A Short Guide to Voice Search
Rapid growth of artificial intelligence in all digital platforms is a fact, and while it isn’t new, it’s continually evolving by the day. It can simplify things like turning on our coffee maker in the morning or securing homes just by asking. More importantly, people are using voice commands to search the web for products and information. The possibilities for this technology are infinite.
In developed economies like the US, the rise of virtual assistants has been particularly significant. In fact, because they provide users with a practical and hands-free method of doing web-based searches, virtual assistants have become a favored style. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) estimates that 60% of mobile device users conduct web searches using voice command technologies. Due to this change in user behavior, companies and organizations may want to think about making their content and website more accessible to virtual assistant searches.
Virtual assistants are becoming more and more popular as a result of how simple and convenient they are to use, even though traditional web-based search forms are still extensively employed. Users no longer need to physically type in their searches to access information fast and effectively. The more natural and conversational experience that virtual assistants provide may be preferred by some users. Because of this, organizations who wish to stay in business should think about including voice search optimization tactics into their overall digital marketing strategy.
Virtual assistants are becoming more and more popular, however some users still choose conventional search methods or don’t care. But given that most consumers now utilize virtual assistants for their queries, it would seem that companies and organizations cannot afford to ignore this development. Companies can improve their visibility and better reach their target audience by optimizing their content and websites for virtual assistant searches.
SEO and voice search, the new inseparable duo
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and AEO (Answer Engine Optimization; aka voice search) are two elements that must coexist. SEO is more about tactics in searches because you get a variety of results; while AEO is about strategy because a voice response may give only one result depending on the format used.
For example, SEO is oriented to organic optimization for specific keywords, phrases and content on a desktop or mobile device. It helps companies improve visibility by capturing search information. More searches that lead to a company’s site results in higher positions in search results. Higher positions in search results lead to more visitors, and consequently more sales.
On another note, AEO focuses on optimizing the website for particular queries and answer engines. It may also limit results to one web page, rather than a typical web search that gives you several sites to review before you select one.
The greatest challenge for SEO is that AEO significantly narrows the field of websites that make it to the top of a voice command search. The truth is that AEO has grown quite a bit in recent years, but a strong 50% of the population still perform standard SEO related searches. This is very likely due to people liking variety. For this and many other reasons, it’s wise to ensure that a business maintains the optimization of SEO and AEO equally.
Things to Help improve SEO and voice search for your business
1. Dominate Google My Business
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses. It allows organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including summary and maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can help customers find you and tell them about your business. Lots of businesses overlook Google My Business, but it’s really a cheap and easy way to provide reasons why a prospective client should pick you while they’re searching, and before they even see your site.
2. Be Precise
Once the address of your business has been placed, the next thing you should do is place relevant information about your business. Details of the service(s) you offer, contact information, and a reference photo of your business or building are important elements to include in your profile. The more information you provide, the less guesswork for your clients, and the more likely they are to choose you over others.
3. Use Adwords Correctly
Google Adwords is an advertising service by Google for businesses wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising network to increase traffic or leads. The AdWords program enables businesses to set a budget for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and only pay when people click the ads. The ad service is largely focused on keywords. Even if a person doesn’t click on your ad, they will see it, and you only pay for those who click and engage with you.
Get Guidance from Professionals
Companies with a strong web presence and access to voice-based searches will do well in the coming years as these types of searches are becoming more commonplace. Building an effective web presence is a product of working with professionals who can help navigate this path, complement your brand, and provide you with useful information to maintain that standard of consistency.
According to a study by MDG Advertising, sales of smart speaker devices, like Google Home or Amazon’s Echo have seen an increase of 50% in 2019. A comScore has estimated that by 2020 voice-based system will surpass 50% of searches.
So how can you optimize your site and content to take advantage of this interest in voice search? That’s the focus of the infographic below also by MDF Advertising which looks at trend, and provide suggestions for SEO strategies. The results will differ for each organization, of course, but its worth considering.
You can read MDG’s full report here, or check out the infographic below.