How does voice search affect SEO? That is probably the most common question that I am asked in digital marketing training courses at the moment. Surprisingly, Google is using the same algorithm for both text and voice based searches, but voice queries are impacting significantly however you search. So, I decided to have a look for myself. Naturally, the first thing I did was ask Siri! This is what Siri came back with:
So, I have had a read of some of these results and done some research of my own and firstly here are some stats:
1) According to Google, 20% of all searches are voice
2) 65% of 25-49 year olds talk to their voice enabled device every day
3) 55% of households are expected to own a smart speaker by 2022
4) People use voice search to ask questions. 20% of all voice search queries use one of these 25 words:
So, what does all of this mean to marketers?
Here are my thoughts on how marketers should respond to the growing movement towards voice search:
1) The voice and text algorithm is the same, so keep doing what you are doing. Focus on making pages load quickly, having mobile enabled web sites, generating external links and all of the other typical SEO tactics
2) People search using different language when it comes to voice – we are more conversational. For example, on text based search we may search for “best local coffee shop”, but when we talk to our voice activated device, like Alexa or Siri, we may say “where is the best place to get a good coffee around here?” So, when you are writing copy, try to include some Q&A style content on the page. Frequently Asked Questions could be a really important part of your web design strategy.
3) People tend to use voice search more for local searches, so make sure your web site is optimised for local search. The example I gave in point 2 is a typical example of this. According to this useful Forbes article, 22% of voice searches are for local content.
4) Can you create content that could become a Google “Featured Snippet” that is a short piece of content (less than 29 words) , that answers a query, such as “What is a Featured Snippet”. See below as a perfect example….