The Quick Rise in the Number of Voice Search Skyrockets due to More Mobile Queries
Insights from experts as well as successful best practices for making your web content ready for voice search in the mobile-first world.
In this article, we’ll discuss the optimization techniques you need to prioritize in order to overcome a “ranking dive” and get your site progressing steadily once again. Strategically re-position your content library. To keep up or grow your site’s traffic, one has to recognize the expanding reach of mobile devices, and if more of your audiences are beginning a search on-the-go versus in their office or home in front of a large screen.
News of Google Assistant suggests slight advancements over 2016 voice search results. Natural conversational search results are produced almost exclusively on mobile from the many individuals using this modern form of search. According to the search giant, mobile bounce rates are 9.56% higher than desktop. So voice search optimization and the mobile user UX design should be a tandem effort.
Voice Search has the capacity to process “near me” searches by relying on the mobile user’s geographical location to determine results. These local searches do correlate to your on-page keywords, believes Aaron Agius. (1) The bulk of this information will be drawn from assessing your Google My Business listings. Google is incredibly accurate at understanding voice searches, which makes it super useful for mobile device searches when someone might want to find information without needing their hands.
For eCommerce sales, check to make sure your products work for voice search via schema markup.
User Data Pushes the Voice Trend
Fundamentally, it has already changed the manner in which individuals use search engines to find answers, information, and begin researching for a purchase. The rise of mobile and tablet devices have led to the ease of conducting a search from anywhere and now comprises 60% of all online traffic. Cloud Artificial Intelligence is shaping new SEO practices.
Voice search is the fastest expanding form of search, according to Behshad Behzadi, Principal Engineer at Google Zurich. The appeal of voice dialog is irrefutable; it is faster, requires no hands, meaning that you can multi-task, and our burgeoning millennial population labels it “cool”.
Google reported as early as October 2014 that “More than half of teens (13-18) use voice search daily—to them it’s as natural as checking social media or taking selfies. Adults are also getting the hang of it, with 41 percent talking to their phones every day and 56 percent admitting it makes them feel tech savvy.”
The noteworthy aspect of Behzadi’s statement is the timing of it. That 20% figure came early in the spring of 2016 when most voice search activity had only begun. It is clear why both giants, Google and Amazon, are placing a lot on the voice trend given user’s love for new mobile device features and the latest home based assistants. When stats like this point so clearly to user preferences, we know that voice is a significant aspect in the future of search.
Statistics Showing Rising Numbers in Voice Searches
Google reports that 20 percent of searches coming from its mobile app and on Android devices classify as voice searches. The overall sum of voice searches is actually considerably more when one factors in the fact that personal assistants such as Amazon’s Echo (aka Alexa), Google Home, Siri, and Cortana — tools that purely bases on voice recognition.
Jeff published the most comprehensive list of statistics on January 6, 2017. Therefore we defer readers to his post: Google, Siri, Alexa, Cortana; stats on voice search (3)
The predictions are running higher when guessing 2017 search trends:
“We estimate there will be 21.4 million smart speakers in the US by 2020.” (Activate)
“50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.” (Comscore)
“About 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020.” (Mediapos)
Marketers need to keep pace with the 71% of U.S. millennials who are already using personal assistants for questions like how, who, what, when and where? Web searches in question format are up 20% year over year, with more citizens requesting help from their devices as they go about their day.
Voice searches continue to rise and currently represent 24% of the total search queries on Bing5. Google is reporting that the number of voice searches has doubled in the past year.
A mobile friendly site surpasses the results of responsive web design. We’ll cover a few things to work on:
Primary Advantages of Using a Voice Command for Digital Reuslts
* It is faster – to speak to our phones rather than to type a search query out.
* Small touch-screen keyboards that users on-the-go are searching from are cumbersome.
* Typing mistakes and tone misinterpretations are less likely to happen in the burgeoning use new virtual assistants. “Today, speech recognition word error rate is 8 percent.” determined Bruce Clay. (5)
7 Tactics to Improve Your Website’s SEO Visibility for Mobile Users
1. Improve Site Load Speed For Both PC and Mobile
Voice searchers are typically the on the go type, meaning that how quickly your site loads, the more likely they are to stay and interact on it. This not only applies to arriving on a web page, but the time it takes to navigate from one to another to gain more information.
The very reason someone may be trying to get an answer without typing is that they want immediacy. Create Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP for a faster loading site.
2. Prioritize the Mobile Experience
The screen space “above the fold” on a smartphone is minute compared to the familiar desktop screen. But since it can go with us everywhere, web marketer must make the most of it. The typical mobile searcher will navigate through search engine result pages and choose which URL to click on by using a thumb. For some nimble users, an index finger supports the task.
Most websites that are even a few years old have placed navigational elements, like buttons and links on their web page too close together for mobile users. So it is easy to understand why leaning on voice recognition save people from accidentally clicking the wrong thing or two menu items at once. Fix it as soon as possible to avoid frustrating prospective buyers and readers who have found your page – or it could be the reason behind higher levels of exit rate.
Use a tool like MobileTest.me (2) to gain a first-hand experience of how your site appears on different mobile devices. But the best user experience test is to try navigating your site on your own phone when you are unhurried and can evaluate it for potential user experience trouble points. Take advantage of Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to further improve your mobile site speed.
3. Think in terms of Informational Search
Searching by Voice is Common for Informational Searches.
Informational researchers happen well before there is any decisive purchase intent, with more often a need to obtain quick answers, or a part of ego-searching.
Informational searches involve an enormous range of queries from finding out who won the football game to getting maps and driving directions, to finding out which months are considered the third trimester in a pregnancy. What these searches have in common are that they consist primarily of non-commercial and non-transaction intent. These users simply want the information itself and no interaction is taken beyond the same person reading the results.
Enhance your site for mobile voice searches. Try using the tool Answer the Public (3) to locate possible search terms with words such as “by”, “for”, or “with” to delve further into searcher intent.
4. Augment your NAP with Schema
Next, you should use schema microdata to help search engines to better understand what these elements are.
Include the typical information people may ask about using voice search, such as:
Structured data markup implementation will augment a business’ name, address, and phone number (NAP) on your site and in business directories. You can add alternate names, publications and social profiles to help those interested in following you. When you stand out , it typically produces higher click-through rates.
* Your business address
* Main Phone number and Support Phone Number
* Store hours, including holiday or special hours
* Prices and Stock availability
* Geo Coordinates and Directions from major highways
* Write for users natural speech; avoid writing your query into your copy in the voice of your character. After that, anywhere schema markup is addedto a page, it should be for the reader’s benefit.
You can rely on example code markups for all kinds of use cases. Or have a coder familiar with schema test custom uses. For example, here’s a rich snippet Google returned when I searched for: “What happened at our United States capital today?” by voice command.
5. Set a Manageable Pace to Redo Pages
Make it as easy as possible for GoogleBot to crawl your site and understand what your primary content is about. This increases your opportunities for search engine to award your content and match it to voice search queries. ECommerce shopping carts need schema to help with voice search for product sales.
Take steps to optimize your site for voice search at a manageable pace and re-submit the posts you have re-vamped in the Search Console so Google can re-crawl them. As we all learn more as to how this search formal will be used in the future, keeping your site progressive today can mean success in the voice search world.
Visualize yourself in the position of the individual conducting a voice search. They use natural language, which means that getting long-tail keyword phrases right is more critical than ever.
6. Provide Q & A Content on Your Site
Adopt a manner of using natural language keywords in your new posts articles and web pages. Whether you have a dedicated FAQ page, or use this style within pages your site, find ways to offer content that appeals to users and can be found in Google Quick Answer Cards. Consider updating existing articles and product pages with actions, calculations, and facts to optimize for spoken queries.
“How many years was Winston Churchill Britain’s Prime Minister?”
“What does machine learning have to do with voice recognition?”
“What is fall weather typically like in Minneapolis?”
“Why do I need a separate business plan for each business I start?”
“How much should I tip the valet driver at my hotel?”
This approach also opens wide your chances to gain a Google Answer Box at top of search results.
7. Monitor Website Performance
Watch your Google Analytics SEO reports closely to see if there are differences in performance for mobile versus desktop visits, bounce rate, and sales funnel conversions. As a higher numbers of site search began from someone speaking into their cell phone or to a search assistant, it is possible to identify a user experience barrier that can be removed.
Google Analytics provides several detailed mobile reports that can be compared to the desktop reports that are built in. Monitor how users engage your site and tweak your efforts. Be forward thinking as you strategize for voice search. Anticipation is high that analytics tools will be able to achieve more granular data in the future. Look for real numbers on how well a site is optimized for voice search – perhaps we will move more this direction when Google Optimize is released.
According to Google, “voice queries are more long-form; they’re more like sentences and real questions”. These searches more closely resemble end-of-the-funnel type keywords, which indicate the likelihood of having considerable monetization potential, and it would be wise to optimize your site for. In the future, we hope to successful conduct attribution to spoken queries.
It is clear why both giants, Google and Amazon, are placing a lot on the voice trend given user’s love for new mobile device features and the latest home based assistants. When stats like this point so clearly to user preferences, we know that voice is a significant aspect in the future of search.
The rise in the number of mobile queries and voice search is a game changer for SEO professionals. Search marketers need to love new technologies in the same way that web searchers do. While someone seeking to get answers, find products and professional services, may not think of it in this way while searching for things online, they love new wearable gadgets and getting the latest smartphone.
“No longer are individuals just typing a query into Google and getting a list of results. They are speaking in a conversational manner and getting direct answers without having to click through to a landing page,” is the opinion of Repequity. (7)
Create Savvy Web Content that is easily Machine-Processable
Think of semantic annotations similar to highly structured digital notes that are useful when based off of critiques, doodles, and eventually idea illuminations that are placed in well-formed content.
Best Practices in How Semantic Annotation Effects Voice Search
Background Information: Semantic annotation enriches content with machine-processable information by linking background information to extracted concepts. These concepts, found in a document or another piece of content, are unambiguously defined and related to each other within and outside the content. It transforms the content into a more usable data source.
Semantic Enrichment: What is know as “semantic enrichment” or semantic annotation” involves a process know as text identification.
This is where text is extracted from non-textual resources, like, for example, PDF files, videos, documents, previously taped voice recordings, etc. Algorithms then perform a text analysis that is capable of splitting sentences and identify concepts within them, such as a person, objects, places, happening, and numeric aspects.
Concept Extraction: Once identified, these concepts are classified, that is they are defined as people, organizations, numbers etc. Next, they are disambiguated, that is they are unambiguously defined according to a domain-specific knowledge base. You need to be getting both your brand and the right message out immediately to someone on mobile.
The Role of Digital Assistants in Local Search
Measure if mobile visitors come from voice search or a text search – Think with Google Says Measurement is a key metric to mobile voice searches.
The typical manner in which people already interact with digital assistants is via voice queries. What SEOs face is the challenge that this means needing a screen or keyboard is optional. Google receives questions and must produce answers from digital assistants when nothing is typed or read.
Even big brands are feeling the squeeze to have the best answer, transition to AMP pages for be faster than their competitors and still – no one knows for sure how to know if they matched someone voiced question.
“While the absence of a screen will impact both general and local search, conversational search clearly favors local. After all, general knowledge queries will simply be answered, resulting in few opportunities to lure customers back to your site,” says Brian Smith in his December 9, 2016, article. (7)
Everywhere we go, we see consumers are constantly interfacing with their digital devices, a trend that is rapidly accelerating. PPC advertisers face the pressure to create digital ad campaigns that communicate effectively, while needing to be quickly connected to prospective buyers talking into their device.
PPC Advertisers Respond to “Near Me” Voice Recognition
Metrix Lab conducted a study of over 500 ads with over 50,000 global consumers. Rick Candelaria found that about half didn’t have the impact to enable brands to truly connect with mobile consumers. The hurdles in digital advertising include overcoming the challenges of how to have your web content discoverable in voice searches. From the consumer’s perspective, your ad has to fit their preference for immediacy. (8)
A Think with Google article in April 2015, discusses how “near me” searches were up 34x from 2011-2015, and their growth increased 146% in the year 2016 alone. (9) A search where someone is talking into their phone happen 80% of the time on mobile.
Since that’s the scenario, location-based conversational search continues to increase; the number of voice searches will likely continue to be spoken with “near me” phrases or conversational “where” type queries, and begin to cannibalize traditional searches.
* “Leading marketers were 75% more likely than the mainstream to have moved to a more holistic measurement model in the last two years—and were more than twice as likely to have significantly exceeded their top business goal in 2015.2 This is crucial. Leading marketers are rethinking their approach to measurement, and they’re getting results.”
* “70% of smartphone owners who bought something in a store first turned to their devices for information relevant to that purchase.”
* “Leading marketers are 71% more likely than the mainstream to regularly use estimates to bridge gaps in measurement.”
If you want a growth-driven mobile marketing strategy, measurement isn’t something that marketers plan later on in the process. It’s a key way to succeeding and growing in an ever-changing, highly compettivie, mobile-first world. By tweaking your mobile marketing approach to focus on business objectives first, we can help you make updates to your website to bridge the gaps in the voice searches your site may be missing. Add schema now to really drive value in modern search results.
After investing years in fine tuning your web content, voice search seems to put many back at starting from scratch to set the scene for verbal SEO performance. We all have to face it, initial site optimization will begin to see a slow dive versus the skyrocketing improvements you want – unless you keep pace with changes.
Hill Web Marketing can partner with you to step out ahead. As your SEO expert on-hand, you can not only gain success today but you will have the foundation for new successes in coming years. Knowing how rapidly the web changes, you’ll enjoy feeling ready.
Meeting the demands generated by the rise in mobile queries is both exciting and fast paced. We’d love to partner to improve your website’s mobile performance and readiness for voice search.
Call 651-206-2410: Minneapolis Voice Search for Local Mobile Users
Resources used when writing this article: