Voice searches are here to stay. This trend is already revolutionizing the world of Digital Marketing, as it carries with it the need to apply new techniques focused on search engine positioning beyond traditional SEO. It is no longer possible to focus all the attention on text searches, but it is also necessary to correspond to the users who use the voice for their queries.
Voice search is still in a transitional period; however, forecasts indicate that it will not take long to establish itself as a search method. In fact, it is becoming more popular among people of different generations, although it is prevalent in young people.
Brands will have to work on their Digital Marketing strategy and adapt to this new change if they want to choose to appear in those top results positions. Let’s take a look at what exactly voice search is all about and how it’s going to change the world of marketing.
What are voice searches?
Voice search is a function offered by search engines that gives the user the possibility to use their voice to make any query instead of typing it. This function collects the spoken words through speech recognition technology, interprets their meaning, and returns their result in the search engine.
There are two key elements that are intrinsic to voice searches, and that must be understood in order to begin to interpret the changes that the use of these will produce.
- The intonation: voice search tools can determine the intent behind the query.
- The semantics: the number of words a user uses when searching by voice is usually considerably higher than when typing. This is so because this query is done in a more natural way (without eliminating prepositions, adjectives, conjunctions, etc.).
Marketing changes due to voice searches
To understand the changes that are taking place in Digital Marketing due to the growth in the importance of voice searches, we must stop to analyse what are the differences between written and spoken searches.
In addition, when these differences are understood, it is also possible to establish what considerations brands should take when adapting their positioning to voice search.
Need to be in the Top 1
It is essential to make an important clarification. That a business appears in the number 5 position of the SERPS has no special relevance for voice searches.
In written searches, the user can select, among all the results returned, the one that he considers best to consult, which may be the one that appears in position number one, three, or six. However, that possibility does not exist in the voice search since the user will receive only the number 1 result.
This is one of the main differences between traditional search and voice search, as that means that brands will not only compete by optimizing their SEO for the best positions as happens in traditional written search, but they will do it specifically for the first position.
Based on this, all the issues that are also raised below must be taken into consideration.
Use of long-tail keywords
A search engine cannot know what intention is behind a query that has been typed, which it can do with the intonation of the voice. In addition, in terms of semantics, much more concrete concepts are used in the written search, while more complete and natural sentences are made when asking the spoken question.
In more specific terms, it can be said that due to the conversational tone used in voice searches, the keywords used in these are long-tail, which allows a much more defined query.
Here is one of the main changes that must be made at the level of Digital Marketing in terms of positioning: you must opt for long-tail words for the optimization of web content. Thanks to this, it is possible to give more concrete answers to many questions.
Importance of business files and geolocation
Most of the voice searches performed have to do with everyday life and geolocation. Especially important are local searches and, more specifically, those that respond to the request “near me.”
It is essential that businesses optimize their websites based on this and not just favor local SEO with texts. For this purpose, they must have their Google My Business files up-to-date and complete, as they provide the search engine with company details such as telephone, email, address, etc. increases the chances of being in the top positions of the SERP.
Modifications to the content
Regarding the content and how Digital Marketing professionals should optimize or adapt it, some aspects can be considered since its correct readability is also essential in voice searches.
4.1 Local terms
If you want to focus on local results in a very specific way, you have to provide those fashionable terms in that place.
4.2 Natural writing
The more natural the response text, the better. This is consistent with the naturalness of the question asked by voice.
4.3 FAQ page
Creating a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page focused on long-tail keywords will also favor appearing in the first result of the voice search and not just the written search.
4.4 Feature Snippets
In the same vein as the previous point, betting on Featured Snippets is also of great help by providing the most relevant data on an issue.
Do not lose loading speed
Information provided by Google determines that the bounce rates on mobile devices are higher than those of computers, which means that voice searches must provide quick responses to the user if they do not want them to leave. Especially if one takes into account that many times the consultation is carried out, even when the person is on the move and without time to stop.
A fast-loading speed favours traditional positioning, but in voice searches, it becomes more relevant.
The coexistence between SEO and AEO
This new way of conducting searches will coexist with SEO, since now, in addition to the existence of search engines, there will also be response engines. This is what is known as Answer Engine Optimization (AEO), and together with them, it is inevitable to talk about the voice assistant.
What are the AEO and the voice assistant?
Answer Engine Optimization (AEO) can be defined as a compendium between:
- Artificial intelligence
- conversational interface
- Big data
- Branded content
For a long time, it was thought that AEO would gain ground over SEO by making people almost stop thinking about it. Today there are many experts who speak of the impossibility of this and, precisely, they place AEO as an SEO technique.
The Answer Engine Optimization can be defined as all actions and optimizations performed on a website to help search engines to find the most optimal response to the request made by a user without having to go through various Internet sites. And here it is where it comes into play assistant voice or voice assistant.
The voice assistant as a response generator
The voice assistants are in charge of providing the answers. Voice assistants are artificial intelligence software programs that work on devices (for example, mobile phones or smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo), which have the ability to recognize the language used in voice searches with high precision and respond to certain voice commands, to perform a series of tasks.
Among these tasks is responding to voice searches taking available information sources, but they can also play music, do translations or inform about upcoming events, among others.
The most relevant voice assistants that exist today are:
- Google Assistant.
- Siri (iOS operating system).
- Alexa (Amazon assistant).
- Cortana (Microsoft virtual assistant for Windows 10 operating system).
- Google Now (assistant for Android within Google Search).
- Bixby (virtual assistant developed by Samsung Electronics).
Until a few years ago, no one imagined that we would ask someone non-physical called Siri or Alexa for the answer to our doubts and that these voices would give it to us with such precision. However, this is the reality.
It is more than proven that voice searches are capable of solving the same needs as traditional searches and that their use is a growing trend.
Operating in this new scenario is essential and somewhat complex, as we remember that the competition is greater by needing to occupy the first position. It is for this reason that marketing has to focus on it, adapting to the aforementioned changes and making Answer Engine Optimization one of the common strategies to implement.
Trusting a Digital Marketing Agency like nothing will help you to implement your goals, develop them and achieve the best results. We will work to provide you with strategic solutions, both in terms of AEO and in any other of your needs. Count on us and start to mark the change that will lead you to success in your positioning!