Searchers are speaking. Is your website lending an ear?
Voice search is the next stage in search evolution and it's spreading like wildfire. Voice search is armed and ready to slaughter the keyboard. In the coming years writing queries will be a primitive practice.
Let me cite my above statements using some voice search statistics.
Voice Search Trends
- Voice search queries have grown 35X since 2008. - Search Engine Watch
- As of now, voice search occupies 20% of all mobile searches. - Search Engine Watch
- 50% of all searches will be voice searches in 2020. - ComScore
- Amazon sold 4.4 million Echo units in its first full year of sales. - Geek Wire
- Voice recognition market will be a $601 million industry by 2019. - Technavio
Looking at the above trends it's clear that voice search will be the next big thing. But what led to this?
What's the reason for Voice Search growth?
It's simple, keyboards were never our first choice. We were only using them due to the lack of a better alternative.
This alternative came in the form of voice search and people embraced it with open arms. The thing is, we love to speak and speaking is the preferred mode of communication for most of us. This is, may be why we speak 150 words per minute in contrast with typing 40 words per minute on an average (katherinewatier) i.e. if your typing is good.
As voice search is being preferred, let us understand how it is manifesting itself.
Voice Search Characteristics
To learn how to rank better for a voice search, we must first deconstruct the voice search query. The following are some of its characteristics
- Question-based queries: Searchers are seeking answers. Nearly all the queries coming from voice searches will be in form of a question. Example query- "What is the currency of India?" instead of "currency of India".
- Accurate: Typed queries can be a little vague sometimes. Unlike them, voice searches will be mostly on the dot. This happens as we speak faster than we type, hence providing more information when we speak. Example query- "Who won gold for 100 meters sprint men in Olympics last year?" instead of "Olympics gold winners".
- Location-based: Most of the voice searches are done on the go via a mobile device. This would result in a majority of times when the searcher will ask for directions to a particular place. Example query-"what is the pizza place nearest to me?"
- Quick answers: If the query done by the user is with informational intent, chances are that the user is searching for a short answer. This is most relevant for voice search assistants and bots, which return gist of concepts as answers.
- Mobile based search: Mobile phones are the choice of instrument for voice searches. Have you even done a voice search on a desktop?
Is your inbound marketing taking into account this new aspect of SEO?
Voice Search SEO checklist
To give SEO the voice search edge, it is vital that a sound SEO strategy take into account the following.
- Content in answers: The first thing to do when making voice search friendly content is to give it in form of question and answers. This practice not only makes your content optimized but also improves its user experience. The user gets what he wants, right off the bat.
- Structured data: The benefits of structured data for SEO are increasing day by day. Adding structured data to your pages can help Google better understand and interpret the page. This further helps Google to extract useful information, using which, it makes rich cards. The technical SEO techniques like implementation of schema and SSL puts you way ahead of your competition in terms of SEO.
- Google My business registration: If you've not already done this, don't wait any longer. This will represent your business information in the SERP results page for your branded keyword. This is the information which is picked by various search assistants and bots while searching for your business. This will also help in providing location directions to the users searching for your business.
- Focus on long tail keyword: As explained earlier the voice search queries will be longer and accurate . Thus, focusing on long tail keywords will reap better results for inbound marketing and SEO.
- Mobile friendliness: Most of the voice searches are done via a mobile device. Hence any traffic from voice search will be pleased with a good mobile user experience. Along with this you should also look into optimizing your site speed. This is because 40% of mobile users will bounce off your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load (Google AMP Project).