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Many of us are familiar with using search optimization features. You may be good at using specific keywords and search terms to get the most online hits. But what about voice searches?
A hugely growing trend, people are using voice searches more and more. This means that we need to start optimizing for voice search keywords too, and that might mean changing our tactics.
The most popular way of searching online is typing a query, question, or keyword into a search bar. Or at least, until recent years. Now voice searches are becoming much more popular.
A voice search involves simply speaking into a device, such as a smartphone or other smart device. The device then makes the search for you and gives you the answer to your query.
The problem is that using the same strategies you use for web searches might not work for a voice search. To get results, you will need to start updating your strategies to target voice searches.
To start with, why not check out some statistics and information about voice searches? Then we’ll discuss some tips to help you optimize your content for voice searching.
Depending on whether you’re a person that likes to use voice searching, you may be surprised at how popular it is. Asking a question to your smart device is infinitely easier than typing it into a search browser.
Another benefit of voice searching is that you don’t need to scroll through pages of results looking for your answer. The smart device chooses it for you, and the answer is often relevant and exactly what you needed.
● 50% of all searches are voice searches. This is probably the most important statistic here. It shows how widespread and popular voice searching has become. This means we need to take it into consideration when it comes to keyword optimization. It’s also likely that voice searching will only grow in popularity.
● Like typed searches, voice searching works on keywords. The most commonly used keywords are “best”, “how”, and “what”. This isn’t too different from the optimization you’d use for a regular typed search.
● More than 20% of voice-based orders are grocery shopping.
● In four years’ time, the worldwide voice-based speaker market could be worth an estimated $30 billion.
● 20% of mobile queries are done with voice search.
● For an estimated 72% of people who use voice search devices, these devices have become part of their daily life. Smart speakers are designed to fit seamlessly and efficiently into people’s everyday routine.
● 43% of smart devices use the voice search feature to shop. (See the earlier statistic about voice-based orders)
● Approximately 58% of people have used the voice search feature to find out information about a local business. This means that if your business is not optimized for voice searches, then you might be missing out on valuable business.
● At least 60% of people with smartphones have tried the voice search feature at least once in the past twelve months. For a significant number of this percentage, it’s likely to be used much more.
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So, what are the statistics towards actual usage of voice searching features? You may be surprised at the numbers. Interestingly, most people feel comfortable using voice searching and even plan to use it more. This means using numbers will continue to rise in the future.
● 41% of people who regularly use voice search devices such as Google say that it feels like talking to a friend or another person. This means that people are perfectly comfortable and happy using voice searches. In turn, this means they’ll want to use voice searches more and more in the future.
● When using voice search devices like Alexa, people often keep them in the house’s main room. Approximately 52% keep their devices in the family room, with 25% in the bedroom and 22% in the kitchen. The devices are usually used by the whole family. This means that your content may appeal to a wider audience than before – a whole family, as opposed to individuals.
● Mobile voice searches are much more likely to be locally based. This means that mobile voice searches are more relevant and easier to use.
● Voice search queries tend to be longer than text-based or typed queries. This means that people are getting more relevant results because their questions are more specific.
● 20% of queries on a mobile device are voice-based.
● House penetration for smart speakers in the US is estimated to rise to 55% by 2022. This means that over half the households in the US will have a smart device in their home.
● Google’s voice search on mobile devices is now available in over 100 languages. It also boasts as 95% success rate at correctly hearing and interpreting questions when given in English.
More and more people are choosing to use voice search. Voice searching technology is standard on many devices, and you may be surprised who is using voice searching features.
People of all ages use voice searches regularly, and a lot of people give it a try at least once. This is why it’s important to market your content with a variety of age groups and backgrounds in mind.
● Approximately 55% of teenagers use voice searches every day.
● 9% of people aged 55-64 also use mobile voice searches regularly. Knowing that people of all ages are using voice searches might make a difference in how you optimize your keywords.
● On average, 45% of millennials use voice assistants while shopping. This study was conducted in January 2019, so it’s likely that the number has risen even more since then.
● Interestingly, most people speak to their smart devices as if speaking to a real person. People tend to be polite and courteous, saying things like “please” and “thank you”.
● 62% of regular smart device users are more likely to buy something through their device.
● 58% of regular smart device users use their device to organize and regulate shopping lists.
● 44% of regular smart device users order their weekly shopping through their device.
● 45% of those who already own a smart speaker plan to buy another one. This means that smart speakers and voice searches are becoming ingrained as part of our daily life. Just like we’d buy another mobile phone if something happened to ours, smart speakers are becoming essential to us.
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The basic features of voice searching tend to be the same, but there are many different devices available. Each smart speaker offers different features, and there are pros and cons to each device.
● The most popular search devices include devices such as Google Home, Amazon Echo (Alexa), iPhone (Siri), and Google Assistant.
● Google Home is considered to be the best to use for voice searches. 81% of its queries are answered correctly.
● Amazon Echo comes in second with 64% of queries answered correctly.
● An average of 20% of all queries are triggered by approximately 25 keywords. This means that optimizing your business to get voice search hits might not be as hard as you think.
● Roughly 25% of correct search results on the Windows 10 taskbar are conducted by voice searches.
● HomePod (Siri) was able to understand 99% of queries. It has a noise-canceling feature which means conducting voice searches has never been easier.
● Voice search queries tend to be three to five keywords long.
We’ve already established that voice searching is a popular tool, comprising about 50% of all searches. Let’s take a look at some interesting statistics concerning voice search shopping.
• Grocery shopping comprised 20% of voice search orders.
• Clothes shopping comprised 8% of orders.
• Electronics shopping comprised 17% of voice search orders.
• Entertainment shopping comprised 19% of orders.
Voice-based orders tend to be for lower value items. This could be because placing voice orders may lend itself more to “impulse buying”. It’s much easier to place a voice ordering through a smart device, making people more likely to buy quick, cheap items.
When it comes to buying more expensive or essential items, people may prefer to shop and buy in a more traditional way.
● Only 39 apps currently support voice-based shopping. (Note: this number may have risen slightly) This could be an opening for your business. If a consumer prefers to use voice ordering when it comes to shopping, they’ll choose an app that supports this over one that doesn’t.
● Consumer spending via voice ordering or voice assistants is estimated to reach 18% by 2022.
● Voice-based orders came to around 1.8 billion of retail in the US. This is a fast-growing industry.
● 85% of customers choose the products recommended by Amazon.
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SEO optimizing is essential to get the required hits on your business or website. SEO is a regular part of the marketing process for many people, so is voice searching SEO any different?
The answer is yes and no. Some aspects are unchanged, but you need to make sure you’re staying up to date with the best methods of optimizing your content.
● Just like with a typed query, the more social shares and influence a page has, the more likely it is to be selected. Social sharing brings more traffic and attention to a page, and it’s highly recommended to push your content on as many platforms as possible.
● How quickly does your page load? Just like a consumer typing in a search query will get bored if a page takes too long, speed is key. The faster your page loads, the more chance you have of getting it selected as an answer to a voice query.
● The average voice search query is 29 words long. Short and concise answers are preferred, where possible. Efficiency and informative are key.
● If your page is already successful, it will have a better chance of being selected for a voice query. If you page is already ranked in the top 3, there’s a 75% chance it will also be ranked for the same voice query.
● Simpler answers are preferred. Lengthy responses may not be selected as ideal answers to a voice query. Keep your content short and snappy.
There are some key differences between voice and web search. This means that how you optimize your content will make a difference. Web searches are very basic, perhaps only consisting of a couple of keywords.
A voice search is tailored like a question and tends to be more conversational. It may also be more specific. Using SEO effectively means building content – good, solid content – around questions.
Something conducting a voice search will likely use phrases like “near me”. This is why mobile voice searches tend to be more localized, and therefore more useful.
For example, someone typing out a web search query may type: “cocktail dresses”. However, someone conducting a voice search may use sentences like, “What is the best type of dress to wear to a cocktail party?”
Taking note of the difference between a web and voice query might help you optimize your content better.
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Keywords are another essential part of optimizing and marketing online content. Keywords in voice searches often differ from web search keywords.
As mentioned previously, people search differently with voice search. Rather than using only a couple of keywords, like “new iPhone 10”, they might say, “What are the pros and cons of an iPhone 10?”
This is obviously going to throw up different results and means that search queries are longer.
Another obvious difference between voice and web searching is the results.
When you type a query into a web search engine, you receive pages and pages of results. Then you browse through the results to choose the one that fits best.
Voice queries are different – the consumer receives only one answer. Of course, this answer is chosen wisely. It’s often the page that’s in the top spot, or a featured snippet or article.
However, this means that keyword and SEO optimization is more crucial than ever. Your content needs to be perfectly matched, as there won’t be any second chances. You need your page to be in the top spot.
Using proper SEO and marketing strategies are not the only thing you should concentrate on. Voice search technology often looks beyond the differently phrased questions to what the consumer is really asking for.
This means you need to have well-written, top-quality content. Aside from keywords and keeping your content SEO optimized, you need to think about what a reader wants from your article.
For example, if your article is about tropical beaches, you could include other helpful statistics. You might include images, price lists, tips, and so on.
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● Write to your consumers in mind. What questions will your customers really be asking? Think about your audience. Understanding your readers will help you write relevant content.
● Add FAQs. This is a helpful addition to a lot of websites. It streamlines your content and makes it easier for your consumers to find what they’re looking for.
● Keep it simple. Concise, straightforward answers are always preferred.
● Be natural. No one wants to read a forced, artificial style of writing. Aside from this, it’s important that your keywords don’t sound unnatural or shoehorned in.
● Optimize for mobile users.
● Search for keywords. There are plenty of online keyword search tools. You can use something like this to figure out what questions are really asking. Then you can write your content with your audience in mind.
We’ve discussed a lot of information and statistics. Just like SEO optimization, marketing towards voice searches is complicated and takes a lot of work and research. Here are some key statistics to sum up.
● There are approximately 1 billion voice searches every month.
● Over 50% of all online searches are voice searches.
● Over 70% of people have used voice search technology.
● Approximately 55% of homes in the US are estimated to have a smart speaker by 2022.
● 55% of teenagers use voice search daily.
● 60% of smartphone users have used the voice searching feature at least once in the past 12 months.
● The most commonly used keywords are “best”, “how”, and “what”.
It’s easy to see why voice searching is so popular. It’s easy to use and means that we can multitask. For example, you can ask Alexa a question while you’re up to your wrists in bread dough.
Voice searching continues to rise in popularity. This means that people are actively choosing to use voice search over web searching.
In turn, this means that your business needs to adapt. Is your content optimized for mobile users and SEO? Do you use keywords? Are you producing good quality content?
There’s a lot to think about. Times are changing faster than ever, and you don’t want to be left behind.
Lisa Loeb is part of the content team at Vivipins where she develops resources to help customers start and grow their own businesses.