By the end of 2020, it's estimated that 50% of all searches done online will be done through voice and that number will only be going up as the years go on. Big companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google are making it easier and easier to use voice search. It's in your pocket, your house, your car, or anywhere else that you can think of.
Starting in 2011 by Google, it seemed like just a novelty. But that same year, Apple did the same thing with the introduction of Siri in all their new iPhone 4s that came out. With this coming out, people knew that voice search wasn't just some idea that Google had, but it was something that people were going to actually be using.
How is Voice Different than traditional search?
In the past, doing a Google search would give you about 10 different options based on what you asked.. You would go to the one that would look the most appealing, or the one that you thought would give you the best information.
With voice search, that's completely changed. Now when you ask, "Give me the best diner near me", you're no longer given options, you're given #1.
And if your business isn't #1, you lose.
How can I optimize for Voice Search?
With how important it is to become #1, you'll need to consider how your content will be found using voice instead of the usual conventional ways.
"How can I optimize?" you may ask.
There are a few quick and easy things that you can start doing now so you're ready for when voice search becomes huge.
1. Use keywords that sound like a human wrote it
The way that people speak vs. how businesses think they speak are two wildly different things.
Most keywords are single words designed to get found by a search engine. However, most people don't talk like that, and search engines are using AI to favor human writing, instead of just stuffing your website with keywords.
For example, instead of using the keywords "Italian Food Ottawa", you'd want to say something along the lines of "The best Italian Food in Ottawa, Ontario". This is closer to how people actually talk and if someone asks Siri where the best Italian food is, the chances of you appearing is much more likely.
2. Optimize for Mobile
"Hey Siri, give me an apple pie recipe"
If you say this, Siri will go and try to find the perfect website for an apple pie recipe. Let's say that hypothetically that your website is already that perfect website.
Now when someone lands on your website and sees that it's poorly optimized for mobile and they're having a hard time reading it; they're going to leave your website and go on to a different one.
Spoiler Alert: You don't want that.
In order to make sure that everything is working how you want it to, test it on the Google Mobile Test. This will show you if your website is mobile-friendly, what issues it might have, and it'll give you a preview of what your website looks like on a mobile device. By looking at this, you're given an idea of what you might need to update or change for your website.
What does this mean for me?
You can't be #2 or #3 anymore. In order to be seen by voice searches, you need to be the best of the best in your industry. You have to push for positive reviews, have strong SEO on your website, and anything else that you can do in order to get on top of the competition. Voice search has thrown out the idea of conventional marketing and means that you'll have to get more creative and search for more unconventional ways.
This is still a relatively new thing in marketing, so there is a massive opportunity to be first in this winner-take-all game. We did that at Market Pie by making our own Alexa Skill that you can check out here. We found that this was an opportunity that wasn't being taken yet, so we put our heads together and came up with the idea of a skill that gives off weekly business advice since it was an untapped market.
In 2020, voice search is something that will have to be on your radar and something that you definitely can't ignore. You'll need to think about how you can update your website. You need to be able to adapt and change before everyone else in order to rise to the top.
Or don't, and see what happens. We're a blog post, not your mother.