Alexa…where is the closest flower shop near me.
Siri…can you please find an Italian restaurant near me.
Hey Google…which is the best travel company for honeymoons.
If you are someone like me who prefers talking rather than typing, then you should be able to relate to what is mentioned above.
Data suggests that by the end of 2020, nearly 50% of all searches will be done through voice. Studies also show that Google voice searches have increased by over forty times between 2008 to 2016!
For brands and agencies, the rise of voice search presents an interesting opportunity as well as a challenge. Opportunity for altering SEO strategies and trying to win the first mover’s advantage. Challenge, because a lot of concrete voice search-based SEO strategies are not there in the market.
In this article, we look at five reasons how voice is changing the face of SEO. However, before we get to the same, let us first shed light on some factors that are helping voice search grow.
The following are some of the major factors that are helping voice searches increase in volume-
‘best biology book amazon’- This is an example of a search query that is typed on Google’s search bar.
‘Hey, Google…what is the best biology book on amazon’. This is an example of natural language being used through voice search.
As you can see, when we are speaking, the form, language, articles, prepositions appear to be far in consonance than when we are typing. Human language communication is being picked up through advanced voice recognition technology that search engines are experimenting with. This is changing SEO strategy formulation and keyword research.
Building on the reason mentioned in the first point, long-tail keywords should start figuring more prominently in an SEO strategy. Backlinko suggests that the average voice search query is 29 words long. Keeping this in mind a strategy that takes into account both natural language selection and integrated it with long-tail keywords is going to work.
The benefit of targeting long-tail keywords for SEOs stems from the fact that it can improve conversions. The longer the keyword, the better are the chances of the user detailing what he or she is looking for. If your SEO has been able to engage with effective optimization, you will be the first option that the voice search spells out.
How, what, when, which, why, who…the list of questions that feature alongside voice search results keeps growing by the day. Analysts believe that most individuals use voice assistants in the same way they would talk to an actual human being.
This is why when we speak to voice assistants, we are more likely to start with a question and then ask them for an answer. In other words, voice search has slowly transformed itself into a question-answer medium.
A good SEO strategy needs to take into account the increasing use of interrogative words at the start of a search query. It should also be pointed out that the same is in line with natural language processing and long-tail keyword integrations.
If you have been in the industry for some time, you will know of Google’s algorithm, RankBrain. Experts point out that Google is slowly moving away from literal search results to semantic search results. In other words, the focus is now turning more towards the intended meanings.
Google’s Hummingbird algorithm has also been cited by many as a case in point to show the movement. The Hummingbird algorithm has been proven to work on natural language processing and showing search results based on the intent that has a relevant context to it.
For a sound SEO strategy, making the shift from literal search to semantic search is not easy. However, it is important to alter the strategy to ensure that your SEO keeps performing.
Just to give you some content, ‘near me’ search queries have increased on Google by three times since 2015! Many SEO experts have shown a correlation between the rise of voice search and the increase in near me search queries.
If you are an SEO or an agency looking to help improve the Local SEO performance of your client, you should pay attention to voice search. As we have already pointed out at the start of the article, people are more than likely to ask voice search to find a location, product, or business near them.
This means that if a brand’s website is optimized for local SEO, they are going to see an increase in footfalls and sales. We do not need to stress of the fact how important Local SEO, GMB, and Voice Search are for local and community-centric businesses.
There is no doubt that voice search is one of the most disruptive changes to hit the SEO ecosystem in a long time. However, as we pointed out, it brings with it both opportunities and challenges.
If you can alter your SEO strategy and take advantage of voice search, you will see your brand perform incredibly well in terms of traffic, sales and revenues. If you stick to the old methods, you can rest assured you will fall by the wayside of digital growth.