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Optimise for voice search

Optimise for voice search

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Hey Google! Hey Siri! Alexa! Cortana!

In the early days of voice search, most people dismissed the idea of speaking rather than typing as a gimmick. But fast-forward to 2020 and voice search is now a more accepted way of accessing information online.

The impact of voice search is bigger than ever before – and businesses are starting to embrace the potential of this most human method of communication.

Why are people using more voice searches?

With voice search, it hardly takes any effort to search. Firstly it’s fast! People can speak faster than they can type. It is also convenient particularly when you have you hand full or you are doing something else and you want to get an instant answer to a question.

Voice will rise to be the dominant user interface because it is simply faster. You can complete everyday tasks and communicate more quickly and with less effort
Gary Vaynerchuk, Amazon Alexa Team

Who is using voice?

Before voice-controlled smart speakers burst onto the scene, mobile voice search was the talk of the industry. However, more recently mobile voice search seems to be losing out to the smart speaker crowd

Around 10% of the UK currently have a smart speaker in their home, and the voice recognition market is set to be worth $601 million by next year. The increased ownership of smart devices is set to change the way we browse, with 50% of all searches set to be voice activated by 2020.

Smart speaker market share

How does voice differ from general desktop searching?

Voice searches tend to be conversational and usually ask a question. For example on a laptop, you might type in “Lake District Holiday Park”, but with voice search you would probably ask “where’s the best holiday park for camping in the Lake District?”

Searches are often shorter on a laptop because it takes more effort to type it in. Over the years we have also become more used to typing in concise searches in order to get the best results.

Voice spoken conversational searches tend to be spoken in a full, natural language sentence – and the result is usually a whole sentence as well. This something you might want to consider when working up your SEO and content strategy.

Conversational Searches

Conversational voice searches tend to use the classic 5 W’s.

For example:-

You see from the above examples that conversational searches use more words than typed searches. There are no keywords, but rather key phrases. If you want to rank your website for these kind of phrases then you have to have an answer for these questions.

Google has found that ‘near me’ searches are increasing by 130% year on year
Google

How to optimise your website for Voice Search