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With growing applications like Google assistant, Siri and Cortana, and devices such as Alexa and Google home, voice search revolution has become easier, accessible and more accurate. It is even assumed that around 40% of adults have already started making use of voice search at least once a day and in future 50% of all searches will be conducted using this technology. This also means the sudden shift in technology will have a direct impact on how your website appears in search results and will change the way you optimize your site for search engines.
One of the easiest ways to understand how your website may be affected by voice search is to understand how it differs from traditional typed searching. Now when we make use of traditional typed searching, we tend to make use of unnatural language, sometimes tripping things down to a couple of keywords.
For example, "supermarket Cambridge".
When using the voice search tool, we are more likely to use natural speech, i.e. "find me a supermarket in Cambridge".
With the typed query, your search engine is more likely to provide you with a list of supermarkets in Cambridge but by using voice query, AI (Artificial Intelligence) provides you with an answer to your specific question, e.g. ‘Your nearest supermarket is Tesco, 2.5 miles away.’ This means the answer is given based on your query history, your current location and the context in which you provide the question.
The only major difference between the two types of search results is that the search engine will simply make use of your keywords to find a relevant answer, whereas digital assistance tries to understand the meaning and purpose of your query to provide the most appropriate results.
One of the most important aspect to consider while building a search engine strategy is how to get into the heads of your consumers. Now there are infinite ways to ask the same question, so how to target the appropriate phrase. First of all, ask yourself what types of questions are most likely to lead to a sale.
Let’s take an example of a tennis shoe. The question could be - "Where I can find tennis shoes under $100 that are any good?"
After identifying the correct type of questions, you are most likely to increase your sales by doing some test searches yourself to check what is already returning results for you, versus your competitors.
Remember, your answers will mostly depend on the merchandise you sell and the demographics of your target audience.
Lastly, those that fail to turn up on Bixby, Google Now, Alexa, Cortana, Siri and whatever new digital assistant comes next will face massive challenges ahead.