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Voice search and recognition is not a trend anymore but an adoption that is on the rise. By 2020, it is estimated that they will make up at least half of all the searches that on the internet.
It has been on the rise with Apple having Siri, Amazon having Alexa and Google having Google Assistant. We are evolving into a Voice Recognition world, and many people already use it on a daily basis. So, why is this technology gaining such a rapid acceptance today? How will it impact SEO in 2019?
Voice Search is defined by a conversational tone and queries that are question phrased, it tends to be more conversational than traditional searches due to the AI system that is at play. When you ask Google, “What day is Thanksgiving this year?”, you are doing a voice search. These searches are conducted with a voice assistant instead of manually typing the search onto the phone or computer browser.
The group that has been found to utilise voice search on their phones the most frequently are teenagers that are between the ages of 18-29.
In this video about SEO in 2019, we show an interesting example on how we use both Voice Search and Local SEO.
These are question statements that answer the why, how, where, and when. People want immediate solutions to their problems, and in response to this, search results will also change in the way they are calculated and formed.
Google may start to favour the most straightforward answers to these questions asked. SEO for voice search will therefore lean towards getting and exploring responses to the why, when, how, and where requested.
The devices that use voice recognition and voice search will be on the rise in 2019, such as smartphones and home speakers. Therefore, websites and their content will need to be suitably optimised for these devices.
Increase In Longer SEO Keywords
Websites will need to include phrases and keywords that are in the question format in their headings, subheadings, and the body of text. Examples of voice search enquiries include, “Where do I get the best painter near me?” and “Where should I eat pizza tonight in this area?”, to name a few.
Searches Will Be Localised
It has been concluded that many voice searches are done when one is on the go. In response to this finding, Google is matching these consumers with those companies that are in their vicinity and can answer the question that is at hand. Businesses should ensure that they are registered with Google My Business, in order to show up when consumers are searching for local services.
Websites must be mobile responsive so as not to be left behind and should be utterly interactive in their user experience. If for instance, a consumer is not able to engage, without difficulties, on a mobile device with a website that Google has listed as an answer to the question asked, then their site will be demoted in its algorithm, which will not be good news for any business.
Semantic Search Will Become More Important
Google relies on a user’s patterns of searches and previous searches to produce the best search result rankings. This is what semantic search is all about. Websites will need to account for semantic searches due to the increase in more conversational searches and questions.
Brand names will need to pass the radio test. This refers to people being able to hear the name of the brand clearly, such as on the radio. Potential customers need to understand and be able to remember it later. Any new brands will also have to have names that a voice assistant can pronounce correctly ensure consumers understand it. Companies that have unpronounceable names and those that are hard to remember may face problems.
Scramble For The Zero Position Via Featured Snippets Will Continue
Featured snippets appear in response to search queries before the usual search results. This is known as position zero and content can be optimised for these snippets by framing the questions and search queries in header tags and answering them as fast as possible.
Tables and structured and unstructured lists are also great optimisation strategies since these formats are frequently used for featured snippets. These snippets are more attainable since the aim is to make it to page one and not position one. Websites that are already on the first page only need a few changes to the page structure as opposed to those in the other pages that have to redo their whole SEO strategy. These snippets are typically pulled from any website on the first page of the results.
In 2019, optimising your business for voice search will be vital. This will be accomplished by use of long tail keywords, claiming a Google My Business listing, and also having conversational keywords. Business should adapt to these changes in order to stand out among competitors since voice search is here to stay.
About The Author
Gary has been active in the SEO space for years, and typically works with small to medium-sized companies in the UK & Ireland that are looking for an edge over their competition in the online business world. Learn more about their approach here.