Voice search, using voice assistants or smart speakers, went from being an emerging technology to a “must-have” necessity. Voice search is now starting to impact SEO, brands, and marketing. This article covers the future of SEO in terms of voice commands.
What is Voice Search?
Voice search, using voice assistants or smart speakers, went from being an emerging technology to a “must-have” necessity. In fact, smart speakers are growing faster than any technology in the past, including iPhones, at almost 48% compound annual growth.
Instead of typing to ask questions in Google or other search engines, people can now talk directly into their devices to get answers, find local businesses, and more. People can also ask clear and detailed questions out loud, rather than typing a few keywords. This saves time, increases productivity, and allows for better multitasking throughout the day.
In this article, we will discuss what voice search is and why the number of people using smart speakers is rapidly increasing. You will also learn how voice search is impacting SEO, brands, and marketing. We will cover the most popular voice search trends to be aware of in 2019, how it increases productivity, and the future of SEO in terms of voice commands.
Why Are People Using Voice Search?
According to a study by BrightLocal, voice search is becoming the main resource to find information quickly online. Below are a few statistics of how voice-activated speakers are impacting people’s routines:
- 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say voice commands have become a part of their everyday lives (Google).
- 20% of mobile queries are voice search (Google).
- 58% of consumers use voice search to find local business information in 2018.
- 27% visit a local business’ website after conducting a voice search.
Speaking is faster than typing. According to a study by Location World, 2 out of 5 adults perform a voice search at least once a day. This is because finding information through a voice command is much faster than creating a query on Google. People find it more convenient and prefer to ask clear, defined questions rather than shorthand queries. There is no need to find letters on a keyboard. Rather, you just speak directly into your phone. Having a voice assistant to accommodate to their needs is more personal. Overall, it is a quicker experience with little error.
More and more adults are incorporating voice search into their daily routines. This is because they can multitask and search at the same time without typing. For example, voice search has made it possible to cook and look up a recipe at the same time. While driving, using a voice assistant to find directions ensures safety by decreasing texting and driving issues.
Accessible for Everyone
For those with disabilities, being able to search with voice commands is a huge step in the right direction. Everyone now has easier access to information in just a few seconds. But, for those who are blind or have a hard time seeing a screen, voice search changed everything. They can now ask questions out loud and the voice assistant will have immediate answers ready for them. They can communicate virtually without having to view anything on the screen.
Natural Speech Patterns and Conversational Keywords
Say you are trying to figure out the weather for a vacation. On Google, you would type in shorthand. The query would read something like, “Denver weather this weekend.” With voice search, the commands would be more conversational, rather than robotic. You would ask something like, “what will the weather in Denver be this weekend?” Not only are searches going to become longer, but marketers must look at users needs in a new way.
According to a study by Search Engine Journal, the word error rate in 2012 was over 20%. Now it is as low as 8%, which means voice assistants are picking up on our speech quirks. In 2019, smart speakers will be programmed to understand us even better. For SEO and marketing, this means new strategies will have to be developed to accommodate to this change.
Through voice search, long-tailed keywords will be the new norm for SEO experts. These keywords are longer and must be very specific phrases that will ultimately lead to user to purchase a product or visit a website. Using short keywords, such as “interior design” and “designer” won’t be as useful in 2019. Instead, discovering the exact phrases users are searching (through voice commands) will be very important.
Optimizing a website to be “mobile-first” is crucial for SEO and has been over the past few years. Smartphones have taken over. Everyone has access to search engines, social media, emails, texts, and more, from anywhere, at any time. Although, with the rise of high quality voice search tools, mobile-first will become more crucial than ever before. People don’t have to click on a browser app, go to Google, and type in a query anymore. Now, they can press on button, ask a question out loud, and receive instant results without even opening an app.
With this, comes new struggles for marketers. When people voice query using Siri, or a similar smart speaker, only a few answers (Google results) will appear. On a computer or mobile browser, users are able to scroll through pages and pages of content. With a voice assistant, users only receive a few results and have the option to “view more.” Since most people are in a hurry when using voice search, they are less likely to view more in a browser and end up settling for the first few results. Accomodating to this change will be a new challenge for SEO experts in 2019.
Ultimately, people are starting to use voice search more and more because it is accessible for everyone, easy to find information, and allows people to multitask while finding answers online. In 2019, voice search will continue to evolve and impact SEO, marketers, and brands. It is important to understand that keyword strategies will have to evolve to stay on top of trends. In simple terms, it’s crucial to become more conversational with content marketing efforts in order to reach potential customers.
Peaks Digital Marketing can assist you with combatting the ever-changing digital marketing game. Contact us today to schedule a strategy session and learn more about our expert techniques.