41% of adults search for something using voice at least once a day, and for young adults it’s over half!
This applies to Google voice search, Alexa home devices, Siri…anything you can ask a question and expect a result.
The good news is the way we approach SEO for voice search hasn’t drastically differed.
Yes, voice searches tend to be longer and more conversational. And direct too.
Here’s an example, let’s say I want to know what the highest mountain is in the UK. Previously I might have entered highest mountain uk into a search engine.
But when asking a voice assistant, I’m more likely to say something along the lines of tell me what is the highest mountain in the uk. So it’s longer and more conversational. But despite its length it is more direct; I’m being clearer about what I want to know, which is what the highest one is.
That text search could bring up a page of results that list several high mountains, or articles that talk about a recent event or news story that took place on the highest mountain.
At this point in time search engines are taking these voice questions and dumbing them down for their own purposes. So when a voice search tool is actually working out what results to return, the example above could well be turned into that simpler 3-word version behind the scenes.
What’s really going to have an impact is when that directness starts to be factored in a lot more intuitively. Because at that point in time search will become less like looking up relevant information based on a subject (like an old encyclopedia) and more to do with answering really specific questions.
It’s very early days to think about how the approach we take to SEO might change when that happens. But the key will be in line with the major engines’ existing ethos – your website should have a clear purpose, and be written in a natural human readable way so that visitors can easily find the information they’re looking for.
And in that regard voice search is really just a continuation of the direction the search engines have been heading toward for well over a decade.