What is Voice Search?
Voice search is searching with the help of digital voice assistants. The user speaks to the assistant, i.e. asks a question or requests information. The voice assistant accesses the results of a search engine and then answers acoustically. For voice search, users can use a smart speaker, e.g. Amazon Alexa or Google Home. However, voice search can also be performed with a smartphone or tablet, a smart TV or a smart car. Currently, however, these are mostly only used for simple questions such as "Where is the nearest ATM?" or "What will the weather be like tomorrow?".
While voice technology originated back in 2010, Microsoft and Amazon started releasing their voice services in 2014. In 2016, Google also followed suit with the release of Google Home. For a long time, Alexa led the market, but Goolge has since caught up. Today, 49% of the Voice Search smart assistants found in homes are from Google.
What can Voice Search do?
The feature has steadily improved since its introduction. According to Google, it achieves 95% accuracy in queries, while the Chinese voice recognition system iFlytek even has 98% accuracy.
The voice query is mainly used when the user does not have a free hand to enter the search term into a search engine via the keyboard, or simply because it is fun. This results in a wide range of possible applications that can be used for marketing.
What are the implications of Voice Search for SEO?
Voice Search makes it more important than ever to land on the very first position. Because currently, voice assistants only render one answer, and it's the top one! Often it is the so-called Featured Snippets that the voice assistants render. Searching for a nearby bar, a pizza service or a concert have long been among the most common search queries on mobile devices and will become even more relevant in the coming years due to the convenience of voice search. This also applies to other services or searches for specific information.
Even though experts say that the technology is (still) immature, now is the right time to take appropriate marketing measures and prepare for the future. Because one thing is clear: companies should thoroughly check and adjust their entries. Entries on Google My Business, to name just one example, should be regularly reviewed and optimized as needed.
How does Voice Search SEO work?
In the past, short-tail keywords were responsible for high traffic and were therefore the focus of text optimization. With the increasing relevance of voice search, new attention needs to be focused more on long-tail keywords. Voice search queries are significantly longer than traditional search queries. Search phrases tend to be long and detailed, so content must meet these requirements. Corporate publishers should therefore think of suitable questions for their content and then optimize them with long-tail keywords, tailored to the formulated questions.