If you are on the fence about incorporating voice search for your business, here are 5 statistics worth pondering to help influence your decision:
- Half of all online searches will be voice-based by 2020
- 61% of consumers use voice search when their hands or vision is occupied
- 65% of smart speaker owners say they are comfortable making purchases with a smart speaker
- Product research is the most common shopping-related activity performed through voice search
- Playing music (82%) is the most popular use of smart speakers currently
Voice search allows users to search the internet using their voice instead of typing their queries in the search bar. This kind of search is used with digital assistants such as Alexa, Google Home, Siri and Cortana.
Why are people using voice search?
Smart assistants are underutilised by consumers in Asia Pacific as they prefer to use these devices for entertainment purposes as opposed to assisting them with everyday tasks. Having said that, many users from other parts of the world use voice search predominantly for multi-tasking – while watching tv, cooking, driving, doing their household chores or watching over children. According to a report by social listing firm, Digimind, the smart home industry is expected to reach USD400 billion worldwide by 2030, with APAC accounting for 25% of it. While voice search is still gaining traction here, this gives you a great opportunity to get a head start in the game and your competitors.
Optimizing Voice Search for Your Business
1. Improve Customer Service Experience
A voice search strategy isn’t about remaining relevant – it’s also about creating a unique and optimized consumer experience that will foster relationships and build brand loyalty. Voice search can differentiate between voices and provide valuable insights about users that can lead to more personalized messages and content, that is great for improving customer experience. Voice search interactions take less time than text-based ones, which makes life more convenient for busy consumers who expect a stellar experience and instant gratification.
2. Voice Search and IoT
Another element to voice search is the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT refers to smart appliances and machines, geared to work with voice recognition devices. These smart devices aim to help people with tasks all around the home such as controlling the heating, turning on the lights, picking a TV programme and using entertainment systems. The smart sensors in the devices gather information from the user, before actioning it into a task. When it comes to voice recognition-ready appliances, all commands can be done via the voice. A great example would be Whirlpool’s collaboration with Amazon to create a line of intelligent and voice-activated appliances that can converse with customers, answer queries and provide guidance on what ingredients a person should buy. This isn’t just for use around the home either. It can be used across several industries such as healthcare, agriculture and retail.
3. SEO Strategy
22% of voice searches are for local content
Nearly 60% of searches are now performed on a mobile device and many of these are done through the voice search feature – to find local restaurants, get directions, order products, find out about the weather and more. The Internet Trends Report found that 22% of people use voice search to find local information. Voice search makes “near me” searches faster and easier for the user. By incorporating the following keywords into your SEO strategy, you can gain more traction for your business:
- Consider the phrases people use to describe the neighbourhood around your location
- Include “near me” in your title tags, meta description, internal links and anchor text.
- Landmarks around your business location
Focus on long-tailed keywords
Voice search is more natural and conversational in tone hence the keywords tend to be longer than text-based queries. Targeting long-tail keywords is a must. You must “think how people speak”. It’s more about real speech and less about keyword variations. Answer the Public portal is a great tool to append search terms with words like “for” or “with” – to dig deeper into searcher intent. You can also use Google Search Console to determine the actual queries that are bringing people to your site. Another option is to document and record the types of questions your customers and prospects would ask. Create content pages that focus on those longer, more conversational terms.
Claim your Google ‘My Business’ listing
Google My Business is a free tool that lets you manage how your business appears on Google search and maps. As a core element of local SEO, it is crucial that your listing data is accurate and kept up to date. Leverage on this listing to provide Google with additional details about your business such as industry, phone number, address, business hours and more. Keeping this property up to date increases your chances of showing up in the results when a relevant voice search is performed.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics are always evolving and marketers must proactively learn skills to stay ahead of their competitors and earn valuable web traffic from voice searches.
Image Credit : Getty Image
Content Strategist in Asia Pacific digital marketing with an interest in Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Relations. She practises yoga in her free time.