Is Voice Search The Next Big Things In SEO?

Is Voice Search The Next Big Things In SEO_

Among the most significant changes in the digital world is the growing acceptance of voice search technology by internet and gadget users. The simplicity with which voice search may be conducted is remarkable.

In the same way that we use our fingers to interact with our smartphones, we also talk to our gadgets. Many firms, however, are concerned about this new sort of online engagement. Organisations must include voice search into their SEO strategy in order to remain competitive and innovative and avoid being hampered by the virality of voice searches.

What is the use of voice search?

Voice search is a technology that enables people to search with their voices rather than typing manually. It uses an automated speech recognition (ASR) technology that converts audio to text.

It’s at this point that search engines, like Google, treat the word like any other search query and continue with their usual search-query-matching process. It’s important that you incorporate voice search for your marketing plan in light of the growing popularity of this type of search.

How does this work?

To get an answer to your question, “What’s the weather like where I am?” You could also just ask Google Voice, “What is the recipe for pumpkin pie?” A simple voice search is all that’s required of you at the moment.

You may do a voice search by clicking the microphone icon in the search box and asking your query. It’s just as easy and fast (if not faster) than typing in a search term.

To conduct any of these inquiries, you may use a voice assistant instead of manually inputting your inquiries into a computer. Nowadays, there are a variety of assistants on the market, and they may be used with a variety of gadgets.

Apple Siri, for example, works on all iPhone models.  Apps for iOS and Android are also supported by Google Assistant, as are Google Home and Pixel smartphones running on Android. With Cortana, you may use it on your phone, tablet, Xbox One and Android and iOS devices.

Amazon’s Echo speakers are compatible with Alexa. The popularity of Siri and Google Assistant is due to the fact that they can be used on a wide range of devices.

How does voice search function? Search queries run through four stages of voice commands:

  • Reducing the volume of the noises around you.
  • Turning sound waves in data
  • An examination of how people sound (processing)
  • Recognising recurring themes (comparing the query to the samples in the database).

For example, the system can discern various intonation patterns and other speech characteristics thanks to billions of samples prepared. For a rudimentary ASR, the distinction between “you write” and “you’re right” is nearly hard to discern. 

A computer’s ability to understand context allows it to determine the proper word. As much as 95% of the time, Google’s speech recognition engine can accurately convert spoken words into written ones.

To identify voice, translate it into text, and increase transcribing accuracy, a variety of algorithms and computational approaches are used. Natural language processing (also known as NLP) is a popular approach.

NLP, or Natural Language Processing, is a branch of AI that focuses on the ways in which people and machines communicate using language, both verbally and in writing. Speech recognition is a common feature on today’s smartphones and other mobile devices, whether for use in voice searches or to make messaging more accessible.

Vocal Search And Speech Recognition Technology History

You wouldn’t have guessed it, but voice search has been around since 1952. Wolfgang Von Kempelen created the first speech device in 1774, demonstrating that the concept of speech machinery has been around for more than 230 years! However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that genuine speech recognition technology truly took off.

The 1950s

‘Audrey’ was the first speech recognition system developed by Bell Laboratories in 1952. Digital technology took a huge leap ahead with the introduction of “Audrey” since she could identify the numerals uttered by one person.

The 1960s

IBM presented a machine named “Shoebox” in 1962 in Seattle, ten years later. The Shoebox was the next massive breakthrough since it was able to recognise 16 words in English.

Moreover, in the 1960s, institutions in the United States; Japan; England; and the Soviet Union created machinery that could detect four vowels and nine syllables in speech.

The 1970s

Back in the ’70s… Speech-to-text technology is taking steam! Speech recognition technologies were made possible in large part because of funding from the United States Department of Defense. The first-ever speech-to-text research was financed by DARPA SUR from 1971 to 1976.

At Carnegie Mellon University in the 1970s, “Harpy,” a computer programme that could understand 1,011 words and search for logical phrases, was built.

For example, the first professional speech recognition firm, ‘Threshold Technology,’ was founded in the 1970s, and Bell Laboratories introduced a system that could recognise several voices. Thanks to the “Hidden Markov” model, voice recognition vocab expanded from only a few hundred words to thousands of words and could recognise an infinite number of words.

The 1980s

During the late 1980s, voice recognition became available to the general public. Texas Instruments invented a doll called ‘Julie’ in 1987 that could be taught by toddlers to react to their words.

The 1990s

The emergence of powerful microprocessors in the 1990s made voice software possible. This was the world’s first voice recognition software for customers when Dragon introduced ‘Dragon Dictate’ in 1990. A year later, they released Dragon Naturally Speaking as a follow-up to Dragon Dictate. Even while the new model allows you to talk at a rate of 100 words per minute, it will set you back a whopping $695!

The 2000s

Despite computer voice recognition surpassing 81% accuracy through the end of 2000, progress in the field looked to be slowing in 2001.

The 2010s

Nevertheless, in 2010, Google introduced ‘Personalized Recognition’ to their voice search on Android smartphones, which allowed software to capture user voice queries in order to create a more precise speech prototype. 

Google Chrome’s voice search feature was implemented in the following year, and speech technology began to gain in reputation and use. There are now 1.2 trillion words that Google’s English speech algorithm can interpret from user searches!

Is it possible to forecast what will happen in the future of voice search? As marketers, how vital is it to include voice search into our overall marketing strategy? Voice search is anticipated to account for half of all searches by 2022! Siri and Alexa are now so commonplace in people’s daily lives and even in their residences that it appears to be a meaningful and wonderful addition to the digital world.


Voice Search VS Text Search

Differences between text and voice search are summarised in the following paragraphs:

While Amazon is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to sales figures, some estimates predict that 50% of Amazon Prime members—around 55 million people—now have an Amazon Echo gadget. Google Home goods are sold every second, despite Amazon’s Alexa devices now being the most popular and successful speakers.

However, although Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana are battling it out for voice-assistant supremacy, the massive popularity of both of these gadgets has already caused major SEO shifts for medical firms. Here are the three main distinctions between text search and voice search, and also how marketers should optimise their websites for both types of searches.

  1. Voice searchers inquire in a unique way.

Since individuals don’t speak in the same style they write, businesses need to be more conscious of voice search and optimise their terms for both sorts of searches. Many people use their voice commands in the same method they would use a human assistant, such as “Where else can I buy a PS5 near me?” Shorter text terms, such as “PS5 near me,” are more common in text searches.

It’s not only that voice and text search have different features. It is becoming increasingly common for voice search gadgets to be optimised to find the greatest answers on their own, rather than presenting the user with a list of search results, due to this. To be found by people searching for a brand via voice search, you must employ long-tail keywords, which raises the stakes of SEO considerably.

  1. The importance of location.

Searching for information via a voice assistant is a very location-dependent process, and while voice assistants have evolved to the demand of users for one response, they have also gained a greater capacity to react to casually-phrased requests organically. “Where can I find the best restaurant near me?” will encourage a search of all eateries in the area, not just the keyword “best restaurant.”

According to 35% of customers, they would be intrigued by opportunities to arrange appointments using voice search. Use services like Yelp and Google Review to ensure that you don’t lose out on opportunities to be the top company that comes up on top in a voice search.

  1. Mobile devices are the most popular.
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Despite the rise in popularity of smart home gadgets, smartphone voice search is still the most successful platform. Mobile searches, like most voice searches, are primarily dependent on the area; nevertheless, your organisation might be optimised for location-based searches and still end abruptly on mobile devices.

This means that mobile devices are more inclined to provide consumers with search results than voice assistants like Amazon Echo or Google Home. Loading time and mobile friendliness are important even if your website is at the top of the search results.

Your voice search traffic will rise if you use long-tail keywords, keep your location up-to-date, and optimise your website for smartphones.

In which industries would voice search be most beneficial?

Now, rather than waiting for something to happen, you have to deal with the fact that it is occurring now or risk being ignored by the world of search.

It’s a fact that can be heard all across the business. However, change brings with it new possibilities. Unprecedented opportunity to bridge the gap between organisations and customers in a natural, conversational manner that satisfies user purpose while also increasing productivity.

In a world where people’s voices are king, we want to look at how industries might adapt to this new environment while also providing insight into some of the more saturated ones that we feel would gain the most from it.

What potential do these sectors have for brands?

If you want Google to know what your website is all about, you need to structure your content intelligently, with the help of Schema markup.

The Eight Most Voice-Friendly Industries

While any sort of company may profit from a voice search, brick-and-mortar enterprises that want greater exposure would stand to gain the most from it.

  • Food businesses 
  • Supermarket 
  • Food Delivery 
  • Stores that sell clothing 
  • Bed and breakfasts and hotels 
  • Medics 
  • Pubs and Bars 
  • Services for Hair and Makeup 

Human And Assistance

Brands have a chance to interact with their customers on a more personal level thanks to voice search. Brands may enter a future driven by technological user behaviour by putting Schema and communication at the top of their priority list.

Users will be more concerned with “a voice experience” from businesses they know and trust than “a search result.”

If we are to progress as an industry, we must have a better knowledge of how people seek information. It’s time for these overburdened businesses to reclaim control of the data that’s out there for the taking.

As voice assistants continue to develop, so will the strategies marketers use to create their content. However, whether or not brands are able to adapt to new technologies is mostly up to them.

How To Optimise Your Website With Voice Search 2022

Taking advantage of the voice-first world that is quickly becoming a real thing.

The rise of smartphones has resulted in a major shift in the search environment. Searches are rapidly moving from text-based to voice-based.

Moreover, as more and more businesses are embracing eCommerce platforms, you have no choice but to stay up with the changes by optimising your content, website, and everything else.

There is serious competition for the few remaining clients. As a result, you don’t want to miss out on a slice. Using voice search and wearable technologies to your advantage can give you a leg up on your competition.

Get organised and devise a strategy for success

You must adjust your business to both present and future voice search requirements. That implies you’ll need a plan of action. All the keywords you’ll need, as well as your current and prospective content, must be evaluated. In order to keep your audience engaged, you must provide new material.

Make yourself known on the internet

If you run a local business, this is a positive thing. This one can be skipped if you’re not interested. You can get ready for voice search if you’re local by making sure your business has been listed online.

To begin, you’ll know that smart wearable goods have limited display sizes if you’re selling them. Google Assistant for Android and Siri for Apple devices are only two examples of voice-activated assistants on smartphones.

The voice assistants can’t put up search results, particularly for local companies, as Google does. As a result, company listings are shown first on the page. You’re not doing a good job of optimising your website in step one.

Do some keyword research

Keep in mind that your clients are more likely to use voice search than keywords. The reality of human communication is that you will have to cope with longer keywords.

So instead of “orange birthday cake,” you could focus on “do you know of any good vendors for orange birthday cakes?” You don’t get results alternatives from voice, but instead, you’re directed to a product’s action.

As a last resort, you may choose to invest in SEO tools that may assist you to narrow down your search terms.

SEO for local search optimisation

Improving your local listings and content is necessary once you’ve completed the process of creating and posting local material. Most people use voice searches to find directions to places they have to go. “Best Places For Fast food in Singapore” or “Fast food restaurants in Singapore” might be the topic.

How to Optimize Your Website for Voice Search SEO:

Reduce the time it takes for a website to load when using voice search SEO

Page loading speed is one of the most critical ranking variables available. It will also become increasingly important to have a fast-loading website in the future because of the ever-increasing volume of digital material (including audio)

Websites with content that is broken down into bite-sized bits perform better in search engine results pages (SERPs). Google (and other search engines) prefer websites that take less time to load.

Make use of long-tail keywords in your SEO strategy.

When it comes to optimising your website for voice searches, long-tail keywords still have a place in your marketing strategy.

It works like a dream for two key reasons. One of the advantages of voice searches is that they require a longer string of text. It is also important to note that smart assistants are meant to provide reply replies to all of our requests.

Consequently, the usage of long-tail SEO helps us optimise for highlighted snippets. This means that your results will always be at the top of search results.

Pay attention to what your audience is asking.

Questions are the most common kind of voice search query. Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant are used to answer questions from people throughout the world. All of them come in the form of a query. “How do I wash my dog?” is an example of a common question. Those are some tough questions to answer. When creating content for your audience, it’s important to keep in mind what they’re doing.

Create material that is optimised for voice search

You should always make sure your material is written in a conversational style. In order for an automated voice to interpret your writing properly, you must have written something in 9th grade.

More local content should be made available to the public.

Local content is the primary focus of many voice searches. SEO for voice-search and smartwatches may be greatly enhanced by creating content that is specifically tailored to the demands of your target audience. However, you don’t need to be based in the area to develop local content.

Regardless of where your business is located, you can still attract more customers by creating and distributing a wealth of localised information.

The UX (user experience) is everything.

Voice search focuses on a single website for queries, unlike the conventional SERPs. Make sure your voice assistant can obtain all the information you need promptly. For this reason, your website must be mobile-friendly, quick, and secure.

Consider using schema and organised formatting in your writing.

40.7% of all Google voice replies were derived from a Google Featured Snippet (GFS). Summaries from chosen websites, typically with links to the source of the information, are also referred to as fast answers.

If you want your website to be highlighted, you must ensure that you are offering clear answers to the queries that your audience is most likely to ask.

Don’t let up on your regular SEO efforts.

Focusing on strong content and traditional SEO will help you rank high in voice search as well. Having a high social engagement, higher ranks, and high domain authority is why voice search results are better for websites with strong social interaction.

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Voice-friendly material isn’t required for every piece of content.

For certain consumers, the importance of creating material that can be easily found and utilised via voice search will be greater than for others. Some websites and web pages may improve by being more Alexa-friendly.  

By tailoring their web presence to be discovered via voice search, location-based businesses may improve the number of visitors. When Siri or Alexa are asked, “Find a sandwich shop near me,” there are more potential customers to catch each day than those who would type “sandwich delivery” into Google.

While voice searchability is important, it shouldn’t be the exclusive focus of an SEO strategy, especially for those consumers who are most likely to gain from it. Even if voice search does not completely replace text searches, it does augment them.

When a user asks Siri for the result of a match, for instance, Siri won’t explain the action. It may not be the best strategy to optimise all of your content for voice if you’re attempting to rank a page if you want to display advertisements to people who are interested in sports commentary.

In the case of a retail sandwich shop, you can certainly increase foot traffic by optimising the shop listing to make it simpler to discover when consumers search for “lunch locations near me” through voice assistant while commuting, and customise your approach accordingly.

Growth in smartphone and voice search usage is still not a dominating factor.

Entrepreneurs with particular content goals may take advantage of low-hanging fruit in voice search, which is gaining traction swiftly but has yet to reach critical mass.

When it comes to general online searches, 50% of customers are utilising voice search, according to a recent survey from the Adobe Marketing Cloud. When it comes to smart speakers and smartphones, the survey didn’t make any distinctions. When it comes to using voice controls on their smartphones, 83% of individuals polled in Adobe’s survey admitted to doing so, and 50% of navigational queries were conducted using voice.  More than 70% of phone users use digital assistants, and 66% of all road direction inquiries are conducted by voice prompts, according to a Microsoft survey issued in 2019

In the United States, 58% of customers have used a voice search on a smartphone to find a local company. Nearly two-thirds of those voice search users utilise voice to search for international businesses at least once or twice a week. 75% of voice search users utilise voice assistants to search for a local shop at least twice weekly, with a large percentage doing so every single day.

The percentage of US homes with at least one voice assistant climbed by 22% between 2018 and 2019, reaching an estimated 45%. 

Despite the progress gained during the COVID-19 epidemic, widespread use of voice technology is still trailing behind. According to Microsoft’s 2019 survey, people who possess smart technology still conduct a lot of textual information searches, and not everyone who has accessibility to voice command technology prefers to utilise it for every fundamental operation.

Security and confidentiality issues may have contributed to the lack of broad deployment of voice searchers. Many smart speaker owners and smartphone voice users are concerned about their device’s “always listening” feature. Neither of these features is very popular. But there is a silver lining in that consumers of both smart speakers and smartphones have a high degree of confidence in the firms that create them.

Share of digital assistants in search engine results

Right now four main smart assistants are handling the vast majority of voice search queries; each has its own search algorithms, but some commonality and data sources are shared by all of them.

In order to prioritise your optimization approach, it is important to know the market share of each helper. Depending on who you’re trying to reach, you may be able to narrow your analytics tracking activities to just one or two of these virtual assistants, each of which is associated with various hardware manufacturers and has a somewhat varied market share.

The Microsoft 2019 Voice Report conducted an online survey to name the digital assistants they have previously used, which gives us an estimate of how much voice search traffic each of these platforms can anticipate generating. 

Siri and Google Assistant each have a 36% share of the market, making them the two most popular voice-activated assistants. Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana make up 25%  and 19% of all digital assistants, respectively.

Cortana’s algorithm relies heavily on a connection with Amazon Alexa, which is worth noting. While Alexa gets more savvy requests like “Play Radio,” “Turn on the heat,” and “Read my new messages,” Cortana sees more notebook and home computer queries like “Cortana, read my new emails.”

The difference between optimising for voice search vs voice actions

Search and action are both voice command types, but each has a separate set of requirements to decide which answer will appear first on any particular voice query. Since they analyse material separately, it’s critical to know which one you’re referring to when considering an SEO strategy for voice search.

The “OK Google” command on a mobile browser is an example of a voice search that simply substitutes a keyboard input with a spoken search term. Depending on the user’s predisposition to use more conversational language when communicating with a virtual AI, this may influence how you customise your keyword phrases

Other apps and automation tools can be triggered by a specific voice assistant or query from the user, such as making a purchase for takeout via a voice assistant or monitoring the weather from your vehicle. 

Smart speakers and other speech-activated gadgets, such as those used in cars, rely on voice commands. Not every command returns a list of results, but rather only one voiced answer with a call to action. To get the weather, just say “weather” on an Amazon Echo and it’ll tell you what the weather is like. 

Since there is no screen to show on a Search Engine Results Page, it cannot display a list of major weather prediction sites (SERP). A significant distinction has been made in this regard.

Smart assistants typically use data from other websites, such as WolframAlpha for quantitative conversions or Yelp for local company listings, in order to provide these sample results. A voice search for “order a pie” may be an example of this. 

You can locate a cafe nearby with five ratings on Yelp,” the AI would say after sending the question to Yelp or Google Maps. Maybe you’d like to order Joe’s Pie or get driving instructions to the restaurant? A search engine may provide a sample from the content on its own to answer a specific query without necessarily directing the user to the page. This is known as “position zero.”

Yes, you should make use of the voice-snippet option.

Again, many of the methods you’d use to get to the top of a text-based online search are also applicable to voice search optimization. On-page information should be arranged in a way that makes it easy to identify the featured snippet you want to generate, essentially reverse-engineering the featured snippet you want to produce. 

However, the real question is whether or not it will assist you to rank high in such a search. It all relies on what you’re trying to achieve. In this case, if you’re optimising for local customers, a Google My Business NAP and phone number appear in the highlighted snippet, you’re doing a great service to your customers. 

Here are some main points that definitively prove that “Voice Assistants are altering our lives!”:

  • The dialogue is emphasised by Voice Assistants. Voice assistants are bringing emotion into technology through interactive UI.
  • You can use laptops, mobile phones, and other gadgets without moving from your bed.
  • Voice Assistants are revolutionising marketing by providing brands and industries to customers in novel ways.
  • Because of Voice Assistants, your content may now be produced not only well, but also without any grammatical or spelling mistakes!
  • Marketers may gain additional insights into numerous users in the same home who make varied buying decisions, have diverse brand preferences, shopping lists, and other customised features using Voice Assistants.
  • Existing consumers benefit from higher personalisation provided by voice assistants. It is one of the most significant aspects of developing consumer relationships.
  • Voice Assistants are elevating advertising to new heights. Initially, they are focusing on increasing brand recognition.
  • Voice Assistants will drive more visitors to your website in the not-too-distant future.
  • Answers to voice requests are typically pulled from websites by voice assistants. As a result, they save time, money, and effort.

Voice Assistants Have a Bright Future

As previously noted, advances in AI technology are enabling Voice Assistants to become increasingly intelligent. They are offering many more business chances at a higher level.


About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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