The fifth part of search requests is made by voice. It is expected that by 2020 this will generate half of the search traffic.
Do not wait for the moment when the optimization of content will become an urgent need: take the chance to take the first places in the top issue under the new rules.
Who and how to use voice search
Users over the age of 20 using voice search are basically looking for the desired route, type text and make calls. Teens, in addition to the above reasons, turn to the assistant for advice in working at home and listening to music.
The reason for using it is the employment of hands or the desire to get results faster: a person can say 150 words per minute, and print – only 40 words.
Among the main tasks of voice services are:
- Personal assistant functions: calls and a set of messages, keeping a calendar of meetings and making purchases;
- Search for information about products or services;
- Laying the optimal trip route;
- Search and download your favorite music, video, listen to programs and TV shows;
- Help in solving household issues through devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Trends in the use of voice search
In short, we are on the verge of a boom: in 2017 this function in the world was used by 39% more often than a year earlier. On a regular basis, the technology already employs about 40% of the adult US population, the percentage of use by teenagers is even higher. True, everything is just beginning in our countries, but the trends are similar.
Trends in the following years:
- The quality of query recognition will continue to improve, encouraging people to use voice services more often;
- The number of users of virtual assistants and smart speakers will multiply. Sales of gadgets like Amazon Echo and Google Home are gaining momentum: in 2017, sold more than 24 million smart columns, and this is 4 times higher than in the previous year;
- Alibaba launches its own voice assistant: it is planned to be used in shops and hotel rooms;
- Voice search will be used to promote entertainment content and make purchases. For example, in “The Oprah Winfrey Show” the presenter tells about the novelties of the season, which can be ordered immediately through Amazon Echo. Group U2 creates special content for its fans and promotes it with the help of Alexa from Amazon.
- In contrast to the standard search, the voice is more often used in connection with the area. Most users are interested in what happens near their place of residence or work: where you can go to eat and have fun, where to cut your hair or buy something. That is, specific, point requests are working.
How to optimize content for new requirements
1. Consider the difference between the key phrases of standard search and voice
It is important to understand how your potential customers communicate, what words and phrases apply. This can be done in several ways:
- Browse specialized forums and interest groups;
- Study social networks: questions on the pages of your company, rating entries and comments under the blogs of competitors;
- Look for information on TripAdvisor, Amazon and social services like Quora;
- Be interested in employees of call centers and sales representatives, what questions they are asked by customers;
- Use tools to select natural key phrases – for example, Answerthepublic.com.
2. Test the voice service from the user position
Read the requests through different voice services and see the results of the issue. By the way, the priority search engine for Siri is Bing. So you determine the competitors and will be able to evaluate their answers to the questions asked: is it clear how complete and useful information they provide. This will help you to take into account the mistakes and carefully plan your content.
3. Communicate with customers not as a marketer, trying to sell, but as a journalist or blogger giving useful information
Less think about the use of keywords, and more – about accurate and understandable answers to the questions “how”, “what”, “who”, “what,” “where.” Think of different variations of queries: “in what stores are smart watches sold,” “where can I buy a smart watch?”. Consider that people often use the words “best”, “cheapest”, etc.
To place such content is appropriate on a dedicated page – for example, “Frequently Asked Questions”. This is a great way to optimize content for voice search, without radically changing the content of the site.
4. Use the local directionality of voice calls
According to the research, 22% of users are looking for information about services and goods in their area of residence. For example, “Where can you order sushi at night?” Or, even more often, “Where is the Japanese restaurant next to me”? “Near Me” is a very convenient and common request, take advantage of its advantages:
- Enter information about your company in the virtual card database, including local search ads on Google Maps, as well as in Facebook and Foursquare;
- Make sure that the address and time information is correct and visible to the search robots;
- Make a section about your company more visible with the Google Ads extension.
5. If you (suddenly) still have not made a mobile version of the site, it’s time to improve
Voice search is more often used on smartphones, especially people under 25 years old. If you do not have a mobile version, this traffic will pass by. Check the download speed of the site: if it exceeds 3 seconds, you lose half of the potential customers even at this stage. Use micro-markup: it helps search engines recognize the content of the page and affects its ranking.
Picture Credit: JuralMin