Voice Search SEO – What is it and why should you care?

None of us is exempt. We’re all staunch adherents to this modern day phenomena that has become a rite of passage to 21st century living, extreme multitasking. We’re expected to get more done in less time so any means of efficiently allowing us to do so is welcomed with open arms.  Enter the world of Voice Search, which has equipped average Joe’s (& Jane’s) with their own personal digital assistant, available 24 hours, 7 days a week to answer any inquiry. Voice search has gained traction due to its convenience – it can be done while users are in the middle of other important tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and driving. The potential for that is endless as consumers become increasingly aware of the number of ways that hands-free assistance can serve them in their day-to-day lives. 

While the level of utilization still has significant room for growth, we’re already in the middle of a revolution that will have a huge impact on the way that consumers find businesses and how businesses are seen by those consumers. In 2016, Google told us that 20% of mobile searches for that year were voice searches. Fast forward to 2019 and audio technology has already grown more sophisticated. Comscore predicted that within the year, we will see 50 percent of searches initiated through digital assistants. 

Voice search has widened the communication channel, allowing us to search more precisely with a sense of intimacy that cannot be found in traditional typed searches. That sense of intimacy results in an entirely different framing of search phrases. In fact, in most cases, they are no longer phrases at all. We’ve transitioned into more conversational queries, often structured as questions, that require a different search engine optimization strategy from businesses. As a consumer, the rising popularity of voice technology is simply a matter of expanding convenience and accessibility. However, for businesses this technology calls for a major shift in marketing efforts.

Perhaps the most important shift businesses can make is to curate content fueled by customer interactions,with a focus on providing an answer that is within the context that your consumer is expecting. You can gain better insight into phrases they might use by observing the language they use in exchanges with your business and using that as a framework from which to build your web copy. Those observations should present you with an idea of long-tailed, intuitive keywords that can be used to create more visibility for your business. Those keywords can be included within a featured snippet on your website, an above the fold summary of a body of content typically prioritized above regular search listings. 

You’ll also want to be sure to leverage Google Business listing, which supplies Google with location information relevant to your business that can help you show up in location-based searches. To put the importance of this in perspective, consider the frequency in which you ask Siri location-based questions. She pulls her response to you from a list of businesses registered to Google Business. 

30% of all website sessions are now being conducted without a screen. As a business, that means you just inherited the new challenge of ensuring your business is prepared.