What Voice Search Means for the Future of SEO
The way people are searching for information online is rapidly changing. Increasingly, people are using voice search on their smartphones, tablets, or voice assistants to search for information on the internet – so what does this mean for you and your company?
What is Voice Search?
You may have heard the buzz around digital assistants such as Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Google Assistant; but you may be wondering what they do.
These assistants are just some examples of the many smartphones and smart-home devices that allow users to search for answers on the internet by simply asking a question aloud.
Voice search is mobile – and a part of your everyday life
Voice search is quickly becoming second nature for teens and adults alike as the technology is integrated into products that are used on a daily basis. Using this technology, you can now send a text hands-free while driving, navigate between TV and Netflix, and search for local pizza delivery just by asking your home speaker!
But why is this changing the way we search on the internet? Well, the evolution of text-to-speech capabilities has several practical implications.
How is Voice Search Different from Traditional Search Methods?
Voice search gets smarter with every interaction.
It also develops a better understanding of user intent as the search becomes more conversational. The artificial intelligence that powers the devices is programmed to build its knowledge on previous conversations and searches, and understand multiple steps to help users fulfill actions, tasks, and transactions.
The other most significant difference is the conversational voice that drives the search. Instead of just typing a quick phrase into the Google search-bar, the devices can respond to a who-what-where-when-why question. This has two significant implications:
The choice of words used in the phrase can provide more context about user intent. This also can provide advertisers with more insight into where the consumer is within the purchasing process.
If the user chooses to search using a question format, the search results that the device will come across first will be direct responses to the query, or similar ones.
How does Voice Search Affect SEO Rankings?
Nearly 60 percent of searches occur on a mobile device, and more people are finding that it’s easier to use their voice to search instead of typing on tiny screens.
So, SEO professionals need to start thinking about content and SEO differently.
Account for User Intent
If you want to be found via voice search, you have to know what voice search is used for. People will primarily turn to the voice-activated devices when they’re on the go or unable to sit down at a computer.
This means that the main users of voice search are looking for quick solutions to current problems that can be resolved in a convenient manner.
Searches for local businesses account for a large percentage of voice searches. Hours of operation, locations, and services offered are among the top queries – this means that your websites need to have the information readily available and tailored to fit best how search engines produce results.
Use Question and Answer Format
If users are going to search using fully phrased questions, you have to be prepared to answer in an appropriate format. By being straight to the point, concise, and conversational, you increase your chances of being among the top results that are read back to the user.
Focus on Descriptions and Featured Snippets
You know those mini paragraphs that show up below a link when you search for something on the internet? Those are called descriptions, and when they appear boxed and placed at the top of a page, they’re called featured snippets.
It is much more likely that your site will be used to answer the query if your snippet or description directly answers the question. Now more than ever, it’s important to verify that your descriptions or snippets for pages are well written, informative, and to the point.
Is Voice the Future of Search?
13% of all households in the United States owned a smart speaker in 2017. One-in-six Americans currently own and use a voice-activated smart-speaker, and as of January 2018, there were an estimated one billion voice searches per month.
Is it safe to say that voice searching is only going to become more and more essential in everyday society? Yes.
As the technology expands and improves, businesses and SEO professionals need to make sure their internet presence extends into the realm of voice searches.
Here’s What LoSoMo Can Do For You!
Here at LoSoMo, we like to stay ahead of the times! If you are concerned about what the advancement of voice searching technology means for you and your company, contact us, and we can work together to create a custom SEO plan that works for your business and brand.
For more information on LoSoMo’s local SEO and web design and development services, call (561) 923-9698 today!