At some stage you will probably have come across one of the following voice tools – Alexa from Amazon, Siri from Apple, Cortana from Microsoft, Google Assistant from Google. These have worked their way into our lives via computers, mobile phones and smart speakers. They can find us music, turn on the lights or order a pizza at our request.
Since Apple brought out Siri to help us search easier in 2011 there have been several other voice search tools launched. It should be mentioned that there were earlier voice tools including IBMs Simon & Dragon Dictate. What do you need to know about them and why are they important for your website I hear you asking a Google search? Look around you and see how many people you know are using the voice search on an Amazon, Google or Apple device. Voice search has been growing in popularity over the years. According to Google “27% of the of the global online population is using voice search on mobile”
Think with Google have some other interesting stats on the use of voice:
We all speak differently to how we type, and our voice searches tend to focus on questions starting with; how, where, when, why, which all have an impact if you answer questions in an FAQ section on your website. It’s also the case that we tend to speak more words than we type so long tail keywords are important and useful in all types of search engine optimisation. Conversational language can also help and is probably more suited to language used in blogs, but will not always be suitable for the audience on your website. Nearby searches are also popular voice searches – “find me a restaurant nearby”, so its important that you have your Google Local Business listing active and updated.
Where do voice tools get their on-search result information from I hear you ask Google: Alexa and Cortana use the Bing.com search engine for their results, so make sure you are ranking in Bing.com; Siri and Google use Google for search results. Other sources are used depending on the request being made such as local business listings etc.
An interesting tool to view some of the regularly asked questions on the internet is https://answerthepublic.com/, you can use this in additional to other tools to identify potential blog topics, FAQs and long tail keywords.
If you want to see a visual representation of the time line of voice development check out Voicebot.ai
On a loosely related voice matter you may want to consider donating your voice for future use by yourself or for use by another person – think Stephen Hawking. Check out https://vocalid.ai/voicebank/ for more information.
Voice search is getting better all the time though, if like me you need to enunciate more clearly or refine an accent you may not think that’s the case but its important to be aware of it and start factoring it in in SEO.