October 6, 2017
There has been an ongoing debate around the world about if voice search is going to be the end of SEO. We are at it again trying to find out if the rumors are true.
If you ever talked about having a casual chat with a computer some years back, it would seem like science fiction; nobody would take you seriously because no one ever thought that virtual assistants could have a monetary impact on the market. Many people, thus, ignored the idea of virtual assistants and artificial intelligence.
Things have however changed, and a lot is happening in the industry. According to Be shad Behead in his speech at Google Zurich, more than 55 percent of teenagers and 41 percent of adults are now using voice search on a daily basis, and still, the number is swelling. This is a clear indication of what to expect in the next few years. The fact that the service is faster, hands-free and that it allows you to multi-task, is a clear indication that voice search is changing SEO forever.
So what is so unique with voice search that it is perceived as the technology of the future?
Smart search than ever before
There is a big difference between voice search and text queries. Many people adopt some stilted shorthand when typing which leads to different results from search engines. Take for instance when you want to know the weather in Texas; in writing, one will be tempted to write “weather Texas” while in voice search, you will be able to ask the complete question, “what is the weather like in Texas today?”
With voice search virtual assistants like Siri, Cortina, Alexa and Google Voice Search now in place, the future of voice search looks quite promising. With many entrepreneurs now adopting the technology, there is no doubt it is going to be a major frontier in SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing. There is indeed need for various search engines to learn how to interpret natural phrases. Google on its end, meanwhile, has been busy trying to improve conversational search.
Improvement in technology
Technology is rapidly advancing each day, and voice search is becoming more reliable among many users. Within less than two years, the word error rate has improved from 20 percent to eight percent. Google’s speech recognition is now almost as accurate as humans; this is a huge improvement in such a short time. With these changes witnessed, Be shad believes conversational search is the future with the hope to build a technology that not only responds to but also understands voices. Google has already started working around the clock to make voice search the ultimate mobile assistant to help people in their daily lives.
Use of Smartphones is on the rise across the world, and this is a great boost for voice search. Many people, especially the younger generation, have not hesitated to use this new technology when they are looking for something on the Web. With voice search, you can easily provide answers to the queries asked by users.
The power of voice search is now based on its ability to interpret and respond to various aspects of search including;
Spelling corrections and queries
It is now possible to make spelling corrections on search queries. For instance, if you asked Google to show you a picture of Wales and the results shown are pictures of whales, you can easily go back and clarify with the correct spelling, i.e., “W-A-L-E-S, ” and a picture of the country will show up in your search results.
Following up on what has been previously searched or said
It is amazing that you can easily narrow down your search through context using voice search. For instance, if you asked to know where the Golden Gate Bridge is, you can easily follow up on previous searches like “I want to see who built it” and Google will automatically redirect you to the pictures of the bridge with the answer of who built it.
Context based on location
Based on your current location, Google can understand and interpret questions based on that location. For instance, if you asked to know the distance to a specific place, voice search will understand you want to know the distance from your current location without demanding further clarification.
Applications are usually synchronized by Google, and anytime you want to know more about something you have been discussing on the apps, voice search will automatically give you results based on the app context. For instance, if you are discussing a certain restaurant in an app such as Vibe or other social media platforms and you asked Google “show me the menu,” Google will give you results of the specific restaurant’s menu based on the app’s context.
Will voice search bring the end of SEO?
This is the question ringing in many marketers’ minds. While voice search has seen tremendous growth in the recent years, it is still not clear if SEO is on its way out. Voice search has rather made SEO and content marketing more complicated yet interesting.
What marketers need to do is optimize their websites and content to align with voice search on various social media platforms for better engagements, maximum reach and return on investment. Don’t forget Google recently said 20 percent of all mobile queries lately are voice searches.
How marketers can optimize their Web content for SEO so that they can be found by voice search
It is time marketers understood how to optimize for voice search and SEO.
That voice search queries are completely different from text search queries. While voice searches are conversational and natural in language, text searches are not. Text searches usually focus on keywords while in voice search people use phrases that are in the form of conversation and longer in nature.
While creating high-quality content, marketers need to present the content conversationally.
Website micro-data optimization
On the other hand, marketers need to focus more on metadata optimization to improve their website SEO and provide a better browsing experience for users. To do this, they should ensure their website locations; directions, sitemap and other site necessities are readable by search engines, browsers, Web crawlers, and visitors.
Setup your location
Location plays an important role in searches, whether text or voice. You, however, need to understand that voice searches are concentrated more on location than text searches. In this regard, you need to add your business address, time of business activities and photo on your website.
Add site reviews
It is important to note that positive site reviews are necessary for top ranking by search engines. The reviews show that your website is up-to-date and has high-quality content which may boost the chances of your site showing up in both voice and text searches.
It is for this reason that you are required to encourage your readers to leave positive feedback on your website. This is a necessary call to action that, as a marketer, you need to watch keenly.
This is an essential part of your website focused on providing crucial information to your customers. Readers and visitors usually have many differing questions regarding their needs. Using conversational keywords in answering such questions will help boost your ranking in search engines even in the case of voice searches.
Voice search is the future of content marketing, but this is not to say that SEO is on its deathbed. Bloggers and content marketers must, therefore, step up to create high quality and conversational content that will appeal to both text and voice searchers. With searchers demanding faster answers, voice search is providing the alternative to Web search. This is, therefore, a great way to enhance your site visibility and ranking on Google, beating your competitors in the same industry.
As a marketer, it is time to stop thinking linearly about text-based queries and start thinking how voice search can be optimized as well. It is clear, going ahead, search will be conversational.
Stevan Mcgrath is a digital marketing professional who possesses expertise in brand design and development. Stevan is passionate about utilizing his diverse skill sets for new and innovative online marketing strategies. He has worked as a freelancer and a contributor to Provenseo. Despite having a wide influential reach, he seeks client satisfaction as his topmost priority. He also writes blog posts on recent digital marketing trends. To know his work and more details you can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.