In 2013, a romance drama movie named ‘Her’ was released starring Joaquin Phoenix as a writer desperate to fall in love and be loved. Set in the future, Phoenix’s character falls in love with his digital assistant, Samantha.
Although people aren’t yet falling in love with their digital assistants, there is no denying the truth: digital assistants and voice search is becoming increasingly popular. Assistants like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana are no longer simply providing weather forecasts and making people laugh, they are providing suggestions for restaurants based on a user’s location, answering search queries and shopping online.
Photograph by Jakub Jirsak via Bigstock
The Rise of Voice Search
Although content is still king and people are still searching for answers online, they are increasingly using their digital assistants to conduct such tasks. No longer are strings of words typed together on Google. Instead, digital assistants are taking over users’ search queries.
According to ComScore, 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. Stone Temple Consulting found that 60 percent of people use voice search at home. The numbers are promising and they will rise every year.
Voice search isn’t a futuristic advancement. It’s here and it’s becoming popular.
Difference Between Voice Search and Typed Search
Voice search and typed search may be similar in that their goal is to answer a query posed by a user. But they are vastly different. Here’s how:
- Voice search is more conversational than typed search
Unintentionally, people change the way they ask a question while using voice search. For example, while searching for the best restaurants in Chicago, a typed search would likely be something like – ‘Best restaurants in Chicago’ or ‘Top 10 restaurants in Chicago.’ However, while conducting a voice search, the same query would be – ‘What are the best restaurants in Chicago?’ or ‘What top rated restaurants are open in Chicago right now?’
Voice search is more conversational and friendlier compared to bowser-based search.
- Voice search uses long tail keywords and phrases
Searches that are typed out on Google are likely to have fewer keywords in contrast to voice search. Usually, text search is focused on two or three words or short phrases while search conducted by a digital assistant tend to be concentrated on five keywords or long phrases.
- Voice search is often location-specific
Most voice search queries are not only actionable (meaning a user wants to do something with the query like buy a product or order takeout), but they are location-specific and use a person’s IP address. Most queries have words like ‘near me’ or ‘open near me now.’
- Voice search relies on a user’s behavior, preferences and past purchases
Digital assistants almost always personalize their search response by taking into account a user’s behavior patterns which include their preferences, past purchases and browsing history.
Tips to Capitalizing on Voice Search
It’s never too late to optimize a website or webpage for voice-based inquires. Below are some tips:
- Make content conversational
Concentrate on creating content that answers typical questions posed by potential customers. Understand the context and intent behind the customer and then build content that can tap into their needs.
- Conduct research on how someone would use voice search around a keyword
Focus groups and simple interviews can help identify how a person would use certain keywords and enquire about a brand or business in a voice search. The findings can be used to modify content for voice-based queries.
- Structure data on website
Digital assistants like to crawl on websites that have structured data in order to provide answers to questions. The more structured a website, the more likely it is to be used as an answer for a question posed by a user.
- Consider investing in technology
Savvy marketers understand the importance of embracing technology and being ahead, rather than with, the times. People are using digital assistants in every device today right from smartphones and tablets to security systems and Kindles. It’s safe to say that voice search, along with digital assistants, are being adopted by the public at a fast pace. Although browser-based searches aren’t going to lose their sheen just yet, it is time to acknowledge and embrace the popularity of voice-based searchers.
Content must factor in both typed and voice search. While people aren’t falling head over heels for digital assistants just yet, there is no rebuffing the fact that they are being increasingly used by smartphone users.
Chief Content Officer
Annie has 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.
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