Do You Need to Start Optimizing for Voice Search?

You’re chopping raw chicken on the cutting board, there’s a pot boiling over on the stove, your phone is locked, and you can’t for the life of you recall the next step of the recipe. You could make a mad dash, knife in hand, to adjust the burner and fumble with your phone as you try to search for the recipe with slippery fingers, smearing salmonella across your kitchen and phone screen in the process. Or you could just ask Google.

People are using voice search more often, and digital assistants are becoming commonplace in homes. Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Home and Assistant are all examples of digital assistants that make our lives easier through voice search.

Bryson Meunier suggests that optimizing for voice search is important now, and will continue to grow in importance as marketers better understand the subtleties and nuances of voice search.

Digital assistants become better listeners

Voice search technology continues to improve, and it’s improved drastically over the past couple of years. The days of frustrating back-and-forths between Siri are coming to an end, or are at least getting less frustrating and less common.

Now, digital assistants understand our voices better, and provide more useful information. Voice search is quicker, easier, and more convenient. But most importantly, voice search works.

It’s not just a party trick or a useful feature to find a place to get gas while driving. More and more people are using voice search in their homes on a regular basis.

Why is optimizing for voice search important?

Optimizing for voice search is important as optimizing for mobile search, or any other type of search. Some people believe that optimizing for voice search will ultimately be the more important than traditional search.

Voice search went from 0% to 10% of global search queries over the course of a single year. This should be a good indication of how quickly voice search is catching on.

In October, Amazon announced that Alexa is in tens of millions of devices, and that soon Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana will be able to communicate with each other. The pieces are in place for voice search to take over.

How do you optimize for voice search?

While digital assistants and voice search have been around for a while now, the technology is still relatively young, and much of the data that Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple have regarding voice search isn’t public.

We know that voice search queries using Google home or Google Assistant provide information from featured snippets. Competition for featured snippets spots should improve voice search results.

We can surmise that the search phrases for voice search might be different from text searches. Of course, we could state voice searches exactly like we type searches, too.

Meunier makes the case that there could be a new category of voice search in the same way that “near me” was popularized with mobile searches, but it’s too soon to identify what that category is.

While optimizing for voice search is as important as optimizing for mobile search or desktop search, it’s not yet clear exactly how to do so.

There are several people who have put out guides for optimizing for voice search, but so far these guides are speculation. Sure, optimizing for long tail keywords, and writing content in a more conversational way could help, but these are practices many professional SEO writers (including Haden Interactive writers) already implement.

SEO changes at a rapid pace, and unless it’s your job to keep up with these changes, you’ll lag behind. Don’t worry about staying ahead of the SEO curve. Let us take care of that for you. Contact Haden Interactive for information about professional SEO services.

 

2 thoughts on “Do You Need to Start Optimizing for Voice Search?

    • Hi, Mike! I certainly agree that it always makes sense to create valuable content for your human users which also communicates well with search engines — especially Google, since they’ve got major market share. We never deviate from that. But I think Gideon has a point here. When we know changes are taking place, we should also consider how they might affect search in the future. At this point, it may just be speculation, but things move fast in this field. Thanks for joining the conversation!

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