By 2020, around half of all searches will be conducted through voice search.
At least, that’s what the team at SEO Tribunal discovered when it conducted extensive research into the area.
Voice search is not a novel concept. If you have a smartphone, tablet, or even a laptop, you might already have used it yourself.
There’s no question that it makes searching for things online a lot simpler. After all, why type out a query when you can just ask your device to look for the answer?
If you’re not that clued up when it comes to voice search, the infographic below will tell you all that you need to know.
In this post, however, we’re more interested in how voice search and AI will affect businesses going forward.
Are you ready to learn more?
Advances In AI Have Made Voice Search Viable
The earliest versions of personal assistants were comparatively stupid by today’s standards. You had to get the exact keyword and spelling right to get close to getting the right answer. Even then the results were not very accurate.
Today however, AI is far more advanced, making voice searches a lot more accurate. In addition, virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana, Duplex etc. can collect results on their own and give you a quick summary of what they found.
The increase in the capabilities of these assistants has led to the creation of smart devices, such as smart speakers. These devices make full use of voice recognition software and can become a hub in the home.
All you have to do is to say the magic phrase, like Hello Google and your speaker will be activated. From there, you can run a voice search or tell your assistant to play music, for example.
What’s Does This Mean for Your Business?
Well, for starters, it means that your site must be optimized for voice search. But don’t let that stress you out too much, it’s not that much of a departure from what you are doing already. What you need to do is to start thinking as someone would if using a voice query.
Queries Are Changing
When we try to type out a query we tend to be a bit more economical with the number of words we use. We aim to use the minimum number of words because that means less typing. This further means that it’s a lot easier to narrow down the number of keywords to target.
With voice search, the opposite is true. We simply phrase the query as we normally would. It means that the number of keywords that might be used increases a lot. Also, the queries will take the form of questions, rather than simple phrases.
How to Prepare for Voice Search
It is actually a lot easier to optimize content for voice search than you might think.
You’ll need to think about the types of questions that people might ask in relation to your business, and then incorporate these into your site.
Setting up a comprehensive FAQ page is a good way to get started. But you can also start to incorporate more question style content on your site. So, for example, you could create a post titled,” What process do we use?” instead of “The Process We Use.”
It’s a subtle distinction, but one that better matches the format of queries to come. It will also work well when it comes to typed queries, so it’s not going to hurt your results now either.
Consistency Is Essential
There is one area where voice search could hurt business though, and that’s when it comes to the aggregated content provided.
Let’s say that someone asks Google for information about music shops in the area. Google will create a summary of the information based on numerous sources. What Google cannot do, however, is check that the information is correct. It could be a problem for you if there is info out there that is incorrect.
Say, for example, that your business was listed in a few online directories and then you moved. It isn’t a problem for you, you just update the information on your site. But Google will still pick up that old information and could present it in its findings. This means that the searcher could receive your old address and telephone number. And who do you think they’ll blame because the info is incorrect? That’s right – your business.
To get around this, run regular checks on your business’s information online in all sources and make sure that it is all correct and consistent.
In general, optimizing for voice means approaching things from a slightly different perspective, but it is not a major adjustment by any means.
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