The quality of conversations is the basis for building any relationship; however, the virtual world takes the fun away from conversations. With advances in technology world’s leading brands are now looking for new ways to blur the lines between virtual & real.
Voice search has been in existence for a while, but advances in natural language processing have strengthened it further.
Latest data from Google reveals that voice searches have doubled over the last year. The growth in voice searches has been unprecedented for search engines. Microsoft Internal data shows that 25% searches performed on Windows Task Bar are voice searches.
Voice Search Is About Conversations
[bctt tweet=”1/3 of Cortana queries’ come from voice”]
A large percentage of users have been using voice searches for obtaining directly actionable data.
Data could range from finding movie show timings, directions to a location and setting reminders. Data from the Chinese search engine Baidu also reveals that 1 in 10 searches queries on the platform are from voice.
Typing Chinese on mobile devices is difficult than typing English leading to rapid usage of voice across Baidu’s products.
In India, as the vernacular audience accepts Internet, voice search could grow as the preferred means as typing local languages will not be as easy as typing in English or Hindi.
Usage Of Voice Search On Mobile
[bctt tweet=”By 2020, 50% of search will come from voice – ComScore”]
Global Web Index Trends report 2016 suggests that 47% more mobile users are now using voice-based search than they did a year ago.
Millennials are more clued towards using voice-based search as voice assistants can accurately deconstruct words and deliver a quick response. Humans can speak almost four times faster than they can type which naturally makes voice search a preferred choice.
Voice Search Is Going Mainstream
[bctt tweet=”In 5 years’ time, at least 50% searches are either going to be from images or voice – Andrew Ng, Chief Data Scientist, Baidu”]
Voice search on Bing has grown almost 41.6% in last six months and over 18% in last one year.
Text input keywords are usually 2-3 keywords in length while voice input keywords are at least 3-4 words in length.
Voice searches are intent-based and are phrases which usually start with Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.
5 Steps To Optimize Voice For SEO
#1 – Rethink Keywords: Sprinkle do not splash with phrases
Optimizing for voice searches requires SEO experts to rethink their keyword strategy. Focus of keyword optimization strategy has to shift from keywords to phrases. You have to identify phrases that are relevant to your business.
For example, if you are a hospitality brand and if the user types in ‘Hotels nearby serving sushi food’ from the airport. Your hotel has to rank in the search result.
Search engines can personalize search results based on your location. In such case, the hotel should have a local listing on Google maps and should also optimize for possible phrases that the user could use.
#2 -Content + Context: Unlocking context with schemas
Schemas have been around for a while, but marketers and developers have not paid much attention towards it.
Schemas can help in an unlocking lot of benefits including being featured in rich results. Use structured data testing tool to understand various opportunities to optimize your site.
For example, online training providers can use rich cards to highlight course provider, title, and a short description. Structured data can save time for the user and drive better organic click through rate.
#3- Local – Mobile: Unlocking voice with local SEO
Local listings and use of NAP (Number, Address & Phone Number) gain more significance with the adoption of voice search.
Businesses with a local presence have to get the basics right. Complete local listings on Google and managing their presence on Yelp, SuperPages, and Qype.
#4 – Mobile First: Leverage AMP & other technologies
Search engines and social networking platforms are creating frameworks to speed up the web. Accelerated Mobile Project from Google has over 7 lakh domains using it.
Google has integrated AMP listings directly into its search results starting February this year. The search engine also announced mobile first indexing this year where it may pick desktop version over AMP page if the site is not mobile friendly.
Similarly, Apple has also launched Apple News Format; Facebook has instant articles, and Bing has Bing News PubHub. AMP pages on an average have a load time of 0.07 seconds. Publishers have seen a surge in organic traffic and return visitors after implementing AMP.
#5- Voice Actions for Google: Icing on top of your ice cream
Google introduced voice actions in July 2015. Voice actions on Google Now remember many spoken and typed actions and creates android intents for them.
For example, the user could ask for a search for ‘hotels in Goa on Trip Advisor on Google Now and user will be directly shown the results in the Trip Advisor App on Android. With Voice Interaction API application developers, can create intent filters for apps they build on the platform which can be triggered using Google Now.
Google took this a step further with the launch of Actions for Google when they announced the launch of Pixel Phone. Actions for Google includes direct actions and conversation actions.
Direct actions allow application developers to integrate their services directly within Google Assistant. For example, a user can directly request for the lights to be turned on and it would work seamlessly with Philps Hue and turn on the lights.
Businesses can use direct actions for media, communications, and home automation.
Conversation actions expect the user to have a conversation with the assistant before making a decision. A unique use case for conversation action could be the user wanting to buy a movie ticket using Book My Show or booking a ride using Ola.
Google has already opened up Actions for Google for developers to integrate services on Google Assistant. Users in future could be typing in a request or using voice commands to ask for service or product.
If voice search succeeds, it will invert the traditional model of advertising entirely. The user will no longer see any mastheads or banner ads. Native advertising and voice pre-roll could be the new norm. Voice optimization has to list among the top priorities for marketers in 2017.
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