By Christopher Smith, Sha-Izwe Communications  

There is an increasing number of voice recognition tools being made available. After numerous updates, Siri and Cortana, are becoming more user friendly and tech giants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home, use voice recognition integrated to numerous makes of television sets and can be used for apps such as ordering an Uber using voice activation. In 2018, Google voice search queries are estimated to increase by 35% and a quarter of 16-24 year olds already use voice search every day.

Some stats:

  • 50% of all searches will be voice-based by 2020, according to comscore
  • About 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020, ie using voice, Mediapos
  • It is estimated there will be 21.4 million smart speakers in the US by 2020 according to Activate. These are speakers that are voice-operated and controlled.
  • By 2019, the voice recognition market will be worth $600 million according to a report by Technavio via Skyword.
  • In 2017, approx 25 million voice-activated devices were shipped, bringing the total number of voice devices to 33 million in circulation, based on a study by VoiceLabs via Mediapost

It is important to note that voice search queries tend to be longer and more specific than text queries, and the user wants clear immediate answers. To adapt to this shift and optimise your website for voice search, there are several changes you may consider making to your digital content:

  • It is important to incorporate long-tail keywords to address the more precise queries into your website copy. For example, add more specific and niche keywords into your website copy such as location, colour and size specification.
  • Use more natural language and conversational tone, answer the What, Where, When and How questions on your website.
  • Add an FAQ page. Phrase these questions in a way that real people will ask them, and provide comprehensive, clear answers.
  • The four most common intents behind the voice searches are ‘I want to know’, ‘to go’, ‘to do’ and ‘to buy’. Understand (research) your users’ needs and offer solutions.
  • Take care of your local SEO, for example, your Google Places page, as most voice searches are local.

Content marketing remains a crucial part of a company’s marketing strategy. The user might not be reading the content but asking an AI device about content which might be listed on your website.

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