So, we guess that title grabbed your attention! The voice search revolution no less. But is this true? Is it a revolution? Well, let’s take a look at some statistics to start with:

  • Google recently released some research which showed that 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search on a daily basis
  • Google also revealed that 20% of mobile queries these days are voice searches
  • Kleiner Perkins also released some research relating to voice search which claimed that according to Google Trends, voice search has grown 35 times since 2008

Now, if you are skeptical you might say that it is not surprising that Google’s statistics show that voice search is already here. What may surprise you is that other statistics back this claim up:

  • Branded3 has completed some research that shows that 25% of all Windows desktop searches are done via voice search
  • 6 out of 10 voice-activated device owners say they can’t imagine going back to life without a smart speaker, according to Geomarketing

Why is voice search so popular?

I guess what these stat’s show us is that voice search is already here, and already being used – but why is it so popular?

Well, for one it is fast. Bing released some research recently that showed that most people can type 38 to 40 words a minute, but speak 110 to 150 words a minute. The faster you can search, the faster you get your answer. Secondly, voice search is made for mobile searching – again as it is so much quicker to speak into your phone than spend time typing on a small screen. Finally, voice search is much more convenient for people who are time poor – and they like the fact that the answer is read back to them.

Voice Search and SEO

But what does all this mean for you, the business owner? Well what it means is when you are considering SEO now, you need to make sure you site is not only optimized for search engines online but also for voice search as well.

Searching with your voice is vastly different than searching by typing something into a search engine. It not only changes how and when people search, but also what they are searching for. Let’s take a closer look at these differences:

  • How people search – When people use their voice to search rather than typing into a search engine, their searches are more likely to be conversational and therefore longer. For example, if you wanted to look up how to make a latte at home you might type ‘make a latte’ into Google whereas to your smart speaker you will probably say ‘Hey Google, how do I make a latte at home?’ Naturally, this difference is going to have an impact on both keyword research and on-page SEO
  • Where people search – As we have identified above, voice search is much more convenient for people and so it is being used more often and in more places every day. Research by Stone Temple shows that in fact people are much more likely to use voice search in public places, such as on public transport, in a restaurant with friends, or even in a public restroom! Let’s say you are in Manchester for a meeting, you go to the bathroom and spill water on your silk shirt. A few years ago, you would have had to go to the nearest place with wi-fi and type ‘clothing store for men Manchester’ into Google. Nowadays however, you can whip out your phone and say ‘where is there a men’s clothing store open near me?’  – very different searches as you can see.
  • How people get search results – Interestingly, Google is now starting to position itself as an ‘answer engine’ rather than a ‘search engine’ by introducing new features such as featured snippets and the knowledge graph. This means that when you type your search into Google, many people are now not clicking through to websites to get the answer, as Google is providing them the answer on the SERPs. Let’s say you wanted the answer to the question ‘how tall is the biggest tree in the world?’ if you typed it into Google a few years ago you would have been presented with 10 different results. But with voice search the answer is read back to you within seconds

All of this means that it is getting harder and harder for business owners to get their content in front of people unless their content gives searchers direct answers to their questions.

Now that we have convinced you of the need to optimize your site and content for voice search, how do you go about doing that? Well, that is where we come in. Next month’s blog will show you some of the ways in which we have changed our keyword research and on page optimization work to reflect this new revolution of voice search – but in the meantime if you want to hear more about how we can help your business take advantage of the voice search revolution, please get in touch with our expert team today.