There’s no doubt that voice search will be part of the future of technology. Technically, they’re already have been around for several years and are becoming more and more useful as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning continue to improve.
Voice search is popular today because of sophisticated personal assistants that are widely offered, such as Apple’s Siri and the Google Assistant. These assistants paved the way for voice search even as they started as nothing more than novelty features of mobile devices.
The rise of voice search
The early days of these assistants were filled with errors as the software struggled to recognize even simple words when spoken in varying accents and sound conditions. Most attempts to use them were just to see if the assistant would understand the command or fail, making for some funny and sometimes awkward situations at the same time.
Today, the virtual personal assistants can be integrated into homes in smart speakers, performing various functions like locking and opening doors, and switching off appliances, among many other features. Because of advancements in machine learning like Google RankBrain, these assistants have advanced to the point that even if it is unable to fully understand a phrase, it makes its best guess and comes up with suggestions.
Voice search is definitely becoming more popular, and the statistics gathered only attest to this fact. According to a study done by Statista.com, in 2018 alone, over 34 million smart speaker devices were sold in the US and are expected to grow to over 76 million users in 2020. As more and more people use these devices, the software itself will be able to understand voice commands with increasing accuracy.
What does it mean to optimize for voice search for your website?
Voice recognition technology has definitely improved over the years, but how is this relevant to you? Keep in mind that more and more users are looking up information online using their voice. This means that if your current search engine optimization (SEO) strategy does not include this feature, you might easily be missing out on many business opportunities.
Nevertheless, it can vary depending on how the majority of voice-search users use their devices. Because AI is always learning from our use habits, this technology is actually adapting to suit human needs.
At present, trends show that voice search’s application is more effective when used in hyperlocal searches. This means that users have been searching for “near me” businesses ever since voice search came out. In 2018 alone, 58% of consumers used voice search to look for local businesses. If your business isn’t optimizing for these kinds of searches, you’ll be falling behind your competitors.
Voice search has grown far beyond its early days as a novel feature made to differentiate from the then quickly saturating smartphone market. Voice command continues to improve and is growing across all platforms, forcing many industries to adopt the technology and look where it can provide value. At the same time, this feature will also affect how you plan out your SEO strategy, where it is expected to make the biggest waves.
Local SEO Pro is a professional SEO company that can help you optimize your voice searches. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you get ahead of your competition!