SEO in the age of Voice Search

Voice search was primarily introduced by Google in 2011, during initial days it more of a novelty than a feature. However, gradually people started adapting voice search as a primary tool, thanks to enhancements in speech recognition technology.

As per study Google voice recognition is about 95% in English language. Pretty much the same as humans. And estimates are that within the next few years, half of the searches online are going to be voice activated. That’s a lot of talk.

Voice Search in 2020 – Global Statistics

  • As per Google, voice search will contribute to almost about 50% of overall online searches at global level.
  • Study reveals that currently 41% of adults use voice search at least once a day.
  • More than half of all Smartphone users will engage with voice technology on their device.
  • 30% of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen. By Gartner

Voice Search in 2020 – India Statistics

  • In India 20 percent of search queries in India are already done by voice search
  • 270 percent year on year growth in voice searches, as revealed by Google.

This sudden shift is due to the humongous growth, because voice is faster than typing. Also in rural areas, where people can’t read or write in English, this technology comes handy. Since the Indian market is one of the biggest and fastest growing markets, big players like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home etc, are now focusing and placing bets on Indian languages and the Indian market.

The study notes recent developments like the late-2019 launch of Amazon’s multilingual mode in Alexa for users to access the voice assistant in Hindi, as one case in point. Google Assistant already boasts of Hindi being the second-most utilised language for voice globally.

70% of the voice speaker market is currently controlled by just a couple of companies, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and Samsung. And because the platforms and hardware are mostly proprietary, organizations got to develop skills or actions for every app they want to work with. So, what are skills and actions? Fundamentally, they’re tailored interactions performed by digital voice assistants. Google calls these customization them actions, and Amazon address them as skills.

The Biggest challenges for Marketers

In a competitive environment, any brand could develop an interaction using customization and pay to have it come up at the top. That’s one of the biggest challenges in voice search. Users will no longer be presented with 10 results they’ll likely get one or two. And whether those results are organic or paid is still up in the air, and up to the Googles and Amazons of the world to decide. That’s why the first step to mastering voice search is to understand the principles of SEO and create content that answers your customers’ questions better than anyone else.

How to optimize your website for voice search

Usually users want quick easy answers for one of the following two categories of questions.

  1. Want to go somewhere OR buy something
  2. Want to know something OR how to do something

How to optimize your website for “near me” searches for people who are looking for business like yours.

“Near me” is a very competitive search space, at any point in time there are multiple businesses in the same location which offers similar services. It is very important & competitive to get your content up for these search queries.

To do that the most important aspect is to optimize your Google My Business page. By proper optimization techniques your listing can become Google Search Ready but there are lot of other voice search tools available in the market like Siri which uses third party tools like Yelp etc. It is critical to list your business on all such Local search engines to optimize for better Voice search volume.

How to optimize your website for “Want to know something” searches

The answer to voice search usually comes from the featured snippets of Google Search. It is also known as position Zero in Google Search. This position gets approximately 8% of all search clicks. Since this position is not a paid spot, to get your website to this position is very difficult. You have to take content route for the same. Wondering how content marketing can help your business grow & how it will help you get better search visibility check out our article on how content is still king in Digital Marketing.

To this position, think about the key questions your business solves or the services you provide example:

If you are a Video production company then your key question can be “How to make white board videos?”

Or if you are a Restaurant then your key question can be “Best buffet restaurant in Mumbai”

While creating engaging content for such Key questions is you can also create video using same content points & put in on video search platforms. To find out best & most searched key questions you can take help of Keyword research tools. Checkout Top 10 Free keyword reached tool.

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