April 7, 2018

The Voice of Reason: An Introduction To Voice Search

Here at Verve, we like to keep up with any new trends in the ever-expanding landscape of search. Over the last few months, there has been an increasing trend of Voice Search on mobile and in the home, which has brought fresh challenges in the way we optimize our search results.

 

Voice of Reason

So we thought we would share some of our thoughts on the increasing use of voice query searches and the challenges this new way to search is bringing. About 3 years ago, voice queries were nothing more than a fun feature on your mobile phone. Now, that very same feature is about to re-invent the world of SEO as we know it.

Virtual assistants

With the increasing use of Virtual assistants in the home, voice search is increasingly becoming commonplace and used on a daily basis. These vocally-driven virtual assistants have made search even easier and more intuitive. Below are some of the most used devices that predominantly use voice search:

 

  • Google Assistant – Google home/mobile
  • Apple Siri – iPhone / Homepod
  • Amazon Alexa – echo
  • Microsoft Cortana – Windows PC

 

Whereas we have all used voice search at some point on a mobile device, this type of search is becoming more and more natural. So with the introduction of virtual assistants in the home, analysts predict voice search will become more commonplace and over time follow the same path as mobile search. In 2017 Google and Amazon were the two most dominant virtual assistants for the home, but with the introduction of Apple’s homepod into the Apple ecosystem these types of device will become as natural to use as a smart phone is today.

 

Voice Search is becoming more common place

According to Google search stats in 2015 mobile search surpassed desktop search, and interestingly, according to Google’s official blog, by 2020 they have predicted more than half of all of these queries will be performed by voice. The search landscape has always been a challenging one as we are always trying to understand the users habits, but now we have to increasingly think of the kind of device being used and how the users are searching. The days of thinking a user will only be sitting in front of a desktop using their keyboards are fast disappearing.

Who is using voice search, when & why

Google’s recent mobile case study has given us some interesting insights into who is more likely to use voice search, when it is being most used and why. With 55% of teens preferring to use voice searches compared with adults at 41%, is this because teens are more comfortable searching on a mobile device and voice assistants? or do they prefer this new trendy way to search the web? This study also shows the differences when adults and teens are searching, as most teens use voice search while watching Tv or out with friends, but in the case of adult search, it is increasingly being used more within the home for multitasking to make them more efficient.

 

When it comes to SEO think naturally

There are three important characteristics of voice search that are worth mentioning. The overarching principle is that marketing tactics will need to become more natural and intuitive. The three common traits of a voice search:

  • The first thing to think about when it comes to voice search is why is the user using voice search; What, Why, Where, and When are the most popular starts to voice queries, as the user is looking for instant answers to a question.
  • The second aspect of voice search is the importance of local business search. According to recent studies over 50% of people search for local businesses on their smartphone while they are out and about.
  • The third aspect of voice search SEO is the length. It has been shown that the queries with the most clicks and impressions were around 1–3 words in length, which is strange since questions are usually longer.

 

Best Practices:

Play around with long tail and short tail keywords, open a Google My Businesses account, It’s free and can get you substantial exposure if you’re optimized enough to show up in Google’s local search results. Below are some of the things you should consider when optimizing your website for voice search:

 

  • Write content in a more natural way
  • Write Short Answers To Long Questions
  • Ensure your site is mobile friendly
  • Use of local search
  • A good call to action – Telephone numbers & directions

 

In conclusion

We understand voice search is in its infancy but should not be ignored, because history has taught us that anything that makes every day life easier has always been welcomed. (who would go back to a Nokia 2510) So with so much information at our fingertips whenever we want it on our smart phones and in our homes, we believe voice search will only become increasingly more popular. As I’m sure you can see there are great opportunities to be had if you consider this new way of searching. That’s why here at Verve we have been using this thought process for some time now and have been getting some great results. If you have any concerns about your website search optimisation please contact us at Verve today and talk to one of are SEO experts.

Edward Fellows
Digital marketing Executive
Website Optimisation
Google Analytics
Google Adwords PPC
Search Engine Optimisation
Social Media Management
t: 01743 360000
e: [email protected]

Edward is one of Verve's Digital Executives, who has developed an excellent working understanding of all things Digital. Edward has a wealth of knowledge and understanding of optimising websites, and content for modern day web requirements. Edward is a Google Certified Partner, carrying certification for both Google Analytics and Google Adwords.

In his spare time, Edward likes to try and keep fit and enjoys being out in our beautiful Shropshire countryside.

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