Essential voice search strategies for 2017
Are you prepared for the rise in voice search? Columnist Sherry Bonelli discusses how voice search will impact local businesses.
There’s one thing that remains true about SEO: it’s always changing. One of the big changes that we’re experiencing now in local SEO is the increasing popularity of voice search. Voice search used to be a novelty — now it’s a necessity, especially when you’re on the go with your smartphone or tablet.
If you’re a local business, how do you optimize your business for this new personal assistant-type search? Here are some tips.
Voice searches are on the rise
According to Google, 20 percent of searches on its mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches. The total number of voice searches overall is actually much higher when you take into account personal assistants like Amazon’s Echo (aka Alexa), Google Home (a direct competitor of the Echo), Siri and Cortana — tools that are solely based on voice recognition.
Why the uptick in voice search? First, using your voice to search is getting more accurate. Not too long ago, voice recognition simply wasn’t accurate. In many cases, it was more frustrating than helpful. Now, according to the KPCB Internet Trends 2016 report, the accuracy rate of voice search is up to 92 percent. That’s a huge improvement. As voice recognition becomes more and more accurate, the capabilities of voice search will expand, and consumers will reap the benefits as its popularity continues to rise.
Another reason voice search is becoming more mainstream is that these new devices (like Alexa and Google Home) are bringing voice search to the everyday consumer — and are actually living in your home. (If you tried to find an Amazon Echo to purchase around Christmas time, you know what I’m talking about. There were none to be found.) Consumers have more voice recognition technologies to choose from, and there are sure to be more on the horizon.
So, if you’re going to stay ahead of local search, you need to start thinking about voice search as you optimize your site — starting now.