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10 March 2020

Are you ready for Voice Search?

By tristan

It’s 2020 and voice search is already here. If this is the first time you are hearing about or even thinking about it, you need to keep reading.

There are a ton of search statistics generated by a variety of different companies, but they all point in the same direction. That Voice Search is here.

  • It is estimated that about 50% of all search queries will be voice activated in 2020.
  • Roughly 32% of the online population globally will be using voice search on mobile devices.

There’s a lot more stats out there but you get the drift.

You just must look and the explosion in the smart speaker and home automation market. The technology has gotten to a point where we are able to do many of our day-to-day tasks just by speaking to an AI Assistant.

Remember when you used to fire up an app to see what the weather was going to be on a certain day. These days that’s been replaced by “Hey Google, what’s the weather going to be on Sunday?”. You’re thinking well that’s for the weather, what has that go to do with my website and my business. Well, everything.

How that question was constructed is how search is heading. Machine learning has come a long way from the days where our search terms were basic, and it was a skill to be able to speak in the search engines language to spit out a list of desired results. Now we have moved into an era of “conversational queries” for search engines. This means we need to rethink how we go about search engine optimisation.

Right now, the voice activated assistant market is dominated by 4 majors. Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana, and Amazon Alexa. The problem is that these 4 assistants all pull information from various sources so focusing on one search engine just won’t work anymore.

  • Siri uses Bing, Apple Maps and Yelp.
  • Google Assistant uses Google (no surprises there).
  • Amazon Alexa uses Yext, Bing and Yelp.
  • Cortana uses Bing and Yelp.

A quick note on Cortana, the reason it gets a mention is it’s installed on every Windows 10 machine. While it doesn’t necessarily fall into the category of mobile devices Voice search is on the desktop.

46% of all voice searches are local searches meaning searching for a product or service close to the user’s location. That means 54% of voice searches are more traditional in the form. If you’ve ever used a Google Home device, you’ll see how it cites the source of the information and if your down with your Google commands you can get it to display on any of your connective devices i.e. phone, tv etc.…

Your voice activated AI will spit out one result and only one. The biggest impact will be a drop in traffic. All is not lost though. There are things we can do to adapt to how consumers are searching.

We need to start optimizing for Rank Zero Snippets or Zero-Click Searches, these are the single results these AI’s are spitting out. To do this we need to create a different kind of content, one that is more friendly to voice search and of course we will need to then alter how we do keyword research.

Final Thoughts

It is no longer a question about when is voice search going to hit the mainstream, it’s already here, businesses and brands need to, if they haven’t already start to change the way they think about SEO and start implementing new strategies to keep up with the changes.

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