Voice search is an emerging trend in the world of search and search engine optimisation. With the popularity of Alexa, Google Home and Siri growing more and more upon each year, it’s predicted that by 2020 more than half of all searches will be performed as voice search.
As an easy, quick and effective way of performing searches, voice search gives users the option to find out everything they need to know by simply asking. This means that questions can be asked in a number of situations, even when users can’t physically type what they want. The words audiences type are often different to the words they say and phrases are said in a much more casual, informal manner, something that’s likely to change the way search engines perform.
So how will voice search change SEO?
SEO In Its Current Form
SEO, also known as search engine optimisation, is the practice of optimising a website for Google, incorporating keywords that searchers are likely to type when searching for products, services or information. For example, a company based in London that sells cakes is likely to want to appear in search results for the phrase “cake shop London.” Through SEO, you can tailor the website text to target this phrase or similar in order to rank higher within results.
Why Are People Using Voice Search?
Ultimately audiences are using voice search because of its convenience, it’s a much quicker way to search online and guided by its accuracy. For many, voice search is available on phones, tablets and even now on desktop devices, ready to use from the get-go. Not only is it so readily available, but it’s also useful for those who have difficulty typing or who get easily confused with a website’s interface or navigation.
Voice search provides a much better user experience for internet users, especially for mobile and tablet devices and given that user experience is becoming more significant across the board, it’s no surprise that voice search is becoming more widely used.
What Voice Search Means For SEO
Whenever you ask Google a question or request Alexa’s help with finding a song, you’re performing a voice search and while it’s been prominent for a short time now, it’s important to consider what this means for the way in which content is optimised.
What should be considered with voice search?
- Keyword Phrases Will Be Longer
It’s a given that people speak more than they type, which is where the differences in search and voice search lie. For example, one might search for “cake shop London” however they might use the phrase “Where can I find a cake shop in London?” Because of this, it’s possible that content will need to be written in a way that applies more to this conversation tone, rather than just written to include basic terms and phrases.
- More Specific Phrases
With voice search, keywords are much more specific, meaning people are more likely to go into detail and explain themselves when they search with voice, asking for additional needs or wants. Websites that feature content that include these additional details are in turn, much more likely to show up for more searchers and rank much higher.
- Less Predictable Search Behaviour
When searchers were forced to type keywords and phrases into the search bar it was much easier to predict what they were likely to type and how the keywords are likely to work within a sentence or search query. With voice search, searchers are searching in a much less predictable way, meaning that in order to keep up, content writers and website owners need to be thinking about the box.
There are a number of possibilities for not only voice search but for voice assistants in general, these devices can now already complete tasks such as taking notes, telling us information and setting alarms, however, it’s likely they’ll be able to do even more in the future.
Voice search is changing the way in which people search, plan, make plans and even in how they learn new information. If businesses and organisations are looking to stay visible within search results they need to change the way they optimise content for search engines.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can optimise your organisation’s ongoing search engine or voice search strategy, why not contact us today?