If you are involved in any type of online commerce, you already know that this is an arena where survival of the fastest is the rule. You must be alert and poised to jump on trends and changes that happen (in the digital world) at a breakneck pace.
Regardless of the success of your past strategies in search engine optimisation, the unfortunate truth is there is a significant likelihood that you are already falling behind your competitors. The SEO world is changing, and this change will rock some companies to the core.
Prior to 2009, information searches involved a keyboard. Knowledge at our fingertips, quite literally. Businesses learned the necessity of landing in the top five places on Google’s search results, and particularly savvy entrepreneurs found massive success after reaching out to experts in search engine optimisation.
Just Ask Siri (or Alexa, Cortana or OK Google)
In 2009 Google introduced devices with voice search capability and ushered us into the age of the virtual assistant. Now the information we need is no longer at our fingertips; it is much closer. No matter what information you need, you can get it by just asking your virtual assistant. Other tech companies created their own virtual voice-activated assistants, and soon Siri, Alexa, and Cortana created competition for OK Google.
There are a staggering number of devices your customers can use to access voice searches. The best estimate is that 400 million devices can run a verbal search. Items such as smartphones, computers, cars, watches, and the in-home speakers put people in touch with information nearly anywhere. It is impossible to stress how crucial this is to your business. This is a pivotal time to reach out for expert assistance, as this type of search is a radically different way of gathering information. If you fall short here, you risk losing everything you have earned.
The days of opening a laptop and typing a search for the nearest sushi bar are long over. Today your customers are saying, “Alexa, where can I find sushi?” And they are getting an answer that is to the point. The top five is no longer good enough; most virtual assistants offer two or possibly three answers to vocal search queries. This tightens up the field for you and your competitors. A narrow perimeter alone is enough reason to align your business with an expert in the field of voice search optimisation.
If there is a plus side to the narrowing scope associated with voice searches, it is that the quality of searches will improve. Homing in on facets of your business will provide you with a potential customer who is seeking something specific you are offering.
Essential for Your Business
The conversational aspect of voice search with virtual assistants is an essential aspect of optimising your company’s voice SEO. When search queries all involved a keyboard, potential customers typed in short keywords. For example, someone looking for a coat would type “coat” or possibly “Ladies coat” in the search box. With voice search, a customer is far more likely to say, “Find a lady’s winter coat in a tartan print.” The added dimension of conversational searches brings the need to switch your thinking from short tail keywords to long tail keywords. One or two keys will no longer net you the same results. If anything, not changing tactics will likely send your site to the back of the line. A vital factor here is not only using long tail keywords, but using the best words that will get you results. Once again, this is an area where seeking out expert assistance is strongly encouraged.
Sometimes, when changes are this wide and sweeping, our first reaction is to step away from the challenge and ride out the changes. Leaving your voice search SEO to chance is a potentially fatal error. Statistics show how voice search is growing and will only continue to grow. The facts paint a clear picture of the future for e-commerce. Change can be tricky, but these trends are impossible to ignore. In fact, ignoring the statistics will almost certainly destroy your chances of successfully maintaining your business.
Here are six reasons you must adapt to voice SEO now:
Reasons to Prepare for Voice Search
- The Impact of Voice Commerce – Consumers who opt for voice search also use the search results for shopping. Last year consumers spent $1.8 billion using this type of search. Experts predict that this is a drop in the bucket with $40 billion in sales expected in 2022. This translates to approximately 50% of all consumers using a voice search by 2022. Can you afford to walk away from a share of $40 billion?
- Growing Numbers of Voice Search Device Users – Believing that verbal search is a passing fad is a tremendous mistake. The prediction that in 2020 50% of all searches will be by voice and not keyboard made waves all over the e-commerce world. A similar reaction came from the news that each month one billion voice searches occur. The writing is clearly on the wall, voice search is already the next big thing, and it is growing bigger.
- Consumers Connecting with Businesses – Getting the word directly from your customers helps to show the factors influencing them. Several surveys focused on consumer use of voice search, and the results told us a lot. A significant number, 46%, of voice searchers look for a local business every day. Of those searching via their virtual assistants, 28% called a local company after the search. Incidentally, 33% of those calls originated from a command to a virtual assistant. Furthermore, consumers listed reports about local business promotions, sales, and upcoming specials as the top information category they would like to get alerts about from their virtual assistants.
- All Demographics are Warming Up to Devices with Voice Search – Even though plenty of millennials quickly embraced the devices the moment they appeared, findings tell us that the search devices are popular across all age groups. In the over 55 age group, 37% of those surveyed said they would use a voice search device. Presently, about 10% of all Baby Boomers use the devices, and 25% of the Generation X members are using this technology.
- Devices Communicate Well with Consumers – While the virtual assistants have not attained total comprehension of human conversation, they are moving in that direction. The systems are built to amass knowledge over time. The more you converse with Siri or Alexa, the better they become at understanding what you are asking or telling them. These devices comprehend approximately 94% of words spoken to them. As technology continues to evolve, this statistic will likely increase to closer to 100%.
- Voice Activated Virtual Assistants are Welcome Members of Many Homes – These handy devices gained a spot in many homes and quite a few hearts as well. According to researchers, 52% of voice search assistants have a welcome place in family rooms, 26% are in the bedroom, and 22% are handy helpers in the kitchen. Few experts are surprised by the statistics that demonstrate how attached consumers are to their assistants. 72% of people who own a virtual assisting device say it is a part of their daily life. Of these consumers, 65% say they cannot fathom going back to the days before their virtual assistant was part of their home. A final statistic that speaks volumes, 41% of virtual assistant users say talking to their device feels like talking to a friend.
These facts highlight how critical it is for you to focus on voice search optimisation. Rather than allowing these statistics and impending changes to shake your confidence, make a choice to meet them head-on. With the guidance of experts with an unbeaten track record who are devoting their skills to you, it is likely that you will not merely survive the large-scale changes of voice search, but you will thrive.