Consider two companies vying for the same clientele. They’ll be known as Store A and Store B. They are identical, except for the fact that Store A is easier for 7 out of 10 consumers to access. Which company will generate more revenue? You don’t need to be an MBA to understand that Store A will gain a larger percentage of the market since it provides better convenience. Now take a moment to think about a tool you can add to your website that will have a comparable effect: voice search. By 2024, 8 billion voice assistants will be in use worldwide, predicts Statista. That is a sizable number of people using their phones or smart speakers to speak.
You’re also passing up a lot of chances if you’re not optimizing your online content to take this into account. Why are there so many users of this feature? The importance of it for SEO is what motivates this. What’s more, how do you go about getting your share?
How Popular is Voice Search?
We already know how many people prefer to use voice search on their devices, but let’s look at some additional pertinent data to emphasize how crucial it is to capitalize on this trend:
- In 2022, 35% of Americans over 18 own a smart speaker (up from 32% in 2021).
- 62% of Americans over 18 use voice assistants on their devices.
- One of the top three reasons consumers want a smart speaker is to ask questions without needing to type.
- 80% of smart speaker owners find it easier to use to discover new content and events.
- 57% of voice assistant users use it at least once per day.
As you can see, the use of voice assistants and smart speakers is becoming more common in the battle for search traffic and is only predicted to grow. Additionally, we haven’t even touched on two important topics: accessibility and user experience (user experience).
Voice Search Improves Accessibility
The Americans with Disabilities Act applies to websites, according to the US Department of Justice (ADA). Additionally, non-compliance might cost you more than just possible traffic; a first offense punishment of up to $75,000 is possible. Voice search is crucial for making sure that everyone can access your website.
This includes those who have physical restrictions that prevent them from using a keyboard or mouse, those who have repetitive stress injuries and must limit the amount of time they spend using a keyboard or mouse, and those who prefer to utilize voice search due to cognitive difficulties. You might not be aware that although a lot of this functionality depends on speech recognition technology, the way your website is coded can also have a significant impact.
The WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) recommends that your site follow many best practices to make sure that it is accessible, such as reading order alignment with coding order, the usage of alt tags for images, and the use of markup to express meaning and context.
Voice Search UX Outcomes For Users
It has been established that a positive user experience contributes to better search engine rankings. Designing your UX around voice interaction is becoming more crucial due to the increase in voice search. Users’ experiences with your brand can be greatly influenced by how it interacts with various voice search-enabled devices.
However, you must first comprehend how voice search is used by users before you can address this.
Its primary purpose is informational. Imagine you’re preparing tortellini as a pot of red sauce simmers on the stove while you’re up to your elbows in pasta dough.
Hey Google, how long should the sauce be on? You ask your smart speaker, “Hey Google, how long should tomato sauce cook?” since you can’t remember how long it should be on without first washing and drying your hands.
Or perhaps you’re out with some buddies when one of them denies that Willie Mays ever played for the Mets. You may once more prove your better baseball knowledge with a quick voice search. Many individuals use it to check the news and the weather in addition to settling disputes. “Near me” searches are another typical application. Take the case when you’re traveling by car in a new state. You need to reach a gas station as quickly as you can because your automobile is running on fumes. Voice search can take you to the closest gas station without ever taking your eyes off the road. Of course, voice shopping exists, and it was briefly mentioned earlier.
Prioritize Your Voice Search Efforts By Channel And Audience
You need to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the platform you’re designing for when creating your voice SEO approach. Here, there are two methods:
- Devices with screens only, such as tablets, smart TVs, and smartphones.
- Smart speakers are gadgets that are voice-first.
Each of these has unique advantages. When the screen is being used, screen-first devices provide an effective information output. Visual scanning can transmit more information in less time and is faster than listening. A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words. On the other hand, voice-first gadgets offer useful input. Users can issue commands swiftly and conveniently on their terms. Naturally, for this to work, the device must be able to interpret natural language, a capability that has advanced greatly since voice instructions.
Your users could be more inclined to favor one type of device over another depending on the content of your website, the demographics of your user base, and a variety of other considerations. Additionally, you need to know what step of the buying process voice search is used. With 44.4 percent of American customers using voice assistants to browse new products but just 24.2 percent using them to complete a purchase, more people are utilizing voice assistants to investigate things than to buy them.
The majority of these purchases are for little goods like dog food or toilet paper that don’t need to be examined. Consider all of these elements before customizing your voice strategy for your particular audience and channel.