Google Voice Search And Its Impact On Businesses
It’s 2018 – and it’s about time all local businesses start taking voice search seriously.
As of recently, Google unveiled its new technology named the Google Duplex as a new voice assistant that offers ways to carry out “real-world” tasks over the phone. With this, it is clear that the entire future of search is shifting towards voice – just like it is certain that business owners should optimize for voice search.
Voice Search And Its Growing Popularity
In short, voice search has taken a good percentage of all total searches across the world, mainly because of the most popular AI assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Bixby and the Google Assistant which have all been helping users with their various inquiries.
If you look at the graph below, you will see that there are many situations where people use voice assistants, shifting from a trend to a habit over the past year or so.
The rising use of voice assistants on smartphones. (Source: Statista.com)
How Does Voice Search Work?
Nowadays, performing a voice search on Google is as simple and as quick as doing a typed search. For many, it is an experience that is even less demanding. All you have to do is click the microphone icon on the search bar – and you are set.
Once you do that, you are given a few seconds to speak and give your inquiry. After hearing your inquiry, Google answers your question – directly navigating you to the search results page.
In most of the cases, people search for things such as the best food places (nearby their location), notable personalities as well as other important locations.
Google Hummingbird And Its New ‘Semantic Search’ Upgrade
For marketers exploring the voice search opportunities, doing search engine optimization (SEO) for voice searches was relatively easy and followed the same concept as with text searches.
However, that was until Google released the new Hummingbird update, which affected voice search and introduced a number of rules that emphasized on semantic search – as a way that creates more accurate results through understanding the context and intent of the user’s search inquiries.
The Hummingbird update helps in situations where you are asking the voice assistant complex questions (which need to be transformed to specific search queries). For example, if you ask your assistant “What’s the nearest shopping mall to my location?”, it has to respond by auto-searching the map and finding the closest shopping malls to your locations, filtered under the queries “location” and the keyword “shopping malls.”
How To Optimize For Voice Search?
If you are willing to get in the new wave of local businesses optimizing their search presence for voice search, one of the first things you should know is the purpose (of your business) being used in voice search.
Below, we are showing a helpful infographic that illustrates this point.
The common uses of voice search. (Source: GoogleBlog.blogspot.com)
As you can see from the infographic, both teens and adults use voice search for different purposes – mainly to call someone, check out movie times, ask for directions or nearby places.
Therefore, getting your business listed on Google My Business is probably the most important step you should make, all in order to make sure that you are listed on the map with your correct address, working hours and reviews by customers.
It is safe to say that voice search has reshaped SEO as we know it, all while garnering a good chunk of the total Internet searches. Therefore, it is important to optimize your website for voice search and get listed on Google My Business (GMB) so that users can easily find and engage with your business.
From what it looks like, voice search is definitely gearing up to become a major part of the future of SEO – and it is best to come prepared.