It’s astonishing how frequently humans converse with robots in science fiction movies. It appears that everyone will be conversing with software-based artificial intelligence or actual machines in the near future.
Although this kind of exchange was once only seen on the big screen, it is now much more typical. Customers are becoming accustomed to asking a machine for information rather than typing it into a computer or mobile device because Siri and Alexa are always accessible.
The game is shifting due to the use of voice-activated technology, but search engine optimisation is where the changes are most profound. (SEO). Now, users can ask Siri or Alexa to look for them instead of typing their question into Google. Brands must change or they risk falling behind as a result of this shift, which has some fairly significant implications.
In light of this, let’s activate our smart devices and investigate how utilising speech search technology can enhance your overall SEO strategy.
What is Voice Search?
Vocal search is the process of converting a vocal command into a search query using speech recognition software.
Such a vocal search request might go something like, “Siri, what is the square root of 64?”
When a user gives a command verbally, the programme converts it to text and uses search engines like Google to locate the appropriate information.
Usually, the programme will react in kind, which means that it will speak back instead of returning search results. However, if required, the user can access these outcomes.
How Does Voice Search Work?
Although speech recognition technology has been around for some time, it has never been very good at comprehending the subtleties of spoken English.
Homonyms, for instance, can cause problems for the software if it ignores the question’s context.
As a result, a speech search programme might misinterpret a request for Reel News in favour of Real News and return the wrong search results.
The last ten years or so have seen significant advancements in voice recognition technology, allowing software to comprehend human speaking patterns and context better.
Even though voice search programmes are far more helpful today than they were in the past, they are still far from perfect. The basic operation of this technology is as follows:
- A prompt is frequently given before the user poses a question to get the programme to start paying attention. (i.e., Hey Siri or OK Google).
- Background noise, including any adjacent speakers’ words, must be removed by the programme.
- Using a large vocabulary library, audio recognition technology converts what the user says into digital text data.
- After processing the content, the programme enters it into a search engine. (i.e., Google).
- Last but not least, the programme either reads a portion of the top search result or informs the user of what they have discovered (e.g., I got this answer from the web).
The programme will speak aloud throughout this procedure, which could take a few seconds.
Since Alexa doesn’t have a screen, some of its devices can’t display search results, but Siri and other vocal search programmes can do so instantly.
To adapt to each user and comprehend the context of each query, these programmes use machine learning.
In general, the more a person uses the software, the better it becomes at understanding what questions are being asked and the kinds of responses the user desires.
Stats on Voice Search
The reliability of voice recognition technology has improved, and customers are benefiting greatly.
Here are some key figures from the sector to show how speech search has dominated the market and how it will change things in the future.
- By 2019, 58.9 percent of US people had previously used voice search.
- Voice search technology is used by 27% of people worldwide who use smart devices.
- With an age range of 18 to 34, the group that has embraced voice search the most tends to be younger. 34% of people in this group use smart speakers like Amazon Alexa, and 77% of them have used voice search on their mobile phones.
- Over two-thirds of individuals (72%) have used a voice search assistant like Cortana or Siri in the previous six months, according to Microsoft.
- Results from voice searches usually arrive in 4.6 seconds, which is quicker than results from traditional search methods.
- Lastly, there are only 29 results on average for speech searches.
How Do I Use Google Voice Search?
It makes sense that the majority of vocal search assistants use the programme to respond to user queries given that it is the most popular search engine in the world.
However, you can use Google voice search directly and omit the intermediary. This way, Google receives your query right away, allowing you to use the sophisticated software to your benefit and receive answers more quickly.
Depending on the gadget you’re using, Google voice search can be used in a few different ways. Here is a list of the procedures needed for each choice:
Using a Browser
There is a tiny microphone icon to the right of the search box when you access Google’s home page.
When you click on it, the voice search screen should load. To perform a search, you’ll need to turn on your computer’s microphone, but you can save these settings for later use.
Using a Mobile Device
You can access your settings in the Google app whether you use an Apple or Android smartphone.
Click “Hey Google” and turn on speech match under the voice setting. When utilising the app, you can now simply say Hey Google or select on the microphone to start a search.
Using a Google Home Device
Hey Google was designed to react to voice commands, so you should only be able to say it when you’re close to the device. The device should then switch to listening mode after which you can type a search word.
As you might anticipate, if you use numerous Google-enabled devices at once, there may be some confusion or chaos.
If you have a Google Home device, for instance, and pose a question into your computer or smartphone, you might not get a response from your phone but from your Home.
So, when using the voice search option, be mindful of your circumstances.
How Does Voice Search Affect Your SEO Strategy?
You understand the value of SEO marketing for boosting website traffic as a company.
But as voice queries become more common, you need to be aware of how the technology affects your strategies. The following are the main ways that speech search will impact your ability to optimise:
More Conversational Keywords
Users are more apt to use filler words and complete sentences when asking questions verbally.
So, someone might query Google, “Hey Google, what’s a good Italian restaurant nearby,” as opposed to typing something like “best Italian food near me.”
Because they can help you rank highly in search results, longtail and conversational terms are now more crucial.
Even though there is still a lot of traffic for typed terms, you should pay attention to how the results alter when you add more words.
More Focus on Snippets and Fast Answers
As Google works to make searching faster and more effective, Google Snippets are becoming more common.
A snippet is a concise text block that appears on the search results page, frequently apart from its backlink. These excerpts are designed to let users find answers without leaving Google and going to another website.
Snippets will only grow more useful in the future because voice assistants aim to offer quick and straightforward answers.
Overall, you can no longer afford to handle article content in a drawn-out manner. Keep it succinct and direct.
More Stress on Reaching the Top Spot
The programme won’t provide you with a response from the third or fourth search result when you use voice search. Instead, it will read the first outcome, regardless of how closely it relates to your search.
We’ve always known that the majority of website traffic goes to the top search results. However, almost all of the traffic when users use voice searches gets to the top result.
Remember that Google likes to display customers of its Ads service before natural search results.
In order to achieve the top spot without expending a lot of time and effort on it, it is frequently worthwhile to spend the additional money on Google Ads.
More Room for Error
When attempting to comprehend the context of a query, voice recognition technology will always have significant limitations until it is perfected.
Therefore, you must take into account how virtual assistants like Siri might misunderstand what the user said or the purpose behind their query when optimising for speech searches.
Even if the assistant was technically searching for something else, you might occasionally be able to give the right response.
You can produce more worthwhile material that will appear sooner in voice search results by better understanding user intent.
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