assists the search engines understand the context of your content. Optimising your site and making it as easy to read as possible supports improved rankings and will increase the opportunity for the most relevant results appearing for voice search.
  1. Undertake some research, using Google Analytics, Google Search consoled and other third party tools to identify what people are verbalising when using voice search is a good place to start
  1. Cater to increased demand for direct answers. Writing content around answering questions is a key consideration for optimising for voice search.
  1. FAQ pages can be great for voice search. Undertake long tail keyword research, create answers using a conversational tone and set this up as a FAQ page.
  1. Intent over keywords. Digital assistants are being coded to identify user’s intent versus simple use of keywords. As this continues to advance, the top assistants will be able to bridge the gap between a series of related questions, users past searches and access to email and calendars to serve up highly relevant answers.

User friendly websites with natural conversational tones of content have always been important, but in the context of the explosive growth happening with voice search, optimising on these factors and much more will help to bring a competitive advantage online.

Contact the Williams Commerce Marketing team to discuss how we can support your Digital Marketing agenda online.  Email [email protected] or phone 0116 326 1116.

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