Voice Search: What It Is And Why You Should Care
Voice search will change the way we relate to technology, build websites, deploy digital marketing strategies and work on SEO.
What is it, precisely?
You can find here a quick definition of such technology, but if you stick with us we’ll tell you, alongside the thoughts we have at 2000ft about it.
So, summarising, voice search is a speech recognition software-hardware allowing you to launch a query via voice, normally in smartphones but also in other connected devices.
In short, instead of typing, you speak your query to your device.
Apple with Siri, Microsoft with Cortana and their little brothers, are what we are talking about.
In terms of engineering and business, voice search is paradigm-shifting.
The biggest challenge for a company is posed by the difference between typed and spoken queries.
What does it mean?
If you are familiar with SEO, you know that websites are optimized in order to rank high on search engines, notably Google – at least in the west.
How do you conduct a spoken search versus a typed search?
Perhaps you do something like this:
- spoken: you say “what are my best options to dine in town tonight?”
- typed: you type “best restaurant town”
That changes it all.
Here below are but few points it is better to keep in mind.
#1 Natural language processing is the engine of voice searches
Search engine companies have been investing massively in natural language processing.
Google, especially with its Hummingbird update (2013) took a huge leap forward, although voice search is one of the few fields in which Silicon Valley’s giant faces tough competition.
Expectedly, in time such capacities will grow.
Structured phrases like the above mentioned spoken query, will return more pertinent results on search engines.
Long-tail keywords, normal keywords… we will all have to focus on conversational keywords.
People talk to a voice assistant the same way they would to a real person.
If you were accostumed to using certain tools to perform your keyword research, you may use them in this new fashion, or change them altogether to more precise, natural language processing-prone softwares.
#2 Need for speed
Ease, laziness, but also hurry: these are some very good reasons to prefer voice search over typed search.
If when we type a query we love to get our result as fast as possible, when we voice it we expect it at the speed of light.
That means, the speed at which your website loads up on mobile is of paramount importance.
Not that this is a major shift: Google already prioritize mobile speed versus desktop speed.
It’s rather a confirmation that, if you haven’t worked properly on this so far, you really need to do your mobile speed homework now.
It is about different things to tweak, but if you have never taken care about it so far, we would suggest you to deal first with pictures.
Lazy loading, resizing, compression… it’s pointless to offer photographs of the quality to 24 inches-desktop screens and smartphones.
Actually, there’s a fraction of voice searches being performed out of mobile; but it’s a minor fraction, you do not need to overworry about those, at the moment.
#3 Voice search is mainly local
People resort to voice search for local needs in numbers that vary, according to the country, between 55% and 70%.
That is a unique piece of data every entrepreneur should keep in mind.
Brick-and-mortar businesses, local service providers and the like: this is your chance.
Users tend to use expressions like here or nearby or near me in their searches: all the more reasons to start using your Google My Business account in a professional manner.
#4 The prominence of featured snippets
You surely have seen these.
A featured snippet is a piece of content, put on top of SERPs, to which Google gives a special relevance.
The search engine scanned the whole web, found a relevant website, scraped the relevant content and framed it for you.
A classicale example of featured snippet is a cooking recipe:
Why should you care, anyway?
Because voice search represents a winner-takes-it-all situation: the first result will most likely be the only one a user will receive.
With typed queries, results on the first page would have at least a possibility.
This puts an enormous pressure on your SEO specialists.
With a proper rank tracker, you can monitor how your website ranks in terms of featured snippets.
Once you get there, boom: users will flock to you.
#5 Attacking a long-tail keyword that is a question
Questions are quite common queries in a voice search.
What is the calorie content of an apple pie? Who are 2000ft’s founders? What is a ketogenic diet?
It is not difficult to put these in a title, but in the body of the text, they will look weird.
So, you have to insert questions in a way that appear natural, like:
We need to take care of our nutrition, but after all, what is the calorie content of an apple pie? Let me explain…
#6 Are voice searches bringing me traffic right now?
Hard to answer this question.
At the moment, it is difficult to assess what traffic you get from voice searches, including merely Google’s.
The giant of Mountain View declared in several instances its interest in this respect, especially about implementing new features in its Search Console, so that SEO analysts will be get more and better data.
Let’s see how the voice search future unfolds.
Is voice search the future?
All in all, in 2000ft we believe the impact of voice search has been overrated in the short term, but it will undoubtedly have a major role in the long term.
If you are uncertain about how to prepare for its surge, send us a message and we’ll come to give you a hand.
Hope you liked the post, and thanks for the time taken to read this.