The digital marketing landscape is in a constant state of change, and with the growing popularity of smart devices like Alexa and Google Home, voice search has become increasingly important for digital marketing strategies.
Voice search is a convenient – and accessible – way for consumers to find information. Just by speaking a query they can receive a concrete answer without having to scroll through the search engine results. Because of this, it's important to start paying attention to the rise of voice search to ensure your site will continue to perform well as the landscape continues to develop.
But how prevalent is voice search, really? You might be surprised by just how quickly usage has risen:
- According to ComScore, 50% of searches will be made through voice search by 2020.
- In 2017, Amazon’s Alexa accounted for 62% of the digital assistant market share, and Google Assistant accounted for 25%. It is predicted that by 2020 Google will surpass Alexa and increase its market search to 43%, while Amazon will account for 34%.
- Search Engines are placing a higher emphasis on voice search optimization than before.
- 75% of smart speaker users search for local businesses at least once a week. Searches include restaurant reservations, price inquiries, availability of products, and beauty appointments.
How are voice searches different from text queries?
When people are using voice search, their queries resemble the questions they would ask another human being. Someone might type, “weather Chicago”, while they might ask a personal assistant “what is the weather in Chicago?” This semantic difference also causes voice queries to be longer than text queries.
An advantage of these longer queries is that it makes it more evident to marketers where consumers are within the purchase funnel. A user looking for a question that starts with what or who might be interested, while a user looking for a where could be ready to purchase an item.
The second word following a question term can also provide more insight into where within the funnel a costumer is. For example, a question that begins with “how much” can indicate an interest in the actual price of an item and a stronger intent rather than mere interest.
How can I integrate voice search into my digital marketing strategy?
Optimizing your website for spoken queries is a must. Here are a few tips to help you navigate voice search SEO this year:
Answer questions: Create content that responds to specific questions with varying user intent. Try to include responses to the what, when, where, how, and who. Additionally, introducing an FAQ to your site with brief answers that directly respond to questions can also be helpful for SEO. It is important to not only keep it brief but to also use simple language – Google Voice Search results, on average, are written at a 9th grade reading level.
Featured Snippets: Appearing in a Featured Snippet can be very helpful to your ranking: about 41% of all voice search answers come from Featured Snippets. Make sure to optimize your pages’ content and write in the form of answering a question; to be featured, you must start by ranking highly for a specific query.
Local SEO: As mentioned earlier, a lot of smart speaker users use their digital assistants to request local business information. Learn local SEO best practices to make sure consumers can find you.
Site Speed: When people ask a question to their digital assistant, they expect an immediate answer. Research conducted on Google Voice pointed to the fact that PageSpeed plays an important role in SEO for voice search, as the average voice search result page loaded in 4.6 seconds, which is over 50% faster than the average webpage.
Interested in learning more about voice search and what steps your business can take to be prepared? Check out our infographic here for more tips and tricks, or contact us to let us handle the heavy lifting!