Rachel Alexander11 Oct 2018

How voice search is changing SEO?

Search behaviour is shifting to voice

Driven by technology advances, convenience and perhaps even laziness, more and more consumers are conducting internet searches through voice commands.

Gone are the days of typing in all your search queries. In turn, the rise of voice search influences how website content should be optimized to reach new and existing customers online.

Who uses voice search?

Voice search stats from Global Web Index:

  • 27% of the global online population is using voice search on mobile.
  • 34% of internet users say they’re interested in purchasing a voice-controlled smart assistant.
  • 70% of voice tech users are concerned about the internet eroding their personal privacy.

The rise of voice search brings some search visibility off search engines themselves. Certainly, voice search results are greatly influenced by the device and digital assistant being used; be it Google Home/Now, Cortana, Amazon Echo/Alexa, or Apple’s Siri.

Amazon Echo vs Google Home Assistant

The Amazon Echo primarily responds to purchase queries with answers from items for sale on the Amazon network. In contrast, Google Home assistant delivers results that are largely similar to written Google results.

At Alexanders, we have been experimenting with the Google Home Assistant. Some of our clients have a strong presence in the results – great evidence of our SEO work to date.

At this stage, we still see a strong link between top rankings on written and voice search results on Google.

Over 25% of US searches are now voice-based and attention is shifting to how websites should evolve to rank well for voice searches.

Meanwhile, back at home in New Zealand, voice search volume is not yet at the 25% mark.The kiwi accent presents a challenge for digital assistants, which may be why uptake has been slower here than abroad. However, the Australian accent has recently been incorporated for some devices, and it is rumored that Google will be rolling out voice recognition for NZ accents very shortly.

Yet another acronym has entered the digital marketing scene, joining SEM, SEO, PPC, & CRO in the digital acronym hall of fame – AEO.

What is Answer Engine Optimisation (AEO) in search marketing?

AEO stands for Answer Engine Optimisation. It is the process of optimising your content to appear in a search result as the single answer provided. The ‘one true answer’ could appear in an answer box or as an audio response to a voice search query. For example, you can think of things like “what is the boiling point of water at sea level in celsius” = 100 degrees.

How can you start preparing your website for AEO? Structured data, Google maps, Apple maps, Bing maps listings and many of the other factors that apply to general SEO all contribute to Answer Engine Optimisation.

Adding schema markup could boost news audio results

Adding schema markup is a process of labeling content on your site to identify the type of information provided. Then, search engines can use schema markup to identify what portion of your content is appropriate as a voice response.

Currently, the Google Assistant uses speakable structured data to answer news related searches on smart speakers. When users ask for news about a specific topic, the Google Assistant suggests up to three articles from around the web and supports audio playback for sections in the article which have ‘speakable’ structured data.

What increases your chance of appearing in speakable results?

While currently, to be eligible to appear in speakable news results, your site must be a valid news site in the US, other content can rank on voice searches now.

Brief content, with up to 5 short steps as a solution or answer, has a good chance of ranking well.

As you can see, voice search is an emerging and important part of online behavior. It takes time and technical knowledge to build your visibility in voice search. Drop Mateo a line and he can evaluate your website to determine which different types of Schema Markup would be suitable for your website.

Voice Reviews: A new channel for digital word of mouth

In the past 2 years, videos with the word ‘review’ in the title had more than 50,000 hours of viewing time. If you’re on the move, Google may deliver voice reviews rather than web page reviews. Google says you can get up to a 17% increase in conversion from your Google Ads if you have the reviews star rating.

How do you get a decent online star rating?

Shopper Approved is our recommended rating system. It handles text as well as voice reviews making it super easy to manage this otherwise tedious task. Talk to Mateo about getting this set up (and check it out on the Alexanders’ home page).

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