The importance of voice search strategy for your website lies in the fact that more and more people are using voice search over their mobile devices to find info and products on the web. This is a new pivotal factor that is emphasized by experts like Neil Patel, who explains,” It has gained mileage because it is more convenient for a user to speak with an assistant than to type. The results of voice queries are also faster.” (https://neilpatel.com/blog/seo-for-voice-search/)

Among the research data on voice search,  studies showsthe radical increase in voice – first devices (see diagram below).  SEO trends studies also showed that in 2017 voice search was third in the methods used to search online – one would expect this to have increased dramatically in the last few years.

An important bit in data is that Google has stated that 20 percent of mobile queries are voice searches (Google). This has important implications for SEO and the way you structure and prepare your website for search. One of the main issues involved here is that this increase is linked to the increase in virtual assistants. These are becoming more popular and many people use them to search for info, data and products. “The range of virtual assistants, such as Siri, Cortana, Google Voice Search/Now, Viv, Amazon Alexa, and now, Google Home, are collectively training people to search using their voices and to become more “conversational” with search and mobile devices.” (searchengineland)

The following facts about voice search also provide insight into why it is becoming such an important factor in online search:

  • 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information within the last year
  • 46% of voice search users look for a local business daily ( locality and proximity are important aspects for optimization that will be explored in the next blog post on voice assisted search)
  • 27% visit the website of a local business after conducting a voice search
  • 76% of smart home speaker users conduct local searches at least once a week—with 53% performing daily searches

Furthermore researchers point out that :

  • 1 in 5 adult’s use mobile voice search at least one time a month, according to Global Web Index.
  •  22% of smart home speaker owners have made a purchase using their device.
  •  2 of 5 adults perform a voice search at least once a day.

(Sources for  the above – https://seoexpertbrad.com/voice-search-statistics/)

Having established the importance of voice search it follows that  optimizing your website for search has become a crucial aspect of SEO “ With the increase in the use of digital assistants, optimizing for voice search is critical to your SEO success.” (Patel)

It is significant to note the prediction that “By 2020, 30% of all website sessions will be conducted without a screen.” ( Forbes)

But how does one begin adapting or optimizing for voice search?

One first has to look at the central characteristics of voice search – in other words, what makes voice search different .

One of the more obvious and main characteristics of voice search is that they contain conversational words and language – Google and other search engines know this and they have developed semantic search techniques and the much discussed AI or artificial intelligence to take cognizance of this important aspect of voice search.

For example, Neil Patel gives the following example:

When you search for restaurants via typing on your phone or computer, you might write “best restaurants in San Diego.” This is computer language. If you use voice search, you will probably ask a question, like “Which restaurant serves dinner now?” This points to the important characteristic of voice search in that they are very often framed in terms of a question.

A second aspect to note it that voice searches tend to be much longer than other searches mainly due to their conversational tone.

Another important characteristic to consider is the continuing development of artificial intelligence in the assessment of voice search patterns. Artificial intelligence is the driving force behind voice search engines, and it becomes more capable and intelligent with every conversation.

So what must you do to make your site compliant for voice search? We will explore this complex but important subject in our next blog post.