Every once in a while, the emergence of a new form of technology impacts the way we live, do our jobs, or have fun. It could be slow and gradual, like how the Internet took over the world over many years. Or it could be fast and surprising, like how smartphones found their way to our palms. However, one thing is always constant: When the time comes, everyone will have to learn how to leverage new waves of technology for their benefit.
We’re not just talking about consumers. Businesses should also learn to adapt to changes in the technological landscape. Even more so than people, since they have to operate in a competitive atmosphere. The more they try to stay ahead of the pack, the more successful they are.
Voice search is a contemporary example of this matter. Technology has progressed significantly in the last decade and more people are adopting it in their lives every day. It’s a topic that companies and marketers should take very seriously since it’ll have a huge impact on how search engines work.
Stay with us at Xino Digital to the end of this article to find out how voice search is changing SEO. We’re also going to talk about how businesses can turn this situation into an opportunity for growth.
The vocal wave
Voice recognition systems have been around for quite a while now. But since the introduction of IBM’s Watson in 2011, The technology took a significant turn towards consumer purposes. Highly advanced machines with the ability to understand and textualize human speech began to emerge.
Two particular products had a huge role in popularizing speech recognition systems: Google Voice Search and Apple’s Siri as the first personal voice assistant which both came out shortly after Watson. Today, almost every tech giant has its own voice assistant. Amazon has Alexa, Microsoft has Cortana, Google has Assistant, and the list goes on.
Many factors contribute to the rapid rise of voice search. The technology itself has become so advanced that it can accurately recognize different languages and accents. Voice search experience is much more convenient and fun. And most importantly, It’s extremely accessible. Voice Assistants are available on every mobile OS, smart speaker, and even on home appliances.
All these factors have resulted in a massive surge in usage in the last few years. An Oberlo forecast predicted that over 120 million internet users in the US will be using voice search by the end of 2021. The day voice search becomes as common as traditional text search is not very far.
The impact on search engines
Although both come up with the same results, voice search is inherently different than text search. The fundamental differences between vocal language and written words lead to notable impacts on how queries are made, processed, and answered.
Language, tone, and context
Voice recognition systems are highly optimized to understand everyday language and casual tone. The whole voice search experience is built around convenience, so users should feel comfortable talking to their assistants as if they’re humans. Therefore, the majority of voice queries have a conversational tone. This is why SEO specialists must take contexts and user intent into account.
Brands should focus on bringing more value to their content. Ranking algorithms like Google RankBrain and Hummingbird give better scores to websites that provide relevant and useful content to answer user needs. The more structured and well-organized your site is, the higher rank you get.
Try using keywords in headings and formatting your pages as FAQs (or put an additional, relevant FAQ at the end of each article). Optimizing pages for Google’s featured snippets can incredibly increase your traffic. This can be done by using bullet lists frequently and utilizing schema markup to take the top spot on SERPs.
Voice queries are much longer than text queries. According to a Backlinko study, voice searches contain an average of 29 words. Since there’s no need for the labor of typing words, people feel free to include more details on their spoken queries. This highlights the importance of targeting and utilizing long-tail keywords.
If you run a website, you should optimize your content to cover the lengthy keywords that mirror the popular voice queries. Expanding your current core keywords and bringing them closer to natural language will lead to higher spots on search results.
Voice recognition has boosted the use of local search. Users are much more likely to use voice search for local businesses near their residence or discover new places when traveling or hanging out.
To get the most out of this powerful trend, businesses should put themselves on the radar by providing search engines with important details. Google My Business can help with this. Make sure your business profile is updated with sufficient info so that your target audience could easily find you.
Adapting to the influence of voice search technology has gone far beyond just beneficial. It is now essential. With every year passing by, more and more internet users are adopting it for their search needs. Tech giants are hugely investing in better smart assistants and the technology is growing at a rapid pace. Along with it comes impactful waves of changes in search optimization and page ranking systems. That’s why businesses of any scale must take appropriate measures and adapt to these changes if they don’t want to fall behind the competition.