Is Voice Search Taking Over?
Life in SEO land is fast-paced. The way we look for keywords, the types of keywords we want to rank for, and how we rank for those keywords – these things are always changing. The newest change to SEO queries is Google Voice Search. This addition is not only convenient, but it also changes the way Google interacts with search queries and how its users search for information. To succeed in SEO, you must always be a step ahead. Ranking for queries is no longer enough, now is the time to rank for Google Voice Search queries as well. Our SEO experts can tell you everything you need to know to succeed in the era of Google Voice Search.
What is Google Voice Search?
First introduced in 2010, Google Voice Search started as a phone number people could call and speak their queries into the phone, thus generating the results on an open webpage. This method, though helpful, did not stay around long as Google enhanced its voice search methods. Google Voice Search is now a tool that allows users to use Google Search by speaking on a mobile phone or computer.1 In short, this feature allows users to speak their commands or queries, instead of typing them. Google Voice Search can be used on both mobile and desktop; all that is needed is the “wake” phrase, “OK Google”, to tell the application you need something.
There is not much of a difference between voice searches and typed searches, other than how they are entered into the search bar. Results for “-near me” queries typed in on a desktop will be very similar to the results for the same query searched with Google Voice Search on a mobile phone. Results may vary for things, such as directions. However, Google is still planning to add voice query data to Google Search Console, so that SEO specialists like us and webmasters can track results.
How Do I Enable Google Voice Search?
Enabling Google Voice Search is very easy. On the Google home page, there is a microphone icon. Click it and speak into the computer’s microphone to have Google dictate your question. The same works on a mobile device.
If you have a Google-powered phone, simply say the wake command, “OK Google,” and then ask your question.
Google Voice Search Queries Are Increasing
Since its introduction, Google Voice Search queries have steadily grown. In fact, since 2010 the use of Google Voice Search has increased sevenfold! In May of 2016, Mary Meeker, a financial analyst and author of Internet Trends 2016 reported that one in every five searches on Android devices was done via Google Voice Search and computer scientist Andrew Ng, who works for Chinese search engine Baidu, says this year, more than 50% of all searches are going to be via voice search.
What people search for with Google Voice Search is dependent upon their age. The most common uses for Google Voice Search are for directions and to make hands-free phone calls, but Google predicts that it will see a continued increase in other kinds of searches as well. Younger people tend to use voice search to have their device play songs or tell them the time. Whatever the reasons for using voice search, it’s important to make sure that, as an SEO specialist, we are preparing copy to rank for queries asked via Google Voice Search.
How to Optimize for Google Voice Search
Optimizing for Google Voice Search is easier than you think — especially if you are already using the best SEO practices. The best thing to do for your SEO strategy is to include very specific pieces of information; that is what most people are searching for. Here are some good examples: the address or opening hours of a business, the price of a good or service, types of specific services offered, etc.
Answer queries in your content
How do you include such specifics? Include the aforementioned information as an answer to a question. Be sure to make sure this information is present on your client’s site, and your site as well.
Don’t worry about other SERPs
You do not need to worry about optimizing for Google Voice Search on other specific SERPs. Though Google is great, not all users prefer it. To counteract this, you can use schema metadata and target long-tail keywords. These searches are usually more specific and will bear the fruits of your SEO labor.
Use the Location Extensions on Google AdWords
This is a fast way to make sure your ads are being shown to those who are on the go. It also allows a business’s address, number, and directions to show up with your ads.
Optimize for “near me” searches in ad campaigns
Want to secure those on-the-go clients? Be sure to include optimization in your PPC efforts as well! Don’t focus only on your local efforts with SEO; use PPC to cast a wider net and draw in those who are looking for businesses like yours using Google Voice Search!
For more ways to enhance your SEO and Google Voice Search efforts, or to learn more about the world of digital marketing, Tandem Interactive is here to help. As a boutique digital marketing agency in Fort Lauderdale, FL, we specialize in organic SEM, social media, neuromarketing, visual marketing, and reputation management in South Florida and throughout the country. We are also a Fort Lauderdale PPC agency, offering award-winning pay-per-click, remarketing, and other paid online advertising services. Contact us or call 954.281.9995 today.
- Google Voice Search – Wikipedia