As an agency specialized in SEO, we know the importance of constantly adapting your strategy to Google’s SEO to Google’s algorithms, but also to the continuous technological changes.
The next challenge? Voice search, which, since the advent of the smartphone, is well on its way to becoming the first real technological revolution that the world of SEO will have to face.
If we had to keep one number, it would be Google’s. According to the search engine giant, in the US, 20% of the queries made on its mobile app and Android devices are voice searches. This is the equivalent of one in five searches. And, according to the Global Web Index, more than half of 13 to 18 year olds use it every day.
The total number of voice searches is even much higher when taking into account other voice recognition based personal assistants including Amazon Echo, Google Home, Siri and Cortana.
It is therefore not unrealistic to think that voice search could become the preferred method for consumers to find information and products on the web.
We’re just emerging from the nascent phase of voice search. Not so long ago, speech recognition was more frustrating than helpful. But the days when speech recognition tools didn’t understand us are over.
According to the KPCB Internet Trends 2016 report, the accuracy rate of voice search now stands at 92%. So the technology today has evolved enough to make voice search a viable possibility.
The more sophisticated and powerful voice recognition becomes, the more it will become part of the consumer’s daily life. Thus, new devices (such as Alexa and Google Home) are already putting voice search at the heart of consumers’ daily lives, even in their homes.
Remember that the consumer is looking for speed above all. The integration of voice search into one’s daily life will undoubtedly continue to increase in the years to come. Therefore, the more the consumer becomes acclimated to these voice recognition technologies, the more they will get used to using them if they make their lives easier.
To go further, you can also read our article: How artificial intelligence benefits e-commerce?
The advent of voice search doesn’t mean you have to completely overhaul your SEO strategy or your e-commerce site content. But you can start making small changes now:
As most voice searches come from smartphones or tablets, you must optimize your e-shop for mobile devices.
Indeed, if a user performs a voice search, goes to your website and has a bad experience, all your optimization work will be lost! Worse: a poor user experience on mobile also affects your bounce rate and negatively impacts your ranking in Google search results.
With voice search, local referencing is gaining in popularity. Increasingly, consumers on the go with their smartphones or tablets are searching for services or products associated with the terms“near me” or“nearby”.
According to Google, 30% of mobile searches are location-based. So it would be crazy not to integrate local search into your SEO strategy.
Ideally, you should start optimizing your e-commerce site so that the results of queries such as“where can I find a good supermarket near me?” lead customers to your business.
A good way to do this is to narrow the search to questions about the products you sell. For example:“where to find a good vacuum cleaner in Paris?”. In this case, you must also make sure that the content of your pages is optimized for“Paris”.
Because voice search queries can be radically different from written queries, you need to tailor your optimizations to the longer queries that match voice search terms, as opposed to the more common traditional search keywords.
Yes, voice search is very different from traditional “keyboard” search. While we’re all used to a sort of shortcut when it comes to traditional search engines, voice search is more conversational. It usually consists of longer sentences, often begins with a question word and usually ends with a place.
So the first thing to consider is that mobile voice searches use natural language. So start thinking about the oral questions that may be asked about your company, product or service.
Another tip is to take a look at your analytics. Google’s Search Console reports tell you what queries bring people to your website. Of course, at this point, you can’t tell if the query is from voice search. But, you’ll get some good ideas about how people find you right now.
A good way to add natural language to your website or e-commerce site in order to adapt it to voice search is to create FAQ pages, to which you will need to :
Consider incorporating structured data into your website to get richer results (Google rich cards, rich snippet, etc.). These little pieces of code will give more precise information to search engines about your activity, your products and your company and can therefore only be beneficial!
Wondering what structured data is and how to add it to your website? Discover our guide on structured data
AI technology is continually evolving to understand the user’s intent and the context of their query. The history of its research and its location are considered.
Therefore, if a user uses local search phrases such as“near me” or“nearby”, the device will primarily take into account where the user is at the time of the query. It will then pull listings from Google My Business, Bing Places or other online directories.
SEO work related to voice search is therefore about making sure that your store locations, opening hours, phone numbers and other data relevant to local searchers are up to date.
Customer reviews also influence voice search results. Google has updated its algorithms to take into account the comments in the order of search results. Winning customers with voice search therefore means that your stores need to generate many high-quality reviews in order to appear high in the search results.
As voice search becomes more advanced and functional, a majority of people will be attracted to its use. While not expected to completely replace text search (it seems unlikely that its use will become a standard in a public environment), voice search is not just an idea for the future. It is becoming more and more important in the daily life of users.