Voice Search Becomes The New Normal

With the advent of internet technology, the marketing sector has changed drastically to accommodate digital marketing in it. From the usual marketing tactics to interest-based ad targeting, everything now goes digital, especially with regards to advertising purposes. Keywords started ruling the reign of marketing and the businesses began playing guessing games about what the usual customers search the most so as to optimize their business sites for that particular key phrases.

However, things now seem to change once again as the usual text-based searches turn into voice searches. The keywords or key phrases are now replaced by voice commands, thus compelling the online businesses, once again, to optimize them for the new search environment. Today, people no more bother to type in their queries for getting information. Rather, they now speak to save their time and efforts to find some information.

Although, voice search isn’t a new trend. It showed an exponential rise after the voice assistants stepped into our lives. Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Google Assistant have made tremendous contributions in the rise of voice search as they become integrated with smartphones, making this search option the handiest way for internet search. Consequently, people have now become used to searching without screens. Forbes revealed that, by 2020, nearly half of all internet searches will constitute voice searches. Therefore, it has become inevitable for businesses to optimize their online presence for voice searches. They have to adapt their sites to all the changes voice search is doing to digital marketing.

Let’s take a quick look at how voice search is disrupting the marketing industry.

 

Features Snippets Will Become A Priority

The present search engine optimisation practices usually revolve around ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). If a site is appearing on the first page on SERP, it is considered pretty optimised. The idea behind this approach is to become more visible to internet users.

However, with voice search, the competition will become more fierce as the voice search will primarily rely on features snippets. Therefore, the website optimisation practices will revolve around gaining the position of featured snippets, and thus, billions of websites will be competing for one single position to gain exposure to internet users. There would not be any substitute position for the websites to reach potential consumers through voice search.

To reach this key spot on SERPs, the websites have to format their content in a question/answer form, create more relevant and precise answers, with quality content so as to grab and hold more audience.

 

Modification Of Search Semantics

The present search semantics revolve around searches involving very short phrases or keywords. For instance, people directly type ‘best smartphone model’ to know about the top smartphone brands in a  given time, instead of typing a regular question “which is the best smartphone model to buy this year”. However, with voice search, people aren’t likely to give commands similar to what they type. Rather they will probably speak out the question to get their desired information. Of course, speaking a whole question consumes much lesser time as compared to what they would spend while typing it. While it is convenient for the users, it disrupts the present optimisation for websites, as they now have to acclimatise with questions and long phrases in their content instead of short keywords.

This has started reflecting in the shift of SEO focus from short keywords to long-tail keywords and question/answers within the content. The texts websites now display looks similar to everyday conversations instead of computer-generated texts. This can be considered as the first stage of optimisation for voice searches.

 

Searches Through Mobile Will Override Desktops

Today, the smartphones have taken over the popularity of desktop computers owing to their handiness, ease of use, easy availability and user-friendliness. That’s the reason people have started relying on smartphones for performing their internet searches as well. In the future, due to the presence of voice assistants like Apple Siri and Google Assistant in iOS and Android phones, people will be using voice search more easily. Therefore, the ease of searching due to the combined increase in mobile phone searches and voice searches will ultimately compel the website owners to optimize their sites for mobile searches. In fact, this will not only affect the sites’ SEO but will also make it inevitable for websites to have a responsive design for mobile-friendly appearance.

Local SEO Will Become More Important

Presently, the websites target the international market during optimisation. That is why most websites are run by similar SEO practices. However, with the rise of voice searches, local SEO will become a trend as people will usually search for questions related to their specific locations only. For instance, most voice searches will be about ‘best restaurants near me’ or ‘best shopping malls near my home’. Therefore, instead of targeting a global audience, the site owners and business will have to optimise themselves for gaining traction among the local visitors.