It is predicted that by 2020, 50% of searches will be done by voice. This week Tom discusses the prediction with Purna Virji, Senior Manager, PPC Training at Microsoft and PPC Hero’s “Most Influential PPC Expert of 2016.” They talk about the future of search and how you can make sure your business is ready for voice search.
Voice search is Purna’s favorite topic. After breaking her wrist a few years ago and being put in a cast that kept her from holding books or electronics, Purna’s only source of entertainment was her voice search devices.
Six weeks in a cast made her fascinated with voice search, and she began dedicating her time to studying just how it worked and how it would eventually change the way people search.
There is a shift in how we search. Back in the early days, we treated search like a phonebook. Now, we want a more personalized experience. We expect new, efficient ways to search. And that’s where voice search comes in.
Voice search helps us at times when we otherwise would not be able to pick up a phone or computer to search. Now, we can search while driving, cooking, or just don’t want to stop and pick up a device. Voice search makes searching convenient and really brings it to the consumer.
WHERE IS VOICE SEARCH HEADED?
Voice search is on the rise. Google published a report last year saying 20% of their mobile queries were done via voice. There is a 24% growth in home voice search device purchases between October 2017 to December 2017. And Juniper Research predicts there is going to be 5 billion voice assistants in use by 2021. Additionally, comScore predicts that 50% of search will be either visual or voice.
Voice search is all about “what is the easiest way to get to an answer?” If you think about the evolution of search so far, it has gone from having to sit down and open your browser, to using your phone, and the natural next step is moving on to voice search. It’s about not interrupting what you are doing.
And while search by voice is still a ways off, Purna recommends people start paying attention to it.
HOW WILL SEO EVOLVE WITH SEARCH BY VOICE?
With voice search, the website is no longer going to be necessary. For example, you don’t need to go to Pizza Hut’s website to order a pizza anymore. All you have to do is ask your voice search for your easy order.
As a business, you have to start thinking about how you can use voice search as an alternative route to customers only using your website as a means to learn more or order your products.
That means that SEO may change slightly. Metadata and structured data will still be important elements. However, adding certain descriptors like “best” into your keywords will help you when it comes to voice search SEO.
Purna also points out that if you are scoring near the top of Google and Bing searches, you are more likely to come up in a voice search when your voice app is up and running. When working on your voice search marketing and your SEO for voice search just think of how that search would happen vocally when creating your keywords and data.
ADAPTING YOUR BUSINESS FOR VOICE SEARCH
Create a voice search app.
Basically, you build a bot that works with voice so your business can engage with people’s voice controllers. If you have some coding skills under your belt, you can do it yourself. If not, hiring a developer is the way to go.
Something you can do right now is create your own chatbot. Anyone can do it. We are still a few years away from voice command being the norm, but now, chatbots are receiving great feedback from consumers.
SEARCH VIA VOICE: LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
“Voice isn’t going to kill mobile or desktop.”
Voice is not going to be the end of mobile, just like mobile didn’t mean the end of desktop. Mobile and desktop are still valid, and voice will just be another element of search along with them.
For example, if you are looking to buy a new car, you probably wouldn’t want to do that through voice search or even mobile search. You would want to utilize your desktop to do that research and find the best car.
But you should think about what your consumers are doing. If the business’s audience is younger, you should be looking at optimizing for voice. Make sure your information is coming across conversationally and provides the consumer with a great experience.
However, if your website is primarily focuses are older consumers, voice search optimization should not be a key concern for you and your business.
- Voice search is going to be a big part of the future, and now it the time to get your business ready for the change.
- Chatbots are a great place to start when it comes to interacting with customers.
- “Voice isn’t going to kill mobile or desktop.”
- Don’t be scared or overly excited about voice search. Just pay attention to how voice chat is evolving. If you know how to do structured data and metadata, you’ll be okay.
- Pay attention to who your customers are. If your customers are younger, voice search will be a much more important part of your future.
- “It all starts with the audience.” Keeping your audience in mind and creating ways for them to most easily interact with your brand is what voice search is all about.