The Effects of Voice Search Optimization on Digital Marketing!
The number of people who use the so-called voice search assistant is increasing continuously. According to estimates and surveys, almost 60% of all young people use this method of Google search very regularly. But even among adults, a good 45% use the voice search function at least once a day, and the trend is growing rapidly. But the use of mobile surfing continues to increase overall. According to study, a good 81% now go online via smartphone – a new record. The question now is what effects these developments have on the workspace of SEOs. The changed user habits due to the voice search function also make new approaches to SEO optimization necessary in order to be taken into account in the result list of Google searches using voice search.
Which voice search assistants are there?
In addition to Google with its system Google Now (“Ok Google”), other industry giants have also followed suit and developed their own language software. Windows Phone owners have known Cortana for a little longer, voice search assistant has been widely used since the introduction of Windows 10.
How does voice search work?
In its origins, voice commands were mainly used to start calls, dictate texts for an SMS, for Word or for an e-mail, or to call up websites directly. In the meantime, the technology has become more sophisticated and complex. In the meantime, the search engine is mainly operated using voice searches.
How does the voice assistant manage to display meaningful and relevant results?
Of course, when it comes to the secret algorithms, Google can hardly be looked into. Nevertheless, the Hummingbird update from 2013 should be mentioned first. The algorithm, which was new at the time, made it possible for the first time not to search for more words and word combinations 1:1, but to recognize the context behind them that the user associates with the input. This so-called “semantic search” revolutionized Google search in the long term and was at the same time a milestone in terms of the accuracy and quality of the search results displayed.
Voice Search independently recognizes the context!
The search on Google differs very much in which respect the user carries out it. Experience shows that typing in search terms only includes 1 to 3 words, while the search using voice search includes 3 to 6 terms. Even complete sentences are sometimes spoken by the users. Of course, that changes the way SEOs work immensely. Optimizing for individual keywords is no longer sufficient here to be sufficiently taken into account in the voice search. The search using voice search differs greatly from the usual Google search in terms of its search technology. It must therefore be made easier for Google to ensure that its own website offers users the required semantic sense in order to land at the top of the hit list in voice search.
How speech recognition works?
The operation of the speech recognition (voice recognition) is performed at all platforms on a similar principle. The text recognition is carried out by recording the spoken words into an audio file. This audio file is then converted into text that can be “read” by the respective software. The second step is crucial. In addition to the correct recognition of the spoken terms, the software must now be able to classify them correctly. The meaning of the search query must be recognized. In the third and last step, the instruction is then executed, i.e. performing the search and displaying the list of results. This shows how well the voice search function has done its job.
What innovations has voice search brought with it so far?
Due to the high level of comfort and ease of use, it is highly likely that voice search will establish itself in the medium term. But Google itself is also doing a lot to ensure that voice search is becoming increasingly important. Here are a few trends on this.
Direct Answers and Rich Answers from Google
With the Direct Answers, Google wants to enable its users to quickly and efficiently provide the right answer to the question asked. For this purpose, the user is no longer only shown links in the list of search results, but also a so-called knowledge box (knowledge graph) in a special form. Around 20% of user inquiries are currently answered in this way, and the trend is rising. So far, information about famous cities, people or places, but also the weather, has been clearly displayed in this way. In addition to the above knowledge boxes, so-called rich answers are now increasingly appearing in the SERPs. Above all, these offer the user useful functions such as converting currencies and measurements.
Rich answer conversion speed
With the help of such rich answers or a so-called quick answer box, Google would like to give users the answer to the search query as quickly as possible. It is astonishing that the voice search is used especially in situations in which the users actually pursue another occupation.
At the same time, however, this also shows Google’s upcoming change. Due to these developments, the search engine is increasingly becoming an answer machine.
Voice search is gaining in importance, especially in local searches
In addition to providing background information, voice search plays a key role, especially for local searches. According to Google, local retailers and service providers in particular benefit from mobile search. According to Google, 50% of consumers who use their smartphone to search for a retailer, product or service provider are actually on site within 30 minutes in a shop that was displayed in the hit list. Frequent searches in this context are the opening times of shops, the search for discounts and special offers, and reviews from other customers.
What effects does voice search have on SEO?
Two good news first. Google does not (yet) penalize sites that are not optimized for voice search. However, this is in all probability only a matter of time. And all those who have already worked solidly in the area of ” content ” over the past few years have little to fear. On the contrary. Good content is once again greatly enhanced by voice search and is rewarded accordingly by Google. Nevertheless, there are some changes in the area of SEO to make your own domain fit for voice search.
The spoken language significantly changes the nature of the search queries
Since search queries in voice search are sometimes formulated in whole sentences, it is now of far less use if websites are only optimized for single or a few keywords. The spoken language is very different from the usual input of terms on Google. Here it is necessary to adapt your own strategy. In this case, long-tail keywords in particular provide answers to complex questions. In addition, headings on websites or in blog articles can be formulated in W-form, for example, and the answer can already be formulated below. Headings That When? How? What? Where? Why? contain, Google offer themselves as a potential source of answers – provided that Google’s own domain is considered authentic (site authority) enough. The classic FAQs, which provide clear answers to previously asked questions, seem to be experiencing a kind of renaissance here – FAQs reloaded, so to speak.
Semantics and content will play an even more central role
Online forums and blogs are likely to be of particular importance here in the future. In these, not only can users ask questions, which are then answered immediately. This also has the effect that user-generated content is created. This, in turn, is particularly appreciated by Google by classifying it as particularly relevant, as there is a clear added value here.
In general, it can also be said that the already increased importance of high-quality content in the course of voice search will continue to increase. Anyone who offers their visitors no or inferior content should not be surprised by low visitor numbers, poor ranking and high bounce rates.
Local SEO is becoming increasingly important
Since the voice search goes hand in hand with the search for dealers, services and entertainment options on site, the area of local SEO will gain in importance in the future. Local SEO means all measures that bring about an optimal placement of your own company or your own products in the local search of a user. Above all, the areas of rating and reviews play a special role. Positive user ratings on platforms and portals have a major impact on the results list in voice search. In addition, of course, the distance to the target, the degree of agreement with the searcher’s request (relevance) as well as the importance or awareness of the company and other relevant influencing factors. If, in the past, large amounts of data on user behaviour were already collected, voice search takes this to a new level. Speech recognition is used, for example, to determine the gender of the user and adjust the results accordingly. Positioning (GPS tracking) also plays a central role in local searches.
Conclusion on voice search and SEO
Voice search is not yet fully developed and is still used cautiously, depending on the age group, but industry experts assume that it is only a matter of time before voice search is fully established. In addition, Google is constantly working on optimizing the voice search function. In the medium term, the results will become more and more precise and voice search will become indispensable. With the increasing number of users, however, all SEOs will have to deal more intensively with the voice search and take appropriate SEO measures.
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