Can Optimizing For Voice Search Be Beneficial?
Voice search from Google has been around for a few years now and more people are adapting to it because of the ease of use over typing, especially on smaller devices. The accuracy of voice search has also increased significantly as of late, making it more appealing to more people. Is it really that important to make adjustments on your site and content for voice search? That's what we will be answering here.
According to Google, 20 percent of searches on its mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches. As with almost anything in technology, this number is sure to increase in the coming years. And with "personal assistant" tools like Alexa and Google Home purchases on the rise, it's a sure sign people like the ability to just speak instead of type.
Why Do People Use Voice Search
Why do people use voice search? Simple answer - it's easier, especially on mobile devices. Almost every person can speak faster than they type, and not get aggravated trying to type on small screens on their phones. Research does indicate that these are the top reasons, and more, that people prefer voice search which was covered by Nate Dame on Search Engine Land:
While familiarity with personal assistant technology will encourage more people to try voice search, it is convenience that will really drive adoption. The top reasons people use voice search are almost all related to improved user experience.
People use voice search because it’s faster, simpler and more user-friendly. It simplifies searching for individuals who struggle to type on small devices, and it helps searchers avoid navigating confusing site menus. It’s also faster than searching by text, guided by improved accuracy in the technology.
And that’s not just people’s perception: Google’s voice recognition technology is now 95 percent accurate — improved nearly 20 percent since 2013. On average, humans can speak more than three times as many words per minute as they can type. If voice recognition is just as accurate as typing, the speed of voice search provides a compelling justification for adoption.
Voice search provides a better user experience, particularly on mobile devices. Given that 90 percent of executives use mobile devices to conduct research before making a purchase, it’s not hard to imagine that those executives will transition to voice search — not to mention the next generation of B2B buyers who are growing up with the technology as second nature.
Read The Full Article "Voice search and SEO: Why B2B marketers need to pay attention now"
Good points from Nate. It's important that you the reader take note of his last paragraph about executives, that 90% of execs use mobile before making a purchase and that they too will soon start using voice search. For that reason alone you should want to ensure your site is ready for voice search.
So how will this affect businesses and search? This is a really good question, and if you stop and think about the possibilities, it could possibly change the entire landscape of search marketing.
Most who do believe in a voice-dominated future are in a love/hate relationship with the idea. Some predict we’ll lose all local organic space to ads. Others foresee a future in which anything less than the No. 1 rank is worthless. I see both conclusions as an incomplete picture.
A recent Moz study demonstrated that only 3.4 percent of Google local searches result in ad clicks. While it’s possible to anticipate a future in which voice search results are entirely paid ads, the fact that consumers seem to largely prefer organic suggests that Google would have a hard time retaining customers with such a model.
Imagine if Google’s “I’m feeling lucky” search were a paid ad spot — who would click that button? Replacing the organic “best” option with the highest bidder changes our perception of the result. For businesses, this is further encouragement to tap into the power of organic local reach via accurate data and local knowledge sharing.
Additionally, I think it’s a fallacy to assume that instant answers will beget a world where only the lucky top-ranked result wins. Rather, as I’ll show in this post, voice will make filtering for exactly what a consumer wants a much simpler process. So instead of a single No. 1 rank for a given local keyword (e.g., “divorce lawyer Los Angeles”), there will be dozens of No. 1 pages based on the other parameters a searcher indicates in her query (“a female divorce lawyer within a 20-minute drive from my office in Los Angeles who has experience in custody cases and pre-nups, with at least a 4.5-star rating and who can meet during my lunch break this week”).
That's a good read from Megan. When we at the office started brain storming about the possibilities of voice search, we have to admit that we did think that it could really wreck organic search results. However, Megan makes a strong case for multiple page 1 results based on the searcher's query. In any case, voice search is another trend that must be addressed for local businesses.
How To Optimize For Voice Search
Chances are you have been optimizing your site for regular search. 2, 3 maybe 4 keywords together. For a longtime we have been big fans of optimizing for long tail keywords to target more queries. If you have been following our advice, you are ahead of the game.
Seth Nickerson just made a great video about how to actually start optimizing for voice search that includes using long tails and more:
Summing It Up
Now is the time to start optimizing for voice search. There is plenty of evidence that this trend is going to grow, and if you don't optimize for it, your competition that does will beat you to the punch :o
If you are to busy to implement this or any other Local SEO tactics, contact us at www.MDIMSolutions.com for a free consultation.