The Future of Voice Search - The Definitve Guide
Did you notice recently while searching for movie tickets, finding a local coffee shop or ordering a pizza with simple voice commands? It's pretty simple and way faster right? 

That's the future of voice technology. 

Voice search is growing faster than the typed search. Timothy Tuttle, the voice interface specialist at MIndMeld also revealed that in 2015 alone voice search rose from "statistical zero" to 10% of all global searches. That's fascinating with over 50 billion searches per month. In 2016, 41% of US adults were using voice search on a daily basis.

Most of the latest devices are equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. So instead of typing keywords, people have started using voice search. Not all but it will rise to an extent that SEO optimization for keywords will be revised a lot.

Voice search refers to a digital assistant or an entry point that uses voice, like Google's microphone, Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple's Siri or Microsoft's Cortana and more. These voice-controlled Als are the medium through which the search engine provides relevant results or outputs through natural language queries.

SEO keeps changing, and voice search will be one of the major factors. In voice search, we use natural language rather than specific keywords, as if we are talking to a friend or family. 

This article is going to address the current adoption and potential growth of recently emerging voice search function allowing people to quickly search results based on their natural thoughts and queries.

As per stats by 99firms, Google says 20% of all global searches are voice-based, 31% of smartphone users use voice tech at least once a week, 50% of all online searches will be voice-based by 2020, 30% of all web browsing sessions will be done without screen and 55% of households are expected to own smart speaker devices by 2022 such as Alexa, google assistant, etc. (that's fascinating) Hush...

Voice searches are quicker and hell easier than typing at least for those who are often busy doing other things. Now there are speakers and even pcs that can take and perfectly understand voice commands, the era is gradually changing. 

How voice search affects SEO?

Rest stay assured that text-based queries and commands will not disappear completely, however, voice-based commands will grab more of the market trends. It does mean that digital marketing needs to adapt to this new consumer trend and SEO as we know will see the change, and here's how.

Queries with the perfect and clear intent

Voice searches often come in the form of a question, they also reveal the level of intent the user's mind has. You can optimize your content according to these high-value questions with natural language flow. 

And higher your keyword queries matches with those natural language voice searches, more quickly you'll rank. 

Length of queries

The length of voice search queries is longer compared to the text-based ones. While text-based searches are normally 2-4 words long, voice-activated ones can be up to 10 words long. With this, natural language keywords flow may be the next big thing. 

Question-based searches

People often require a quick solution, product reviews, and suggestions. They normally ask questions based on their needs. So your content strategy should focus more on complete sentence questions rather than traditional keywords. 

e.g. "voice search and seo" (text-based) and "how will voice search affect seo?" (voice-based) are widely different depth in terms of seo.

You might face simple issues ...

Most of the time voice search queries are questions, so it's important that your content answers these accurately. Also, you must focus on the questions which simply do not require yes or no type or single word answers so as not to lose potential traffic to your website.

Opportunities to focus on

Search engines are smart, so you have to focus on a huge variety of voice searches to cover all your bases. Voice search is now able to take spelling instructions and hence you must triple check all your content for spellings. Make sure all keywords and brand names spelled correctly. 

In addition, voice search can now interpret queries based on context, so painting a bigger picture for the content is important. Make sure to incorporate natural language and question keywords with slightly broader contextual ones to boost rankings. 

Geography is at its importance, with voice search now able to offer results based on geolocation, your online business listing needs to be up-to-date and match perfectly everywhere online. With inaccurate data, or even mismatches, your listing could face lower rankings. 

The future of SEO with voice search

Voice search will stay and keep improvising. Machine learning and AI technology are advancing at an exponential rate, so it's important to optimize our SEO strategies for voice search. 

How you will do that...?

You may be thinking that your site already has great content. Well, it might be true, but make sure its re-written in a more conversational tone in order to answer specific customer questions. 

With text-based queries, the user is more likely to go lucky with results, but with voice search they might look for quicker results, so your content needs to continue appealing to both types of searches.

How to Adopt your online business for voice search

So we summarized some of the opportunities and issues that are likely to come with the proliferation of voice search.

Lets quickly check out how you can customize your content for your further business growth.

Focus on long-tail keywords

While most of the online businesses have already considered long-tail keywords into consideration, now it's a time to even more focus on long-tail natural questions. 

You will also need to learn how other companies like our are focusing on specific words. You also need to focus on queries that solve a specific problem your customer may be facing. You will need to develop content and questions that the machine can't answer.

Adjust and capitalize on schema markup

Learning about schema markup (simply a business card of your business) will help you give context to your existing content and help search engines better understand what your site is about. With just 0.3% of websites using schema markup today, you will cash on a huge source of SEO.

Target featured snippets

Results which include featured snippets - A small paragraph of key information. You have seen those key paras appear above the main search results then that snippet is read aloud. 

This gives your brand a huge authority boost. So try to make sure you're getting those all-important featured snippets.

Go mobile-friendly

As the name suggests, today's era is all about smart devices and hand gadgets. So your site must and must be mobile-friendly. If not, or if it loads slow, it's likely that your consumers will quickly go away even after landing honestly. You must optimize your online platform for Mac, Windows, and Android as well as across smartphones, tablets, and computers.

Up-to-date Business Profile and Contacts

Important business data such as the direction to your store or office, opening hours, company name and even every little bit details of your business must be up to date and must match on every single platform you are listed on. 

This information is quickly visible on all types of searches and if it is not accurate or varies on different platforms, Search engines could lower your rankings

Optimize your site's microdata

XML sitemaps, location data, and other micro-data are essential for search engines to be able to provide quick answers to user's queries. Adding this information is vital, considering so many people use voice search to get directions, make sure your business to be found through voice-activated search.

Add FAQs

Voice search users are looking for quick answers, which makes FAQ content crucial in helping the search engines identify quick answers to popular questions. While asking a question, voice searches usually begin with 'who', 'what', 'when', 'why' and 'how'. Make sure to use these adverbs when creating questions for your FAQs page. 

Be more customer-centric while developing keyword strategies

Just put yourself in your audience's shoes and optimize your content accordingly. The future of SEO is more on natural language processing and voice search can not be avoided. Voice search is on the rise and there is no doubt about it.

Want to add something to share with others? Let us know in below comments.

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