The popularity of voice search has been on the rise for many years now, thanks to the emergence of smart speakers such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. 66.3 million U.S. households were forecasted to own a smart speaker in 2022, and these innovations are forcing marketers to optimize their content for how users speak rather than just how they type. Thoughtfully incorporating conversational tone and long tail keywords in addition to your typical keyword structure will appeal to all kinds of searchers. As voice search continues to impact search engines, we must understand the effect on SEO practices and how to best optimize your website for this unique and evolving method of search.
Voice search optimization is evolving into a routine practice in the SEO world, and streamlining the information on your pages to appear in voice searches could save you a lot of trouble in the future. Smart speakers are becoming more than just a form of entertainment or a convenient way to play music; they are in the living rooms and kitchens of thousands of families, and are constantly improving in functionality and purpose. Voice search usage on mobile devices is also rapidly growing, therefore increasing the use of conversational language in searches and voice searching in general. A few areas that are crucial to focus on during the optimization process are accounting for errors in transcription, knowing your users and device behavior, adjusting to conversational, long-tail keywords, and considering the effects on ecommerce. If you are interested in further support on adjusting to these areas of voice search optimization, please feel free to contact Anvil’s SEO specialists today.
A recurrent issue that arises within voice search is transcription error. It’s not uncommon to open your social media feed to people sharing the comical mistakes their voice search made when interpreting their spoken message. In fact, across the leading speech-to-text engines available today, you should expect 15-25 mistakes for every 100 words transcribed. Although voice technology is evolving its’ accuracy and errors are becoming less and less frequent, it is still critical to take advantage of the mistakes these devices may frequently make. Therefore, it may become useful to include relevant errors in your keyword research in order to ensure you are covering everything that might be interpreted– or in this case, misinterpreted– from voice search.
Who’s Using Voice Search?
Most SEO specialists are already aware of the typical behavior and demographic of their users, as well as what kinds of devices are being used more frequently. However, these steps become increasingly important with optimizing your pages for voice search. The growing use of screen-free devices and emergence of mobile voice capabilities will have an effect on how you optimize your pages and content to fit those types of users. For instance, if the demographic of your users is more commonly in the Millennial age group, then it is more likely your users are using voice search.
Arguably the most important factor of voice search optimization is adjusting to using conversational keywords and questions. We are more likely to phrase our voice searches in longer, question based formats rather than how we type our searches to be quick and condensed. For example, if I were researching the weather forecast, I may type “weather today” or “weather app.” But when using voice search, I would ask “what is the weather going to be today?” The question terms who, where, when, which and how will appear more frequently in voice searches than they do in written searches, so tailoring your keywords to involve these kinds of queries will give you a leg up in your SEO game.
Ecommerce is an area of SEO that is becoming more and more affected by voice search. Due to transactions being made vocally using smart devices like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Nest, voice search is on the path to completely reshape the world of ecommerce, with voice shopping expected to hit $40 billion in 2022. Anyone who is selling online should pay closer attention to their consumer’s behavior and what they may be searching for in order to purchase products from your site. These voice-enabled devices will have a significant impact on SEO and companies should adjust accordingly to engage with potential customers.
Overall, it is undeniable that voice technology will continue to have an impact on SEO. Given the massive increase in voice adoption and use, we can safely suggest that marketers begin to factor voice search into their SEO checklist. Those who can predict and stay ahead of changes on their websites before they occur will undoubtedly benefit in the years ahead. It may be daunting to think of adding yet another factor into your keywording process, but Anvil Media is always on top of these changes and is ready to support you and your company. Check out Anvil’s Voice Search Optimization Strategy and stay up to date on our SEO Services page.