Optimize Your Website For Voice Search

Voice Search: Is your business ready?

Voice search is picking up quickly. Google reported that more than 20% of searches are already being performed via voice search. Experts are predicting that the number might go up to 50% in 2020.

The prediction might seem a bit exaggerated, but the growing trend is indicating that it might be possible. Amazon Echo and Google Home are not only creating a buzz but also getting a lot of positive reviews. The Amazon Echo was the best selling product during the 2016 holiday sales! Also, now every smartphone comes with a personal assistant, which further escalates the possibilities.

Many people may argue that the “experts” have been predicting this for a while. But here is the thing, now people are more tech savvy and they prefer convenience over most everything, and that’s exactly what voice search provides. For older adults, it’s really hard to type a long sentence into a small search box. Even younger adults sometime struggle with typing a single sentence on a small screen.

Voice search makes it easy for everyone to ask questions without struggling with the tiny keys. At most, we average typing 40 words per minute, but we can speak up to 150 words per minute, pushing the possibilities even further. Google has reported that their Voice search is now 95 percent accurate, 20 percent more as compared to 2013.

Voice Search may have tasted the limelight long ago, but early on the AI struggled at getting the context of what was spoken, thus diverting us from its true potential. There are still many early adopters who have abandoned the technology because of poor past experience. I am predicting all of that will change with improved accuracy and convenience. In the near future, the AI will become more sophisticated in understanding the actual context of the queries. You’ll see better results based on the context rather than going with the literal meaning. And this will compel the market to give voice search another try.

Recent research revealed that people are starting to use voice search in public more often. In the past, most users were hesitant, and only felt comfortable at home or in private settings. But as the technology continues to advance, we become more comfortable using it.

If you are a business owner, I highly recommend that you keep an eye on the changing trends. Until recently, optimizing your website content for voice search was mainly for B2C business, but now that it has more potential to go mainstream, you should consider optimizing your site for voice search. It will not only advance you ahead of the competition, but will also affect your overall SEO efforts. Voice search is an expansion of the existing SEO practices.

Here’s how you can get prepared for voice search:

· It’s a no brainier that voice search will be performed using mobile devices, so mobile optimization is crucial.

· As compared to text search, voice searches will be longer. So research for long-tail keywords and use them in your content. Also, you might want to start giving your language a natural /conversational tone so that the search engines find your website relevant for the voice search queries.

· Optimize for local. Voice search will mostly target nearby locations. So, its critical that your business be listed and verified in top tier local directories such as Google My Business, Bing, Facebook, Yelp, etc.

· Targeting a featured snippet will help you get to the equivalent of page one ranking in a voice search.

So, go forth and optimize your business website for voice search. You’ll want to be ready when a potential customer speaks a search request for your business and location.

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