Whether it’s a speaker or smartphone, voice search usage is rapidly increasing. Leading research firms are predicting that somewhere between 30 and 50% of all searches will be conducted via voice by 2020. In this article, we will tell you more about why you should optimise for voice search right now.
Voice search has slowly been creeping up behind us for years now, and due to massive advancements in artificial intelligence technology, we are experiencing big changes with voice searching.
In 2017, Google’s ai-powered assistant improved it’s understanding scoring an accuracy rate of up to ~95% and a word error rate of only 4.9 %.
Why Should You Care About the Revolution of Voice Search?
Optimisation for Voice Search is vastly different from optimising for web searches and mobile searches. Users tend to phrase their searches more like they are having a conversation, for example, they might say “Hi Google, can you show me where the nearest sushi restaurant is?” instead of “Sushi restaurant near me” as they would in traditional search.
According to studies, the first organic search result on Google’s SERP gets up to 35.35 % of clicks. With voice search, that window becomes significantly smaller as it features only the top three results for mobile and one result for smart speakers. Ranking at the top has never meant more.
Since voice search is said to hold up to 50% of all searches, now is the time for businesses to start looking at professionals to prepare and optimise their websites for voice search in order to get ahead of the curve.
In 2018, Backlinko conducted some of the most compelling voice search research to date, and they revealed some of the key factors that influence Google Home rankings specifically.
Here are some of the highlights:
- Page Speed: The average voice SERP loads in 4.6 seconds, which is 52% faster than the average page. This is likely for UX purposes – there’s nothing conversational about waiting a long time for a verbal response.
- Security: HTTPS websites dominate Google’s voice search results. In fact, 70.4% of Google Home result pages are secured with HTTPS.
- Conciseness: The typical voice search result is only 29 words. People want quick answers, not books on tape.
- Simplicity: Simple, easy-to-read content may help with voice search SEO. The average Google voice search result is written at a 9th-grade level.
- Featured snippets: More than 40% of all voice-search answers were pulled from featured snippets.
Schema may not play a key role in voice search rankings. 36.4% of voice search results come from pages that use Schema (which is only slightly higher than the worldwide average of 31.3%).
- Very few voice search results had the exact query in their title tag. Therefore, creating individual pages for each voice search query doesn’t appear to be an effective voice search SEO strategy.
- Domain authority: Curiously, domain authority appears to be more important for voice search ranking than page authority (aka, link authority). The average domain authority of a voice search was 76.8, but only 21.1 for page authority. This means Google cares much more about pulling its answers from a trusted subdomain than from a page with oodles of backlinks.
Voice search is not only a thing of the future but the present, and statistics prove it is becoming a part of our lives. Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri, and Amazon Echo are being used in businesses and homes every day now.