Organic search, by nature, shifts significantly every few years. Voice search is simply the next wave in an ocean of change.
The Evolution of SEO
Google conducted a mobile voice study and found that 55% of teens & 41% of adults use voice search more than once a day.
Voice search not only replaces the traditional way people use search engines – it bypasses search results altogether.
- 20% of all mobile searches use voice (Google)
- 15% of Australian households (1.35 million) have a smart speaker at home (Edison Research)
- 6 million Australians already use their smart speaker to purchase products, or plan to in 2019 (Versa)
- 50% of all searches will be voice by 2020. (ComScore)
SEO practices must evolve to:
- Use long-tail keywords
- Emphasise location
- Prompt phone calls and other direct actions
Search results page ranking may no longer be a top driver of enquiries and sales.
The days of typing in a query, pressing search and reviewing the results are quickly coming to an end – VERY QUICKLY!
Voice SEO is the next evolution of search engine optimisation and these are the devices people use:
- Google Home – the best voice recognition and search results
- Amazon Alexa – leader in voice assistant devices – 100 million sold
- Apple’s Siri – 1 billion mobile devices (the worst voice recognition)
- Microsoft’s Cortana – installed as standard on all Windows 10 PCs
Amazon Alexa uses Microsoft Bing for search results, Apple’s Siri uses Google. They all use Yelp for local business information and reviews.
Voice won’t kill screens – just like mobile didn’t kill desktop, but Gartner has predicted that by 2020, 30 percent of web browsing will be without screens
‘Near Me’ Searches
Voice search is three times more likely to be ‘local’ than text search, because the majority of voice searches are conducted on mobile devices. ‘Near Me’ mobile searches have increased by 500% in the past 2 years (Google).
When the phrase ‘near me’ is used in a voice search, results are returned based on where THE USER IS.
Proximity to the searcher is now the top SEO ranking signal and highlights the importance of correctly set up Google My Business, Bing Places and Apple Maps accounts.
Ask customers for (5 star) reviews! The importance of reviews for local businesses can’t be stressed enough, particularly when people use voice search to find the ‘best rated’ real estate agent, day spa or dog grooming salon ‘near me’.
The impact that voice search is already having on brands – WATCH VIDEO.
Schema Markup / Structured Data
Schema / structured data markup makes it much easier for Google and Microsoft’s Bing search engine to understand the exact content of your site, giving them a better opportunity to serve your content to the right users. Schema can also generate rich search snippets which can lead to much greater engagement.
Key elements of Schema Markup:
- Structured data pairs names with values to help search engines categorise and index your content
- JSON-LD is the most popular form of structured data (also RDFa & Microdata)
- Schema provides a set of agreed-upon definitions for JSON-LD tags. (Schema was developed by Google, Bing and Yandex)
Examples of Schema Markup: