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The advent of handheld devices has drastically changed how people use the internet. A significant portion of the search traffic has moved from full-sized computers to mobiles. Companies like Google are concentrating on mobile data traffic, ranking websites according to their compatibility, user-friendliness and optimisation for mobile devices.
In the last few years, the concentration has further shifted to voice search optimised content. Thanks to the proliferation of services like Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana, Siri, almost every tech-savvy person have already used or used voice search. Experts are predicting that by 2020, 20% to 50% of the entire search traffic will be headed by voice search. Today, there are more than 67 million voice assisted devices in the United States alone, using primarily Google Assistant and Siri as their default voice engine. With the rapid advancements in Cortana, Alexa, and Google Home, voice search has already reached desktop and laptop computers and smart houses.
As with all past changes in search patterns, voice search trends are also bound to change the SEO techniques. Accordingly, the contents that go to various websites also have to modify them accordingly to better optimise with the new search engine rules and regulations. As the algorithm powering different search engines become ever so accurate and efficient, further changes will be introduced to help sites tap into and extend their reach while improving their search result ranking.
2019 – The year of voice search revolution
The very first shifts towards voice search started many years ago. Google’s Hummingbird shifted focus to the contextual meaning of a keyword instead of concentrating on the actual words. As handheld devices became more available, this shift showed a surprising speed up. As of today, more than 420 million searches, a staggering 12% of all Google search, are mobile voice query. In total that adds up to about 1 billion voice searches every month, which is a significant increase in voice search trends from a meagre 0.72 million voice-based queries in 2014.
Keeping up with the trends – how to create voice search optimised content?
There are various ways how one can improve and optimise their website content to better suite voice queries. Let’s take a look.
People tend to use longer, conversational search queries when they are performing a voice search. For example, while typing in Google, one might only search for “best content writer”, whereas, during a voice search, the same person is more likely to say “best content writer near me” or “content writing companies in my city”. It is a significant change in the expression, which is necessary to implement into voice search SEO to gain the best returns.
However, one should avoid using too complicated sentences with several phrases and clause. Regardless of the astonishing advancement in artificial intelligence and speech recognition, the system at the other end may not be able to decipher what the user wants to look for.
Studies done by various institutions show that a response to a voice search query often stays within only 29 words. It is an interesting way for SEO analysts to optimise their contents for providing specific, shorter answers for clearly defined questions.
It is also partially because of how humans speak. During ordinary speech, people often avoid speaking and comprehending long, complicated sentences. Websites that form their content according to this requirement, portraying one particular thought for a specific query, will create the most voice search optimised content and ultimately rank better.
Question centred content is well-suited for voice search than a regular string of words. People often use expressions like ‘What’, ‘Who’, ‘When’, ‘How’ during normal speech, which reflects when they create voice search queries.
Experts consider this as an excellent way for optimising voice search SEO. Carefully integrating a question-answer based term at the beginning of content can significantly increase chances of it getting registered by a search engine.
Although voice searches are not limited to mobile devices only when creating speech query optimised content one should consider handheld devices as the default platform. The highest volume of voice search queries generate from mobile devices, and people still recognise them as a device to communicate using speech.
Creating voice search optimised content for mobile devices will automatically gear the content creators to write shorter, to the point sentences. It will add further improvement on to the point queries and answers.
Merging the new and existing in a content
A higher volume of voice queries is bound to change the methods of search engine optimisation; however, it will not render all the older methods and optimisation techniques obsolete. Keywords will continue to be of importance, but they will have to be integrated naturally according to people’s speech patterns.
Voice search optimized content will significantly shift focus to context, quality, and delivery of the result to a user. Good quality content that delivers value to a particular query instead of providing a ton of information on the same go, question-based, conversational query designs will rule the voice search optimisation within the next few years.