Before the rise of personal assistants like Cortana and Siri, Voice search was seen as a bit of a novelty (who amongst us hasn’t tried to get their phone to swear?) but advances in the technology and changing user habits mean that’s no longer the case.
According to the most recent numbers Google has released on this, 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search on a daily basis. So it goes without saying (pun intended) this trend is going to impact even the most robust SEO strategies and there are a few things to be aware of.
Firstly, more and more people are going to be searching like they speak. Less “pizza restaurants central London” and more “what’s the best pizza restaurant in Covent Garden?” for example.
Pages where the content, tone and topics are more conversational - blogs, forums and communities for example – will start to rank higher so try to adapt your content with this in mind. It’s also worth allowing comments on pages wherever you can as the tone and content of these will help capture any voice searches.
We can’t let a blog post go by without talking algorithms, so we should also mention RankBrain. A “machine-learning artificial intelligence system” (hey 2016), it’s part of Google’s search algorithm, capable of learning and teaching itself to do things. Essentially, RankBrain will adapt to the way users are searching and help to present results accordingly, so as the volume of voice searches increase, the more you’ll need to adapt your content in order to rank.
This is very much ‘one to watch’ at the moment, but we recommend keeping an eye on mobile traffic to your pages as any unexplained drop-offs could mean your content needs to be tailored more towards voice search.
We’ll leave the last word on this to those people Google surveyed. 87% of them use Voice Search “because it’s the future."
If you want to make sure you’re ready for the voice-search revolution, or just need a hand with your SEO approach, then Pull’s SEO team can help, just give us a call or drop us an email.