L2T Blog

Preparing for the Future of Search: Optimizing for Voice

on January 20, 2016

Consumers are always looking for answers, whether that be through general information or to seek a product or service to answer their questions on mobile devices. Thanks to the increasing popularity of Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Now, consumers are able to find answers to their question in a more direct way – with their voice. Voice searching has exploded in popularity and use with both adults and teens within the past few years.

According to a 2014 Google-commissioned voice search study of 1,400 Americans, 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search more than once a day. Voice search is a growing function because of its ease-of-access and ease-of-use. All a consumer has to do is say what they’re looking for and the answer pops up in search results. Take for example a consumer searching for a car dealership using voice search, he or she might say: “what car dealerships are closest to me”. That user would then receive results based on the various keywords within that search.mobile voice study

This is where voice search takes a toll on traditional SEO. Long tail keywords are generally avoided in SEO strategies, since they are more phrase-like and have low search volume. However, with voice searching, a user is more likely to say a sentence than a couple of keywords because the user is looking for the most direct answer to their question. The Google-commissioned study also showed that 89% of teens and 85% of adults use voice search because they see it as the future of search.

This is why SEO content needs to be answering the questions that users will be searching for via voice. Take our example from before: “what car dealerships are closest to me?” SEO content should have answers to that question, and others, within appropriate pages. An answer to this question could be “Dealer X is a car dealership near Chicago, IL.” The voice search algorithm will pick up on the intermittent keywords in that phrase, and will populate the most significant results to the question asked.

Looking at some of the other statistics from Google, 78% of teens and 85% of adults use voice search for multi-tasking purposes, while 73% of teens and 62% of adults use voice search because they feel that it makes them more efficient. As for the types of things people use voice search for, 38% of teens and 40% of adults use it to ask directions. It is also often used to call someone or to play a song, among other things. On another interesting note, 45% of teens and 36% of adults wish they could order pizza using only voice search. Hopefully technology to actually be able to accomplish this task is in development.

While you may not currently notice voice search yielding a high amount of traffic to your site, its usage will certainly have a significant effect on search results in the near future. Our SEO Specialists are always aware of the ever-changing algorithms and advancements in technology relating to SEO, and we stay up-to-date on these applications to ensure the highest quality results for our clients. Learn more about our SEO product to see how we can achieve quality success for your business.

Preparing for the Future of Search: Optimizing for Voice