SEO vs voice search

2018 was the year of risen popularity of smart speakers and therefore voice search. Although giant corporations like Google and Amazon introduced their devices a couple years ago, it took customers some time to get used to asking their smart assistants out loud instead of typing in the question.As more and more people are buying smart speakers the voice commands and search are becoming a common thing. You can ask Alexa to play music or Google Assistant to find a perfect cookie recipe without reaching your phone. This convenience puts voice search into a position where it influences not only users’ behavior but also businesses online.

How does the voice search work?

Voice search uses speech recognition technology, that identifies the spoken words and puts them through the search engine to deliver the best matched results. The convenience of the voice search is that users can find things online while they are driving a car or cooking when they can’t use their hands. The improvement of speech recognition technology also positively influenced the increased popularity of voice search. Users no longer need to repeat their question a couple times for the device to understand them.

It is predicted that by 2020 third of all website searches will not use the screen. However, people still are choosing to type their questions instead of asking the assistant. In fact, voice search is the fourth most common choice after mobile browser, search engine app, and phone’s search window. Nonetheless, the more advanced voice search technology will become the more people will use it.

Impact on SEO

When the user asks the question the assistant answers with the information it found on one of the sources. The assistant chooses the most trustworthy website within the couple first results of search engine. It means that usually, the user will “see” only one result instead of the long list of options which makes the optimization even more important than before.

To make sure that your website ranks high enough for the assistant to choose it uses phrases in your content that starts with question words. Because people unintentionally put their requests into a question form when using voice search, writing content that includes those questions and naturally sounding long-tail keywords will help you to reach more users.

Smart assistants also prefer a mobile-friendly website because they load faster and present information in a way suited for small screens. People who use voice search are doing it out of convenience so they can find a clear answer for their question in a matter of seconds. Mobile device optimization not only will bring the website higher in search results but will be more appealing for the assistant to choose it for the user. 

The growth of voice searches is a very big advantage for local businesses. 13% of people use voice search to look for a nearby place to eat or buy something, so including words like “near me” into the content of the website is a good idea. Focus on optimizing local SEO so it will be easier for the assistants to find you and suggest your business to users.

Voice searches are still not that common as most people feel uncomfortable using voice commands in public. But as the technology advances and people start to use it more often, businesses should invest in optimizing their websites to make sure that smart assistant will not get past them and let users see them.

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