Ten years ago, the concept of having a “conversation” with your computer or mobile device seemed like something straight out of a science fiction film, but with the increasingly ubiquitous use of voice search programs like Siri, Cortana, and Google Voice, it’s become an everyday occurrence.
The capabilities of voice search programs are as expansive as the size and scope of the search engines they harness, but a recent study from Google Voice found that the majority of users simply use voice search to ask for directions. According to Google, 38% of teens and 40% of adults use Google Voice to complete this task, while 43% of teens use the program to call one of their contacts compared to just 31% of adults.
But we’re just scratching the surface. The exploding usage of voice search has much wider implications, and will significantly shift the ways digital marketing professionals do their jobs.
Improved Accuracy Means More User Activity
Recent Google data shows that approximately 20% off all searches are conducted through voice, and considering Google sees more than 100 billion searches daily; that’s a staggering amount.
Experts explain that the sudden surge in the number of voice searches performed on a daily basis is the improved rate at which voice commands are accurately captured. Just three years ago, Google Voice boasted a word recognition accuracy rate of less than 80%, but one year later the rate spiked above 90%.
The Voice Search Revolution and Its Impact on SEO & Local Search
With the growth of voice search comes new opportunities, after all, ComScore estimates that half of all searches will be by voice by 2020. However, this means that traditional SEO may not retain the power it currently holds.
The way users interact with voice searches, and search boxes is very different. When conducting voice searches, users tend to interact with natural, conversational language, while typing is more search-oriented. For example, a user might type “Best Chinese food near me.” In contrast, a user searching by voice might ask, “What’s the best Chinese restaurant in SoHo?”
Both searches seek the same information, but the SEO value of both phrases when comparing text vs. voice may yield significantly different results over the next few years.
Prepare for the Future With PBJ
If ComScore’s projections prove to be true, then you only have four years to develop your brand’s website for the increased adoption of voice search, so you better get started. Search Engine Optimization is crucial, and PBJ Marketing is here to guide you through its many nuances.