Why and How Voice Search Is Changing SEO

Did you know that Amazon's Alexa can now whisper? According to Mashable, it's the stuff of nightmares. And we agree.

It's kind of creepy, like "I see dead people" creepy. But it's okay, we're willing to overlook it because we've become so accustomed to using voice assistants in our daily routines. 

And it seems we're not alone in this. As of last year, voice search usage has seen explosive growth. By 2020, ComScore estimates that 50 percent of all searches will come from voice commands.

What It Means for the SEO Industry

There used to be a time when the word error rate for voice chat was over 20 percent. That was two years ago. Fast forward to 2016 and that rate has gone down to 8 percent.

Amazing, right?

Now imagine if that error rate drops further. Nearly everybody who owns a mobile phone will be using voice search. After all, voice allows users to search smarter and faster, keeps hands free, and makes multi-tasking possible. 

For those in the SEO industry, it can only mean one thing: voice is the future and websites should optimize for it.

Gain Advantage with Voice Search

The best way to capitalize on voice chat is to include it in your search engine optimization efforts as early as now. If you wait until voice completely replaces other types of searching, you're already too late in the game. 

For one thing, companies are scrambling to release voice devices. Think Amazon Echo and Google Home. There are also rumors that Apple is working on a similar device. 

That said, you can expect a rise in popularity of other search engines. Amazon Echo, for example, uses Bing. Instead of focusing on just Google, you will have to tweak your SEO strategy to reap the benefits of voice technology across different platforms. 

More Ways to Optimize with Voice Search

If you've been doing SEO for a long time, you know that you have to keep your keywords relevant. With voice devices, that means you have to optimize for conversational search queries. Remember, people don't usually talk the way they type.

You should also review your analytics. Can you pinpoint which keyphrases came from searches using voice commands? What is the percentage of users landing on your site via the usual inputs? 

As for content, you will have to create content based on conversational keywords. The earlier you do it, the more you establish yourself as an authority. This, of course, translates to better recall and increased trust for your brand.

Final Thoughts

You can't stay ahead of the curve with voice search if you don't have a mobile-friendly site. As more people use mobile devices to ask (not type) for information, you need to be sure that you're not losing traffic because of usability issues. 

If you need help with making your site mobile-friendly, feel free to Contact Us. We will be glad to review your site and make sure that all your SEO concerns are taken care of.