They’re on their way to becoming as ubiquitous in homes as alarm clocks and light switches are. From Google Home to the Alexa-powered Amazon Echo, homeowners can ask their smart devices for help with recipes while cooking, to play music in an instant, to answer homework-related questions, and much more.
Today, more than 47.3 million adults in the United States have access to a smart speaker. That’s about one in five U.S. adults, reports TechCrunch. By 2019, 40 percent of millennials in the U.S. are expected to regularly use digital voice-enabled assistants, according to eMarketer.
They’re not screen-filled computerized devices, but Google Home, the Amazon Echo and other smart speakers can affect your business, whether people are searching for it or not. As consumers talk directly to devices, the landscape of search engine optimization (SEO) is evolving to become more voice search-friendly.
Influenced by artificial intelligence, SEO results are adapting to provide more relevant information based on voice search through devices like home smart devices. Let’s look at how products like the Amazon Echo and Google Home are impacting search, and how your business can adapt.
Growing Prevalence of Voice Search
At least 20 percent of searches on Google and 25 percent of searches on Bing are voice searches, including searches that are powered through a device like a smartphone. Unlike voice search queries on a smartphone, which provide several search results to choose from, a home-powered device will only give one response. This makes capturing the most relevant first-place result even more important for brands.
Also, when people are searching by voice with an assistant, at least the first question that is asked of the device needs to include its name. In April 2018, the Amazon Echo was announced to have a new feature that will enable follow-up answers without requiring an “Alexa,” greeting, as long as the first question in the device conversation starts with “Alexa.” Google rolled out a similar feature in June 2018, called Continued Conversation.
That reinforces to brands that there’s no need to keyword-stuff content with “Alexa” or “Google” in hopes of capturing more voice search results. Instead, content is becoming more conversational to respond to the growing voice search trends.
How to Adapt SEO to Voice Search
To capture more results on smart home assistant devices, figure out what voice queries relate to your brand. First, dive into SEO analytics to see which queries are full questions, and which ones have words like “store hours” or “near me.” Make sure your local SEO efforts are optimized, including making sure your business has a presence on review sites like Yelp.
People search vastly differently when they’re talking compared to typing, and this data can clue you in to the differences. You might also notice informal terms or phrases related to your brand that pop up. Because people are quickly talking and saying the first thing that comes to mind with search, be aware of these, and aim to incorporate them in content, too.
Use questions related to your brand as content ideas. You can use a common question to create a full blog post, include a Q-and-A section in a blog, or create a page that is solely dedicated to frequently asked questions your brand receives. Think about questions that consumers have at every point of the buyer’s journey, and include them in content.
Don’t Leave Voice Search Engines Guessing
Another powerful way to boost SEO value in voice search is to use schema markup throughout your website. Schema markup is website code that gives context to your content. Users don’t see it, but search engine bots do. When a search engine is looking for the most helpful information to provide a user, schema markup increases the likelihood of a result being shown.
Developers can use schema markup to deliver more helpful results beyond just a page’s meta description, too, like the dates of upcoming events for a venue that update automatically depending on the date the search result is delivered.
Some other factors a 2018 study of Google Home search results found to be important include:
- Site speed
- Site security
- Site authority
The study found content that ranks well on desktop tends to rank well in voice, as well, at least for the moment. Your business can look at the desktop searches that bring you the most revenue, and work on boosting those and adding more conversational content so that you increase your revenue from voice search, as well.
As eMarketer has shown increased adoption of voice search assistants every year since 2016, businesses should get on board with adapting content to meet this increasing usage. Have questions about how voice search may be impacting your brand? Give us a shout – we’re happy to help.