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Voice search. Are you ready?

Once, a directory with an endless list of company addresses and phone numbers could easily rank #1 in Google. Now, the websites at the top are filled with high-quality interactive content. Times have changed. But the changes haven’t stopped yet.

People want more from their search results. They want to engage with every website. They need to feel like their chosen search engine knows them, and fully understands their intent. They also want to know that search engines are listening, really listening, to their every word.

The rise of voice search

ComScore predicts that 50% of searches will be voice-based by the end of next year. That’s a significant change in search engine interaction, in a relatively short space of time.

In January 2018, Google announced that its voice assistant was available on more than 400 million devices, and that figure has only grown since.

If you have a website, you need to be prepared for the sudden rise of voice search.

Why should you optimise for voice search?

When you improve your search engine optimisation strategy, you’re adjusting your website so that it meets the needs of potential customers. Search engines aim to show them the most relevant and useful content, according to their request. Then, you want to optimise for conversion – how do you turn a search into a sale using conversion rate optimisation?

When people use voice search, Alexa, Google Home, Siri or other personal assistants, they ask their questions in a different way. Whilst we might search ‘hotels in London’ by text, and scroll through the results for what’s relevant, we don’t do the same with our voices. We’re not scrolling through pages of results, so we’re much more specific with our questions. We don’t ask for ‘hotels in London’. We ask ‘which hotels in London have availability tomorrow?’ or ‘which hotels in London are closest to the London Eye?’.

When people use voice search they’re not aimlessly browsing, but ready to act. They are conversions waiting to happen. They want to spend their money, and sensible business owners want to be the ones on their radar. Voice searches are far more specific, often far more time-sensitive, and your website needs to meet those new requirements.

Optimising for voice search is not necessarily the same as optimising for text search. Your SEO journey needs to include voice search optimisation before you miss out on a significant market.

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