The advent of the digital age has completely transformed our daily lives, especially the way we search for information. Voice search is no longer viewed as something that’s nothing more than a sci-fi trope. It has arrived and is being used in full flow right now. Consumers have made voice search a vital part of their interactions, including everything from handheld to home devices. So, voice search optimization being one of the top SEO trends in 2018 is also something which needs to be looked at seriously.
But like all things new and shiny, search for voice also comes with its list of doubts and queries. And it is addressed to all concerned parties – consumers, technology providers and marketers as well.
The questions that are often asked are
- Can voice search be monetized? If yes, how?
- What kind of questions is suitable for voice search?
- Is voice search performance trackable?
- Why is voice search used at all?
Let’s start at the very beginning with a background on what Voice Search really is.
Like the name suggests, it’s fairly simple to comprehend. Voice Search lets users talk their heart out – well, not really, but it does allow them to directly ask queries to a search engine through their cell phone, or any other desktop device. Following the voice command, the search engine then looks for data that answers the consumer’s question.
When it comes to providers, they use voice search to understand a user’s profile as well as gauge any intentions through the questions asked. They also take into consideration their geography and their browsing history when they attempt to answer the query in a jiffy.
Since it’s been around for over 10 years or more, voice search has had its fair share of funny moments, with weird bloopers and gaffs. So, users found it safe to type in the questions, rather than go with voice search in the past. But now, things are transforming at a frankly unbelievable rate.
Google’s Hummingbird algorithm has helped users get closer to conversational searches. This indicates that Voice Search seems to be next natural step that will see development alongside movements in the conversational search.
Moving ahead, as we witness natural language processes progressing, we’ll realize the importance of digital P.As. like Alexa and Siri. They will second guess our conversations, participate with us in our banter, and even go forward and shoot questions at us and, on the way, comprehend the true meaning of our sentences.
Google Assistant is already out there doing all this and more. With the ability to ask questions, this technology understands the user better and performs actions such as the booking of tickets, setting up reminders, and so much more.
But Google’s not alone; Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and Baidu are all part of the game and are investing fantastically in what is apparently poised to be the next big thing.
Why is voice search so significant?
Voice recognition, voice search and natural language processing are of utmost importance to the world’s biggest IT companies. They are incessantly striving to make it both all-pervasive and seamless. Digital assistants, driven by the technology that fortifies voice search, can connect everything from your home to your car, and even your workplace. Voice search optimization will also gain significance, not only because of the enhanced technology at the consumer’s’ disposal but also because a lot of people have grown up with this feature and are accustomed to using it as a matter of convenience. Voice search also offers the chance to give its users exactly what they need, regardless of the size of the business. For example, if the customer says, “Give me directions to the closest cafe,” he will in all probability reach one of the independent ones.
Some tips on how to tackle the rise of voice search SEO:
1. Use speech the way you speak – naturally
Most of us speak in one manner and type in another form when we are looking for something online. While speaking, it is generally a full sentence like – “where can I find a flea market in the UK?” or something along those lines. However, when one puts this into words, it can become as short as – “Flea market in the UK.” So, it is imperative for voice search to know and understand the user’s natural way to converse.
With advancements in voice search, the error rates have come down to almost 8% from 20% in just 5 years. It’s becoming more adept at picking up our speech styles and quirky pronunciations. This will obviously be considered in the strategies devised by marketers, who are interested in voice search.
There are tools available online that assist with the development of language as well. These tools present the natural speech patterns of users who prefer voice search over anything else.
Your content should also be a reflection of your interest in voice search. Incorporating natural speech into your content will help you improve your ranking considerably. Using a chatty or informal tone will help pick up on the shades of colloquialism or everyday language.
2. Long-tail keywords
Short-tail keywords seemingly come across as irrelevant, especially in the case of voice searches. This is because consumers use natural phrases when using voice search. A recent study shows that around 20% of mobile queries are voice searches, and the trend is growing faster as compared to type search. So, it is gaining more importance by the day to make sure that the right keywords are used so as to capture the essence of voice searches.
Conversational, long-tail keywords will also aid in boosting your SEO. Long-tail keywords encompass some extremely detailed keyword phrases that are generally utilised by users who are intent on buying something. Taking this into consideration, the keywords should be able to flesh out product characteristics, features and advantages.
For example, if you deal with modern lighting solutions, the succinct keyword “lights” will not help you engage users or even capture their attention if they are using voice search.
But keywords like “modernist architecture inspired ceiling light” will better showcase what your prospective customers want or are looking for.
3. Mobile should be a major focus
The fact that mobile is big news is a very old statement. But, with voice search becoming so big, mobile has become even more important than before. More than 50% of search queries come from mobile, so marketers are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to boosting their SEO with regards to voice search.
Marketers know that most voice searches are done while on the move. So, they need to ensure that the content is optimized accordingly in context of voice search optimization.
Some vital pointers to be taken care of:
- Search will take the route of a more natural, conversational approach.
- The need and the norm of the day will be long-tail keyword terms, as voice search becomes detailed and longer.
- Report on voice search through Structured Query Reporter (SQR) information, and Search Analytics will be made available in the near future, with digital assistants sharing their data.
- Content will give users straight and direct answers to the queries that have been asked. The focus will be on precision and accuracy, not succinctness.
- The leaders in the game will focus and grow on the basis of providing the best answer for any voice search queries.
- Amazon might go ahead and use augmented reality to synergize its offline stores with its e-commerce experience.
- There will be a rise in the search results where videos are concerned. This will be so because the medium is apt for voice search results interface.
- Google will try and come up with innovative ways to monetize its products.