We’ve heard the news—voice search is on the rise. However, what many companies aren’t realizing is that voice search is not only on the rise, it’s in and it’s here to stay.
Major players in the voice search game are Google, Siri, and Alexa. These digital assistants are the face of voice search functionality for a variety of devices. They have enabled voice search as a primary function, with Google and Siri pulling search results from Google (Alexa uses Bing) to provide users with whatever fast-paced information they may need.
Users are leaning more and more towards voice search because it allows for multi-tasking and it can be both faster and easier for many people.
According to TechCrunch, 66.4 million people (26.2% of adults) use smart speakers in the U.S. A Juniper Research report stated that approximately 8 billion digital voice assistants are estimated to be in use by the year 2023. Voice search is growing exponentially.
And whether your company is ready or not, voice search itself is experiencing some changes. In the past, voice search has been used predominantly for basic tasks like quick questions, navigation, placing phone calls, etc. But voice search in ecommerce, email management, calendar management, entertainment, and general information is increasing rapidly.
Here's how you can prepare your business for this monumental change:
Write content naturally
Voice search above all else is conversational. Users are turning to their devices and employing a very natural, very casual and basic conversation level in their voice searches. In order to optimize your capabilities, writing your content in a way that corresponds with this conversational tone will boost your SEO when it comes to voice search.
Answer a question
When typing, users typically search in the form of a statement. For example, a user looking for a coffee shop would form a query of something along the lines of “coffee shops near me.” With voice search, it is more likely that a user will phrase this search in the form of a question, such as “where is the nearest coffee shop?” The most common search ‘keywords’ are all the first words of a question. So take a second and ask yourself: what key questions will take potential clients to your website? Leveraging those will do a world of good for your SEO.
Get your microdata in check
With the advent of voice search, it is now more important than ever to make sure Google and other search engines can correctly crawl your website. A web crawler is an internet bot that automatically browses the web for the purpose of indexing. The search engine then takes this crawled information and indexes the pages so users can search more effectively. If you haven’t already, make sure you create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console. Once your sitemap is in order, consider using structured data, or schema markup. While a sitemap can only feed Google your information, schema markup tells Google exactly what this information means. When this microdata is added to a webpage, it creates an enhanced description in search results. This description can be used by voice assistants and give your content a boost in results. For a full list of the schema markup you can use, visit schema.org.
Like anything else out there, combating SEO changes takes proper planning, flexibility, and most importantly, patience! If you’re interested in finding out if your website can survive the rise in voice search, contact our team of SEO specialists here.