Are You Optimising For Voice Search?
Voice search is not just another buzzword gaining traction in meeting rooms, around water coolers or after-work cocktails. It is poised to become part of everyday business.
According to a Strategy Analytics report, 60 Mn households have a smart speaker with Amazon and Google holding the majority stake. And while this number seems to be a bit small on a global scale, it will only grow for the foreseeable future. In fact, the market of electronic boxes interacting with you is estimated to be $30 Bn by 2024.
At the dawn of search engine optimisation, it was all about stuffing the right keywords in the header. Many ended up overfilling up the turkey to the limit, just to cover every field possible.
Later on, loading speeding, number of share on social media, relevance to the search term and about 400 other factors contributed to the ranking score of each page, effectively making things harder for the average webmaster/online marketing manager/content marketer.
Now, Alexa, OK Google and Siri are here, amongst other smaller players are taking by storm the living room, the kitchen, the car… One can search by just calling up the service and pronouncing one’s mind – “Chinese food for dinner.”. Et voila, there are six Chinese restaurants which deliver to your area. Which one should Alexa call?
Back in the day, one risked to not land on an Italian recipe while searching for the single word term “zucchini”, but rather an X-rated page with very little, if nothing to do with cooking. Today, this the chance of this happening is close to zero. And for sure cannot happen on a voice search device. One could argue that those inputting the search queries got smarter… Maybe, maybe not.
It is just like googling things, but not exactly. Voice search is way more complicated than online search. Just take the pronunciation factor – people have different accents within their mother tongue. When you take into account the foreign-born users within a specific geographical market, you are multiplying, even more, the variety.
Speed, relevance and proximity are also a thing here. How fast a relevant result is spoken back to the inquirer is a matter of good user experience not to be discarded. Ever. And for every trivial question like “What to eat for dinner?” one is asking for their craving and how fast it can get to them.
The artificial intelligence algorithm behind the voice’s replies is not only based on what the database is showing as possible results, but also on historical data involving the inquirer. With time, the machine is teaching itself what you like, what you never chose and so on. In this sense, results are fed back based on personality and preferences – a much more personalised result than currently searching online.
Social cred, or how people talk about you on open channels, is indeed a factor not only for your desktop search on Google but also on whether you will be in the top results of the voice search, should there be a massive competition.
So, are you doing anything for voice search optimisation? Would love to hear about it? Or what your thoughts on the topic are.
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