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We Analyzed 50,000 Voice Search Results. Here’s What We Found About The Impact Of Voice Search in 2020.

We Analyzed 50,000 Voice Search Results. Here’s What We Found About The Impact Of Voice Search in 2020.

by Kiran R.K.G May 08, 2020
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voice search seo

We analyzed 50,000 Voice search results to answer the following questions:

  • How Voice search is impacting us in 2020?
  • How do you optimize your site for voice search SEO?

And in this post, We are going to share what we discovered in our adventurous journey.

Before that, I like to start with the basics of voice search.

So,

What is a voice search?

Voice Search is a technology that enables users to search the Internet orally via a tablet, a smartphone, or a smart home device, to ask questions.

Who Are The Major Players In The Voice Search Market?

The major players of digital voice market are:

  • Amazon – Alexa
  • Apple – Siri
  • Google – Google Assistant & Google Now
  • Microsoft – Cortana
  • Samsung – Bixby

Let me introduce you to the top list of keywords used for voice search.

list of top voice search keywords

Some people say we’re in the middle of voice search explosion is it true? let’s see some of the stats.

Voice search stats

Right before you begin with optimising your content for voice search here are some important voice search stats that you should keep in mind:

  1. As per eMarketer there has been a 128% increase in the number of Americans who use voice-search once a month. The number stands at a huge 35.6 million.
  2. As per CTA, 1 out of 4 shoppers make use of voice search during the holiday shopping season.
  3. As per GeoMarketing, from all the owners of Amazon Echo or Google Home, 65% say that cannot bear returning to the times before they owned a smart speaker.
  4. As per OC&C Strategy Consultants, voice commerce sales were at $1.8 billion and are predicted to reach $40 billion by the year 2022.

According to Google 55% of teens and 44% of adults use voice search more than once a day.

voice search usage

According to Comscore, 50% of the searches will be voice searches in 2020.

voice search stats

why we are using voice search case study

Google says twenty percent of mobile queries are now voice searches and Google also stated most of the Google searches takes place on Mobile devices than laptops or personal computers

mobile voice search stats

Bing says twenty-five percent of search queries are voice-based. that’s remarkable. Most of the top voice assistants are powered by Bing.

Some of them are:

  • Microsoft Cortana
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Apple Siri

Baidu states that ten percent of their search queries are voice-based. Yet, the Internet trend is also suggesting Baidu’s voice search is on the rise.

To find out Voice search is really exploding, We Investigated some of the most used voice search terms in Google Trends.

For example, let’s take “Show Me” and “Near Me” the two widely used voice search terms.

When you’re searching for a fitness club near you. Most probably you will ask your voice assistant something similar to this: “show me the fitness club near me”

When we saw the google trend results we were amazed. We saw a good steady organic growth for “Show Me” and  “Near Me” search terms.

show me near me google trends

These all data show us Voice search is not going to Explode it’s already exploded.

Difference between voice search and similar techniques

  • Is Voice Search Different from Keywords in a Search Box?

We see a lot of people think voice search is different from the normal search. But it’s not true because the voice from a user is sent to the voice recognization API’s and converts them to text. So, the voice search is based on text search and there is no difference between them.

Let’s see an example of voice search and text search results:

difference between text search and voice search

Seen any difference? No right! Both results are the same.

Voice search results are no different than the desktop or mobile search results interface.

  • How voice search is different from text search?

    • Longer Query Length
    • Most question keywords
    • Natural Language
    • High local value

Query Length

When we think about the comparison between text search and voice search what first comes to our mind is the query length.

To find out the right answer we decided to pull out the data for query length from Cortana searches and we compared it with the normal text search and here’s what we found:

query length of voice search

Query length for normal text-based searches is small, Normally 1-2 words because we use bot languages when we perform a search on a search engine we’re trained that way. That’s how we express our search Intent.

Then we investigated the query length of voice search.

text search vs voice search comparison graph

The above graph represents the successful voice search queries that get high voice search volume and they only consist of 1-3 words. It was unexpected.

What we expected was we will see significantly long voice search queries. Anyways the younger generations are still learning about how to do voice searches in a Natural way.

For example, let’s see a voice search screenshot shared by Tony Antony of his daughter.

tony antony daughter voice search screenshot

Question words

As we discussed above when we perform a text-based search in a search engine we perform a non-human search or we use computer language.

For example, When you’re performing a voice search, you’ll probably say something like “where is the best Thai restaurant in town” rather than something more robotic-like “best Thai restaurant”

After investigating voice search queries we found that 65% of voice search queries have question words in it. Let’s see how it’s growing year over year.

voice search question keyword queries

Strong Search Intent

Using natural language in your content is very useful when it comes to voice search SEO.

One of the great news for digital marketers is that you can easily understand the search intent of users for a specific voice search keyword.

For example: If I do a text search for “mobile phones” you have no idea what I’m thinking of whether I need to buy a mobile phone, need to repair one or just searching for images there are a lot of possibilities.

The type of voice search query can reveal the user’s search Intent.

A person who searches for queries starting with “When”  “Where” are most likely to purchase your product and services.

Since the voice queries are question-based queries, digital marketers can easily understand the user’s search intent and sell the products or services more effectively thus it increases the chance of high conversions and ROI.

Voice search SEO

Your business can profit much more if you carefully incorporate the below-mentioned SEO strategies into your voice search SEO stratgey:

  1. Structuring data
    As you will read in the secret #2 section below, structuring your content is a great way to go about strategising for better SEO. Search engines look at various factors other than content while ranking relevance. Here structuring does not mean the grammar or the flow of content. Here structuring means focusing on the schema markup, as demonstrated in secret #3. Schema markup may not have a direct influence on the rankings of your website, but it will definitely raise you above your competitors.Visitors may not see the microdata that works in the backstage of your site, but it does help search engines to maintain control over what website is better.
  2. Using the Google My Business Listing
    It would a great way to boost your voice search SEO by claiming your business on ‘Google My Business’.  While listing you must mare sure you check off everything from this checklist:

      1. Your name
      2. Your address (Business address)
      3. Updated phone number
      4. A well-formed, crisp and inviting business pitch in the introduction field
      5. Relevant categories
  3. Turn to being mobile-friendly

Most Voice Searches are performed on mobile devices.

bing voice search

This means Local businesses need to optimize for Voice Search SEO because it’s becoming one of the most used search channels for the customers to find you.

Top tips to being mobile-friendly are:

Where most users keep their smart home devices at home?

where people keep smart home devices in their home

Environments where people use voice search

Perficientdigital conducted a survey to know in which environments people are comfortable to use voice search. Here are some of the incredible results they found after their survey.

voice command usage trends perficientdigitall

2019 was up in 10 out of the 12 categories over 2018. The only exceptions were “In the Office” (51% to 49%) alone and “On Public Transportation” (dropped from 36% to 30%).

However, on the other side of things, “In a Restaurant with Friends,” “At the Gym,” “At a Party,” and “In a Theater” were all up by more than 3%. And that all-important “In a Public Restroom” category was also up from 25% to 28%.

femaile and male voice search usage stats

According to the above-shown data, Mons are more likely to use voice searches than women.

search based on age

As the data shows the 25-34 age group uses voice search more often through their smartphones and they’re more comfortable to use voice search than the youngest category (under 24 age group).

 

 

How to optimize for voice search?

To win the Voice search game we have to practice voice search optimization, Here are some of the secrets we found which help you to optimize your website for voice search revolution.

Secret #1: Find the right keywords

Voice search keywords are different from normal search keywords. Normal search keywords are getting longer but the voice search keywords are naturally longer because of the way we speak.

So when you create content or create ads you should target Natural language keywords. As we discussed earlier in this article, natural language keywords are longer when it’s compared to normal search keywords and most of the voice search keywords are questions.

For Example, When you do a normal search you will type something like: “how to do link building,” But when you do voice search you probably ask “How do I build more links to my website?”

The simplest way to find out these keywords is by typing a keyword in google and google will show some keywords as suggestions.

google suggestions

You can use free tools like Ubersuggest to find out the right question keywords.

Here’s how you can use Ubersuggest to find keyword ideas for “How to create YouTube channel”

Now, you have the keywords in your hand.

You may be wondering how to use them on your content. let’s dive into it.

Ubersuggest how to create youtube channel

Secret #2: Optimize Content for Voice Search

Topic Selection

Focus on creating content that answers questions around your brand, products or services.

You should be picky with the topic you’re selecting so that when you craft your content you can include answers of “who, what, when, where, why and how” questions. Picking the right topics will help you to add more keywords to your content.

When you focus on including keywords on your content. Don’t forget to add keywords to your title tag. According to our research, we found that 2% of the voice search results had the exact keyword on their titles.

Structure your Answers

Start to add long-tail keywords to your content. One of the general guidelines, when you answer a question, is to keep your answers short 30 words or less.

According to the study which is conducted by Brian Dean found that Google likes to answer questions in short. 29 words on average

Take the following example:

  • “What is the longest season?” Google answers in 30 words
  • “Do bee stings hurt?” Google answers in 50 words
  • “How long do cats live?” Google answers in 6 words

keeping you answers less than 30 words is pretty straight forward and helps you to do well.

Last, not the least Don’t forget to test your questions on google to know what length your competing answer has and you can use that info to make a shorter version of it.

Long-form content and FAQs

When you create long-form content, try to answer many questions as you can.

High word count with much long-tail keywords gives your content more chance to rank. Because Google loves content that had gone depth to educates users. end of the day Google wants to provide high user experience to its users.

Before stuffing full keywords in your content, you should understand Google will not rank you if you over-optimize your content with full keywords that don’t give any value to the users who are searching for a specific query.

Optimize your headings and subheadings to include keywords in it.

Try to create FAQ pages that answer questions of your brand, products, services or related to the topics of your space. You can also use FAQ sections on every article you write it will help you to optimize your content.

Secret #3: Optimize for Featured Snippets

Around 40% of voice search comes from Featured Snippets so make sure to optimize your website for it.

You can use structured data by using schema markup depending on the content type.

For example, if you’re answering “how to change a flat tire” you would use “HowToSection” markup in your page’s code to help Google crawl through the content and recognize the data:

schema markup

Make sure to structure your content in the way that Google can easily crawl and understands it. Use headers and bullets or numbered lists to make the job easier for Google.

Secret #4: Get into Google Knowledge Graph & Get Social Shares

Try to provide more data to google to include you or your business in Google Knowledge Graph

Use structured markup on your content and optimize your social profiles to provide more information to Google about you and your business.

Get some media coverage and try to create a Wikipedia page. It will help you to easily get into the Google knowledge graph. Google likes to pull answers from Wikipedia pages.

Get active in social media. Post content regularly on social media platforms to trigger google your business is active. you can use tools like Ubercircle for managing and scheduling posts for social media.

Contents that have more social shares turn out to perform well on voice-based search and search engine rankings. Try to make content that encourage people to share.

Secret #5: Aim for a 9th-grade reading level (or below)

Brain Dean’s study had found that writing content on the 9th-grade reading level tends to appear more on voice search.

You can use tools like Readable to check your content grade. You can paste your content on the tool and see the grade instantly.

readable image

Secret #6: Domain Authority

Websites that have high domain authority do well in organic search the same scenario applies to voice. The more domain authority you have the more you rank.

The websites which have more backlinks rank more on voice-based search. An average Ahrefs domain rating of 10,000 Google home search results was nearly 77.

On the other hand, When we compare Domain rating with Page authority, then Page authority is not much important when it comes to voice-based search.

Google wants to provide results from high authority sites. Build backlinks for your website and increase your domain authority. It will help you a lot when it comes to voice-based search optimization.

Don’t try to buy backlinks for your website. It will only make your website spammy and throw your pages out of search results.

Secret #7: Rank for Videos

It seems like google loves videos especially when it comes to YouTube videos.

Let’s see an example of how video content can help you in voice-based search queries.

When we search for “pineapple cut” Google knows that I’m searching to find out how to cut a pineapple.

pineapple cut google search result

Google shows videos on the third featured result after the “text” snippet and the “People also ask” snippets.

Now, let’s see the result which I got when I used a natural language keyword “How do I cut a pineapple” We can see that Google will show a video snippet at the top and these type of results even automatically start at the relevant part of the video that answers the specific search query.

pineapple cut google search result

Sometimes Google likes to show the YouTube video description in the search result.

See an example for the keyword “How does a shoehorn work”

video snippet how does a shoehorn work

When we modify the search query with the natural language “how do I use a shoehorn” Google shows the video clip instead of the video description.

how do i use a shoehorn google search result

Focus on optimizing your YouTube videos for SEO by using long-tail natural language (keywords) on your video titles and descriptions.

Secret #8: Website Load Speed

In July 2018 Google announced a new algorithm update called “Speed update” to improve user experience.

Google Speed update

After the Speed update to rank higher on Google you need to optimize your website speed for desktop and mobile searches. The average voice search result page loaded within 4.6 seconds. Site speed is an important factor to rank high on search engines and to get into the featured snippet spot.

You can use free tools like Gtmetrx, Pingdom and Pagespeed Insights to test and optimize your website for high speed.

Secret #9: Mobile Friendliness 

Since people do voice searches more on smartphones Google made mobile-friendliness an important factor for ranking.

If your website is not optimized for mobile devices then ranking on #1 on Google and getting into featured snippet goes away.

You can take Google’s mobile-friendliness test to know how well your website is optimized for SEO.

google mobile friendly test

Secret #10: Website Security

When it comes to secured websites that use the HTTPS protocol, Google likes to give a minimal boost to its SEO rankings.

Our data suggest that when it comes to voice-based search Google loves to pull out results from the websites which use HTTPS protocol. 70.4% of voice search results come from the websites which use HTTPS protocol.

To rank on Google (voice or text search) HTTPS protocol is a must. When you take time to optimize your content for SEO putting a small effort to make your website HTTPS will make a good difference in your reputation and rankings.

how to optimize for voice search

FAQ

What is Voice Search SEO?

Voice SEO is the optimization of keywords and web pages for searches using voice assistants.

What is voice search optimization?

Optimizing voice search makes your content as relevant as possible for a specific voice query to Google. Structured data markup helps you create metadata that tells Google what your content is all about.

What is featured snippet?

The Featured Snippets are a format that should provide users with a descriptive, straightforward response to their questions – right there on the search results page, without users having to click to a specific result.

Is voice search the future?

In 2020, 50% of all internet searches will be voice-based. 20% of mobile device searches are voice-driven. 25% of Android device queries are voice-driven. In the last 12 months, 60 percent of smartphone users attempted voice search at least once. Voice search is already here.

What is voice assistant?

A voice assistant is a digital assistant that utilizes voice recognition, speech synthesis, and NLP to provide service via a specific application.

 

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Kiran R.K.G

This is Kiran R.K.G's website, here's a little bit about him. He is a best-selling author, social media, content marketing keynote speaker, Founder of Ubercircle and entrepreneur.

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