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The Rise of Voice Search and Its Impact on SEO

Voice search has risen as a popular option for individuals seeking information online. In fact, 50% of the U.S. population uses voice search features daily. So, when it comes to voice search and SEO, it’s critical that brands consider the language and keywords individuals might use in voice search when creating content.

Voice search includes any type of online inquiry that is requested by speaking instead of typing. This has become a go-to feature on smartphones, in cars and with smart speakers that leverage voice assistants.   

Don’t believe us that voice search is here to stay? Check out these statistics that show just how prevalent and popular this current search option is:  

  • There are currently 4.2 billion voice assistants in use, and that number will hit 8.4 billion by 2024 
  • Every month more than 1 billion voice searches occur  
  • Approximately 58% of consumers find a local business through voice search 
  • There are more than 30,000 smart home devices supported by Google Assistant 
  • Voice search shopping is expected to surpass $40 billion 
  • Voice search is most popular in the 18-34 age group, with 77% saying they use voice search on smartphones. 

What does this mean for your business? It’s time to take these voice search and local search engine optimization (SEO) trends into account and develop strong strategies for voice search optimization.  

What’s driving adoption?

There are a few key factors driving the rise of voice search and local SEO. Advancements in voice recognition have made the technology’s understanding of what is being asked more accurate, and therefore it is providing end-users better results. The ease of hands-free search tools that have become synonymous with the phrases “Hey Google,” “Hey Alexa” and “Hey Siri” are enabling individuals to search while on the go or completing other tasks quickly and efficiently. Together, these have resulted in  increased usage of voice search for a variety of queries.

How is it different from text?

Text search is often short, with users typing simple phrases and then wading through a list of results. With voice search, queries are generally longer and more conversational in format. For example, if you want to know the weather, you might simply type: “Weather Newport Beach.” With voice search, you might say, “Hey Google, what’s the weather in Newport Beach today?” Recognizing this shift from short keywords to natural language and long-tail phrases is vital when developing a voice search optimization plan.  

Keyword strategies for voice search optimization

Marketers need to understand the user intent in voice search queries and most importantly the impact of voice search on keyword research and content creation. When planning voice search optimization and local SEO strategies, brands should incorporate both short- and long-tail contextually relevant terms. Creating content that is conversational in tone to match voice search queries can help brands meet this need.  

Featured snippets and position zero

When SEO first started, it was the goal of all marketers to get clients onto the first page, preferably into the top three spots in return results. Now, the most coveted spot is being a featured snippet in position zero. Voice search optimization strategies should aim to have webpages delivered into this spot, as this is what the voice assistant will read aloud to the customer when returning an answer for voice search. This means that a high importance is placed on concise and informative answers to questions that can be delivered easily as a voice search response.  

Voice Search

Local queries
As noted above, 58% of consumers found a local business through voice search, which means that voice search and local SEO go hand-in-hand. When it comes to voice search optimization for local businesses, it’s critical that companies update online profiles with accurate business information on directories, utilize local SEO tactics to enhance visibility in voice search results and integrate mobile optimization strategies for voice search.

From the user’s perspective
The best way to get started in voice search optimization is to understand user intent and preferences in voice queries. This means doing some voice search keyword research and designing content to provide relevant and valuable answers to common voice search queries. It’s also important for brands to understand voice search ranking factors so that content can be created to best meet consumer needs.   

Voice search trends
Voice search is already widely used and popular. When looking at voice search and local SEO strategies, utilizing FAQ pages and question-and-answer formats for voice search optimization is a smart strategy and is likely the future of SEO in the voice search era. This type of content will help brands be delivered in the featured snippet and position zero spot, allowing information to be read out loud to users.  

The experts at Beyond Fifteen are here to help your brand develop content that utilizes voice search optimization best practices. Connect with us to learn more! 

Connect with a Beyond Fifteen Marketing Specialist today!

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