If you aren’t using voice search now, research indicates that you will be in the very near future. More than half of all searches are done on mobile devices today, and the rate of voice searching is increasing steadily each year. In fact, Comscore stated that by 2020, half of all searches will be voice searches. But what will the rise of voice search mean for website owners?
What is voice search?
Voice search is a technology that lets you use your voice and a smart device to perform searches that you would otherwise perform by inputting text. All of the major companies like Apple, Google and Amazon have introduced voice assistants over the recent years: Siri, Okay Google and Alexis. These smart home assistants allow you to speak your search queries rather than typing them into your phone, tablet or laptop.
The research is still coming out to determine how often voice search is used today. But all of the experts agree that it’s on the rise. Why?
First off, voice search is convenient. Research has shown that a large percentage of voice search is performed while people are on the go, like in the car or walking. It also allows people to multitask. Plus, people can speak much faster than they can type. And as voice search technology grows, it becomes more and more sophisticated, making it an easier and more efficient way to search.
What are the implications of voice search for SEO?
Focus on Long-tail Keywords
People utilizing voice search tend to speak in a more conversational tone. For example, searchers will ask questions such as “Where is the best sushi restaurant in San Diego?” rather than typing in “sushi San Diego.” Technology such as Google’s RankBrain works to distill these more complex queries into more searchable terms. For marketers, it will become more important to focus on your long-tail keywords.
More Non-Visual and Short Interactions
Most voice searches are spontaneous searches rather than long-term research. Generally, people are asking a specific question about something that is happening now or in the very near future. It is atypical to use voice search for more in-depth research, like when writing an article or planning a trip.
One implication of this: searchers using voice assistants will have interactions with websites and web content that are not only shorter but also less visual. Website owners will need to evaluate how they are presenting information online for audiences who will be interacting with their content differently.
Increased Focus on Top Search Engine Ranking
Voice assistants like Siri and Alexa typically provide users with only the top search results. This means that getting to the top position on a search engine results page will become even more important. Marketers will need to continue to focus on SEO best practices and stay abreast of the latest SEO trends as voice search technology expands.
Experts are continuing to look at the potential impact that voice search will have on SEO and on the future of web design and content marketing. Like anything related to the web, it is best to understand what new technology might be rolling out in the future and to do your best to prepare – even if that means just making small changes to your current approach.
At ACA Web Consulting we are excited to see the impact that voice search will have on the SEO and web design industries. If you have concerns about how you can prepare, contact us today for a consultation.