Voice search is one of the most rapidly growing technological advancements in the industry right now. This technology has been around since the 1950s and it’s been used for a variety of applications since then, but it’s managed to truly hit its stride more recently during the height of search engine optimization (SEO) usage. Leading industry experts have predicted that by the year 2020 anywhere between 30% and 50% of online inquiries will be conducted using voice search technology, which is why the top tech companies in the world like Google and Amazon got in on the action well ahead of the curve.
Google Assistant was initially introduced at the 2016 Google I/O developer conference in May 2016 and since then, the voice search optimization market has exploded to the extent that any businesses that fails to see and take advantage of its value are already behind the curve.
Like Rock ‘n’ Roll, Voice Search Technology Is Here to Stay
From the very beginning, Google was at the forefront of the evolution of voice search technology. Of course, other major tech corporations like Apple and Amazon saw the intrinsic value in developing this technology for their own products and customer base, so it wasn’t too surprising when they released their own versions of it shortly thereafter.
Globally, it’s estimated that approximately 31% of smartphone users have used voice search to some degree so far in 2019. With the New Year just around the corner, it looks like the predictions of the tech industry leaders are already starting to come true.
There are several simple and easy to comprehend reasons for this massive surge in voice search usage. Simply put, voice search is convenient, fast, and more accurate than ever. These are crucial traits for the ever-changing fast-paced world we live in. Consumers want to be able to find the correct answers to their questions as quickly as possible—and that’s exactly what voice search technologies like Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa have brought to the table.
Google has been working diligently to improve its word recognition accuracy rate from 80% to 90% in the past couple of years and has managed to do so successfully, much to the satisfaction and appreciation of its users.
And it’s not just smartphones that are getting the better voice search word recognition treatment. Personal devices like Google Home have also become substantially more accurate in recognizing words in several languages and accents to deliver accurate information with noticeably increased efficiency as it’s needed.
Why Businesses Should Care about the Voice Search Revolution
These days, everyone and their mother is using voice search to some degree. Google Assistant is available on more than 400 million devices. That fact alone is enough reason for every single digital marketing and SEO expert to stop and take notice.
A well-thought-out voice search strategy can vastly improve customer experience and help build excellent brand recognition and loyalty. The idea is to keep your brand name and image at the forefront of every consumer’s mind by creating a uniquely personalized and engaging experience and interaction for each and every single one of them.
It’s important to keep in mind that voice search queries and techniques are different than text-based searches. The reason for this is that no one speaks the way that we write. Text-based queries are usually short, to the point, grammatically incorrect, and often lack proper punctuation. This makes it harder for Google to comprehend what users are looking for, which is why the search engine results page (SERP) usually provides multiple potential answers or links.
Successful voice search strategies, on the other hand, should incorporate long-tail keywords and phrases that include up to three words to better align with people’s natural speaking patterns. People generally tend to speak in complete sentences. In order for Google to recognize your content as a viable contender in the already oversaturated content spectrum, you ideally need to make your content as search friendly as possible with an additional focus on voice search.
Another point to keep in mind is that when it comes to voice search, Google only presents users with the most specific search results possible, usually in the form of featured snippets. Featured snippets are small portions of content that are derived from long-form articles. They’re concise, to the point, and directly answer very specific search queries. This is a very convenient aspect offered by voice search technology, especially when users need to quickly look something up or are looking for a local business.
How the Right Voice Search Strategy Can Improve Customer Experience
Unfortunately, when it comes to SEO, there’s no blanket solution that’ll automatically satisfy every customer. But there are certain steps you can take to effectively optimize your content and make it easily accessible and digestible to the masses.
First and foremost, you need to identify your target audience. Regardless of whether you’re a small- or medium-sized business, strictly e-commerce or brick-and-mortar, or anything in between, you need to identify your key demographic. Through in-depth market research, you need to find out what appeals to your target audience and how your brand can effectively reach out to them and build a strong relationship.
Focusing on local search combined with voice search optimization is the key to creating a successful online marketing campaign for any business. Local search allows customers to find your business when they’re close to your physical location. For instance, if a customer is searching for “Italian restaurants” while they’re in Toronto, Google will automatically present them with the top search results based on their specific location.
Benefits of Voice Search for Your Brand
Voice search allows customers to find your business quickly and easily no matter where they are. Instant gratification is vital these days and voice search also gives users access to other vital information like how to contact you, your address if you have one, hours of operation, online reviews, and other pertinent details that pertain to your business.
Numero Uno Web Solutions is one of the leading online marketing and SEO companies in North America. Located in Toronto, we’ve helped numerous national and international small businesses create, grow, and nourish strong online presences and relationships with their customers. Contact us today to find out how we can create an appropriate voice search strategy for your business.