Are you worried about changes in search behavior? Are you concerned about how voice search will affect your organization? Information searches are moving from the keyboard to the microphone.  This change will affect your search results position. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to maintain or improve your results.

First, a little background. The past few years have brought significant changes in how we search for information. 40% of adults rely on voice search every day. They’re using voice search for restaurants, weather information, directions or anything else. According to ComScore – “By 2020, half of all searches will be voice searches.”

Digital assistants like Siri and Cortana have grown more successful.    Android’s voice search and Google’s “Assistant” devices help user manage devices and find information.  They have grown more popular as their ability for recognizing human speech has improved.

Here’s a question for you.

How would you prefer to search if you wanted to know who was the current CEO of IBM?

a) Type the same as your search phrase on your computer?

or

 b) Talk into your phone using digital assistants like Siri, Cortana or Google search?

The answer is probably b.

Voice search is popular because it is often the easiest and fastest way to get information.  For local search purposes, voice search is most often performed on a mobile device.

Who’s using voice search?

More than half of teens and 41% of adults in the US, use voice search daily.  Northstar Research. Every day, out of the 3.5 billion searches performed on Google almost a third of those are voice searches.  ThreeDesign, 2017

So who uses voice search?

  • 71% of people between ages 18-29
  • 59% of people between ages 30-43
  • 39% of people between ages 44-53
  • 38% of people ages 54+

(According to Thrive Analytics)

What are we using it for?

Most of us use it to find a direction, a hotel, or other basic information.  But many people use voice search for almost everything they need online.

How is voice search different from text input?

The voice search is growing day by day due to its distinct benefits. Here is a list of a few important points can help you to identify the difference between voice and text search.

Query Length: One of the first things that comes to everyone’s mind is query length. It must be different! To compare we pulled data for query length for Cortana searches and compared that with query length for general text searches. The query length for text searches is about 2 words which is pretty short. Looking at voice search, the ones that get the most volume, clicks and impressions, are ones with 3 to 4 words in the query or keyword. So, people have altered their search behavior for voice vs. text without even being conscious of the fact.

Question Words: You can type a search “Best Zoo”, using computer keyboard.  But when you speak you are likely to say something like “What are the best zoos in America?”.

Strong Intent: The intent of a voice searcher is easier to determine. Natural language shows intent more strongly than computer language. For example, if you do a short search like “mobile phones” what are we looking for?  We would not know whether you are searching for a new phone, need to repair one or looking for tips or instructions. A voice search is more likely like “how can I block spam calls on my Android phone”.  So, these kinds of questions reveal the intent of the searcher.

Impact of location: Voice search specifically mobile voice search, is three times more likely to need location-based results.  This is because larger numbers of smartphone searches are looking for answers where the location is important.

Quick answer and action: Voice searches will continue to trigger quick actions. These searches relate to an immediate need and a strong location preference. For example: “Where is the best Seafood near me?”

What Does Voice Search Mean for SEO?

The goal of your digital marketing is to generate leads and convert them into customers. Therefore, it is important to optimize your digital marketing to account for the effects of voice search on SEO. The main reason your SEO strategy should change is to account for how different text and voice searches are. Here are some ways voice search affects SEO:

  • Use of conversational language
  • Transformation of short keyword searches into long-tail question queries
  • Emphasis on featured snippets
  • Importance of informative and authoritative content

If your organization needs prospects from search results you are being affected by voice search. The rise in voice search is having a direct impact on your website search rankings. Your customers are using voice search because it is quick and convenient.  They are receiving results, but are they finding you?  To be successful you will need to understand how your customers are searching, as well as what they are searching for.

Your website content will only be optimized if the content a relevant to answer search queries. The more relevant your content, the higher will be your search rankings. This means that you need to optimize your content for both query types if you want to be competitive

If you need help adjusting your SEO strategy to account for desktop and voice search we are ready to help.  Please contact us and we will show you how we can help. hearing from you.