How Voice Search Is Changing The World Of SEO & The Way We Do SEO

Every 1 in 5 adults uses mobile voice search at least once a month - and now, as many as 20 to 25% of the search queries are performed via voice; whether you are using voice search or not, it has brought changes to the way we do SEO.

According to the study commissioned by Google, among adult Americans, 51 percent of teens and 32 percent of adults use voice search just for fun. Seventy-six of all Americans think voice search is great for multitasking. 59 percent of teens and 36 percent of adults use their phone's voice search while watching TV (look at the infographic for more data at the end of the post).

WAIT! What does voice search do?

When you ask search engines ‘What day is Father's Day this year?’ or requesting Alexa’s or Siri’s help while drinking beer on your couch, you are using voice search already.

Voice search is a speech recognition technology that allows users to search by saying terms aloud rather than typing them into a search field. As searching styles change, the impact of the search queries changes as well. The language turns into more natural and conversational tone when voice search is used.

SEO experts should, therefore, be ready for the ongoing impact voice search has on SEO. In this article, I'll tell you more about how I think voice search will affect SEO.

Semantic Search Will Become More Important

Semantic search is Google’s data searching technique in which a search query aims to not only find keywords but to determine the intent and contextual meaning of the words a person is using for search. So, in short: understanding what users are ‘exactly’ looking for. Google hereby evaluates different factors such as previous search history of the unique user, or patterns of searches besides the used keywords.

Here are some common search features that you might come across on a daily basis, when searching on Google:

1 - Conversational Queries and Results:

conversational-queries-and-results
conversational-queries-and-results

2 - Auto-correct Misspelling:

Auto-correct-misspelling
Auto-correct-misspelling

3 - Knowledge Graph:

Knowledge-graph
Knowledge-graph

Voice search became substantial for search - however, the importance of it will increase even further. People are performing conversational searches on Google with their voices; those queries are longer and more natural. With these conversational queries, semantic search becomes more important as well.

  • Google Assistant handles about 70% of the requests in natural language.
  • 53% of people who own a voice-activated speaker had a natural feeling while speaking with it.

Featured Snippets Remain Important For Voice Search

For most of the searches, Google wants to keep you inside the SERPs. A high amount of voice search users search via their phones and want to receive fast and high-quality results to their searches, over and over again.

Featured snippets are the rich data snippets generated by Google. Even better, Google gives credit to brands on both regular- and voice searches with featured snippets, which is more attainable. If you already managed to have your site appear on the first page on the results page for some keywords, you just need a couple more tweaks to reach position 0.

When Google uses the featured snippets results as an answer, it mentions the source of where the information is coming from. With voice search, Google introduces the answers like ‘according to Kubix Digital’, or ‘we found this information on Kubix Digital’.

So, answering searches about related topics on your website can be very beneficial when you want to increase brand awareness.

structured-snippet-sample
structured-snippet-sample
the-full-moon-structured-snippet-screenshot
the-full-moon-structured-snippet-screenshot

Content Needs To Be Organized For The Users In Tone and Function

As I mentioned before, content keeps its importance in SEO and the slice in the content is only getting bigger with voice search.

The fastest growing part of SEO is voice search - you speak your search queries instead of typing it and the answers that you get will need to be spoken back to you. In the case of it, publishers need to create content more comprehensive. What users care about, Google cares about. Results will be spoken back to the users in a more natural tone and in a more conversational way. SEO specialists have to organize the content by covering full subjects and questions for voice search queries. If you want to learn more details how to optimize a web page for voice search, check out our voice search SEO tips.

Private Names, Especially Brand Names, Need To Pass The Radio Test

audio-microphone-radio
audio-microphone-radio

The voice assistant replies to the searches in a natural way and continues to talk with its users. When the search engine receives the answers from a website, it speaks the brand name and website name out loud. In this case, brand names need to be pronounceable for the assistant.

By doing a ‘radio test’, you can check whether your domain name will be spelled correctly by the voice assistants. Usage of loud answers stresses its importance even more. Domain names need to be clear for all brands in the results page, in order to pass the test for voice search.

Local Optimization Strategies For Voice Search Will Continue

Directories are becoming more important and so do local searches. Google My Business optimization only itself is not opt-in any more. Optimizing for the local pack is as important as GMB with voice search. If the photos, owner reviews, and positive customer reviews and so on are optimized, the possibility to show in the 3 pack is high. Local optimization strategies are also important in SEM besides the 3 pack, the product searches, and the other organic result areas.

3-pack-location-screenshot
3-pack-location-screenshot

The Summary

SEO is changing with other factors in it, and voice search technology is one of the reasons for this change. What specifically influences SEO within voice search is the optimization of the web pages for a different style of queries, making tiny tweaks to serve your content to users, and making your content understandable for Google.

It will be interesting to see how voice search growth will change the way we do SEO. In terms of SEO, change has already been started.

What are your thoughts about voice search impact on SEO? I would be very happy if I can read your comments.

how-voice-search-changed-the-habits-infographic
how-voice-search-changed-the-habits-infographic
Çiçek Özgenal
27 Jun 2019

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