The integration of voice technology in our daily lives is becoming more and more apparent. Over 27% of the global online population uses voice search on their mobile device to find anything they want, whether it’s entertainment, directions or cooking recipes.
Simply put, voice search is when you look for something by speaking rather than typing it. This innovation allows the user to search for answers to more detailed questions and saves them time from typing or doing the research themselves.
Since voice technology is so prevalent among people, it’s time for businesses to keep up with its emergence by becoming more voice searchable. With the right and relevant strategies, your brand will attract more customers.
Let’s dive into why people are turning to voice search, what some of the benefits are and future predictions!
Why more people are turning to voice search
In essence, voice search is made for convenience. You can ask a simple or lengthy question by speaking instead of typing when your hands are full. Instructions or a quick answer to things make your life a lot easier.
One of the many perks of voice search is that it is hands-free. Suppose you’re in the middle of a baking recipe, and you got flour on your hands. You can use voice search to ask your phone to call up the recipe steps without getting them dirty —you don’t even have to move at all.
Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home have evolved their user experiences by assisting their customers with everyday tasks such as designing reminders and grocery lists. According to a Google survey of over 1,600 voice assistant owners, 41% of those who have one say that using it feels like chatting with a friend.
If you are in e-commerce, look up to Amazon as a voice commerce industry pioneer, powering voice interactions with its Alexa AI feature. Customers can explore and make a purchase decision based on shopper data and trusted reviews without needing to type the product or service name.
Around 33.2 million U.S. customers are predicted to shop using the voice search function on their voice assistants, research suggests. To put this in context, this figure represents a 3.5% growth from 32.1 million in 2021 and 14.1% of total online shoppers in the U.S.
Given the shopping voice search figures, you may want to explore optimizing your site for voice search, particularly if you are in e-commerce to drive sales.
Benefits of voice search
One significant advantage of voice shopping is that it diminishes friction between customers and products. However, the issue of benefits remains: How can adding voice features benefit your brand?
Drive more traffic
Businesses that use voice strategies will receive a boost in web traffic. To give you an idea of how it works, when a voice assistant provides an answer, it will also allow users to access the website from which the answer was retrieved.
If you succeed in voice-optimized SEO, you can expect a significant increase in traffic if you frequently appear as the top result. In fact, you will likely see the same results even if you are merely a featured snippet used for voice answers.
Try utilizing Google Voice Search. It is essentially the same as Google, except you search for things or ask questions verbally. Numerous features in Google Voice can benefit your organizational management, such as the ability to scan the transcribed voicemail over email, set up ring groups and automated attendants.
In terms of customer experience, however, Google Voice favors snippets.
When you ask a voice assistant a question using Google Voice, they will read the featured snippet of your search query. Featured snippets are search results that appear at the top of Google’s organic results on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Here are some pointers for organizing your content for SERPs using Voice Search SEO.
- Your content should aim to answer specific, highly-searched questions.
- Arrange your content in a Q&A format.
- Ensure that you produce high-quality content.
Featured snippets will become more valuable in the future, as will the fierce competition for top search engine rankings.
Enhances accessibility for everyone
Brands that optimize their digital assets for voice search provide a more inclusive customer experience. It also supports your organization in complying with U.S. accessibility requirements such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Using best practices for accessibility allows devices ranging from screen readers to smart speakers to access and read your content. This involves having a well-organized site and page structure that is easy to navigate, offering transcripts and captions for audio and video content, and crafting persuasive and intelligible copy.
According to the Harvard Business Review, the future of these technologies will focus on empowering those who need it the most. The report emphasizes that voice-based technologies benefit those with mobility difficulties, such as those suffering from muscular dystrophy, as well as those with mental disabilities.
Specifically, these include providing nonjudgmental assistance to people with dementia with medication instructions and responding to the same questions repeatedly without having to ask their caregiver.
It enhances the level of accessibility within your company and includes everyone within your audience. It helps a company improve its brand perception, while building an overall better use experience.
Stay ahead of the competition
There is no doubt that voice search still needs a lot of work. The results may only sometimes be accurate, but this is expected to change in the future as technologies advance, making voice searches more efficient and user-friendly.
Regardless of its need for improvements, your brand should prioritize a voice search strategy. Otherwise, you’re giving an opportunity for your competitors to implement one first, allowing them to be more visible to consumers and stay top of their minds.
It will set you apart from your competitors if you provide detailed information about your business in the right places and continue the voice search optimization on your own website. This will also help to optimize the user experience by providing quality answer options for voice assistants.
To achieve this, you must incorporate long-tail keywords with a conversational tone rather than shorter keywords that score well in traditional SEO. However, you should first ensure that your company is voice-optimized on every social media platform and search engine. This is because most voice searches are backed by partnerships or systems linked to their respective smart speakers.
Once you’ve made all these adjustments to your website and SEO strategy, you can evaluate the results yourself. To check if your new voice search approach is paying off, conduct queries relating to your business on mobile voice search and across all of the top smart speakers available, be it Alexa, Google Home, or Cortana.
Future predictions for voice search
Inevitably, everyone will adapt to voice search in no time, and the technology will only get bigger. For now, users can’t depend on visual interfaces to communicate with them, which makes the interaction awkward and sometimes frustrating.
Visibility of voice might be a roadblock due to the said lack of a visual interface with voice assistance. For example, users are unable to see or touch a voice interface without being connected to the Alexa or Google Assistant app.
Nevertheless, search behaviors will change dramatically (in a good way). In fact, according to Statista, the global speech recognition market will be worth almost US$30 billion by 2026.
In the meantime, you should begin to take advantage of a search optimization strategy and keep implementing SEO best practices for your brand. Changing your keywords to a more casual and question-like style will also help you prepare for what comes next.