Uptake of Voice search is gaining momentum as we heard into Q4 2017. You can now perform voice to search the internet, play your latest music, navigate to your next meeting, order your next meal or get the latest footy results. Not a day passes by without news stories about search assistants like Alexa, Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant.
One might think that voice assistants are taking over the world, but that’s not yet the case. In this article, we explore the rise of voice searches, plus provide you tips on how prepare your content for new visitor types and queries.
Beginners guide to voice search?
With voice search, you use your voice and spoken instructions to perform actions on the internet.
Historically, users often laughed at voice assistants because they were slow and had poor understanding of and responses to questions.
However, the current generation of assistants are lightyears ahead in terms of sophistication and capabilities.
Why voice? For one, it’s quick and much more efficient than written or text based search.
Users can speak much faster than they can type. It’s convenient and hands-free, allowing you to get instant answers most of the time without written input.
Moreover, the improvements on using your voice as an interface, have resulted in a context-based system that utilises many factors to give you accurate results.
While the surge in uptake and market share of mobil devices have made fundamentally pushed usage of voice based search, the next wave of opportunity truly like around lifestyle applications such as around your home or office.
Amazon have sold millions of Alexa-enabled devices, with increasing consumer demand every quarter. However,, Google has recently gone on the offensive with Google Home; its own version of your personal smart home assistant.
Key Stats on Voice Search
In 2015, 65% of US smartphone users used a voice assistant, up from around 56% in 2014 and around 30% in 2013.
The main driver for this growth has been the improvement of search technology technology. Meeker also suggests that Google voice searches were up 35 times since 2008 and seven times since 2010. The last one, in May 2016 one in five searches on Android devices in the US is voice activated. Similar organic growth reports were seen by specialist Melbourne SEO services Digital Squad.
A 2017 study by Stone Temple Consulting showed that, while users were overall happy with the performance of voice assistants, they recommended improvements around answering questions more directly.
How and why do smartphone users use voice search?
Unsurprisingly, smartphone owners use voice assistants mainly due to their convenience, especially when their hands are occupied.
They’re easy to use, especially for slow typers. Additionally, people love getting quick, relevant results and many just simply enjoy the use of this kind of feature on their smartphone. However, people rather use these services at the comfort of their home or driving than at work. Perhaps in part due to a psychological barrier to perform search queries around colleagues in fear of technology-failure.
5 Ws of Conversational Search:
Conversational searches tend to answer the classic 5 Ws being who, what, when, where, why and how. Some examples:
- Who designed the Statue of Liberty?
- What is the weather like tomorrow?
- When was the treat of Waitangi signed?
- Where can I get the best coffee in the Ponsonby?
- Why do kiwis hibernate?
- How did Xero start?
Search Engine Optimisation for voice search requires incorporating long tail keywords and a larger variety of search terms to be organically incorporated into your content strategy according to B2B Marketing Specialists – Lead Agency.
Optimising your pages for mobile use also requires focus on optimising and smushing images to speed page load times. According to Melbourne newborn photography specialists, there appears to be a direct correlation between page load time and first page rankings.
A case study by a reknown Melbourne office moving company – The Moving Squad – also revealed that even in the Australian market, long term voice searches are growing each month, very similarly to US statistics reported in aforementioned reports.