Voice search seems to be the big trend of the last few years. Some even predict that by 2021, nearly half of internet searches will be done using voice.
Even if it is indisputable that this is taking a growing place in daily digital practices, what is it really? Is voice search a real underlying trend or more simply a fad that cannot last?
THE ORIGINS OF VOICE SEARCH
Speech recognition is not a very recent technology since the first research concerning it dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. The 1990s saw the first software products on the market using this technology, which was still in its infancy at the time.
The revolution will come much later, in 2011 exactly, when Apple integrates Siri technology into its smartphones.
As a result, uses are developing rapidly and Google is developing its own voice search technology. Amazon does the same with Alexa.
VOICE SEARCH TODAY
The success of Google Home or Amazon Echo home voice assistants may at first glance show a real craze for voice search. A 2017 UK study found that 42% of Google users made voice queries every day. During the month of January 2018 alone, more than a million voice requests were made and 400 million devices already have Google Assistant on board.
It also appears that voice search is already well established in local searches: 46% of voice searches concern local companies and brands. 58% of consumers have performed a voice search to find out about a local business.
A 2014 Google study provides insight into how people use voice search. They use it to make a specific request without wasting time such as finding schedules, calling a phone contact, or getting directions. They also use voice search when they are already performing an action such as walking or playing a sport. This allows them to save time by performing several actions simultaneously.
RESEARCH, THE FIRST USE OF VOICE?
According to the SEO specialist, the voice has advantages, but not necessarily in the field of Internet search: it can be very convenient to control certain functions of his car to help the people of the 3 th age or handicap situation in their daily life, to remotely manage light or domestic heating (home automation) …
The specialist believes that voice search is still at the research and development stage and that the concrete applications have yet to be defined.
WHAT DO VOICE REQUESTS LOOK LIKE?
The fact of carrying out research while speaking, thus while expressing oneself as one does when one speaks to someone, inevitably has an impact on the way in which the pages must be optimized.
Let’s first analyze the form that queries expressed in natural language take:
The searches look like real sentences: gone are the days when the Internet user only typed the most important words of his request (the famous “keywords”). Instead, the voice request will take the form of a real sentence: “What will the weather be like tomorrow?” “,” What are the major SEO trends in 2021? “…
The number of words is increasing: corollary of the previous point, the requests contain more and more words. Articles, prepositions … which before were not typed (they were not taken into account by the first search engines) are now an integral part of searches.
Many requests take the form of questions: since the person wants to obtain information, they will naturally express their request in the form of a question.
Many searches are local: people performing voice searches often do so from a mobile device with geolocation enabled. These are the requests of the type “What is the closest restaurant to my home?” “. It is therefore an opportunity not to be overlooked for local businesses, which must also optimize their pages for mobile (display, page loading speed less than 3 seconds).
A NEW WAY TO APPROACH PAGE OPTIMIZATION
All these points will come to modify the way of optimizing its pages. Rather than providing a generic answer that may suit everyone. It is now necessary to think about responding precisely to the questions of Internet users. You also have to think about different ways of asking the same question (Internet users have a lot of imagination!) And anticipate other questions derived from the main question.
You have to organize your article rationally, for example using bulleted lists. This type of structure also offers the advantage of being able to be taken up by Google in the famous “position 0”, which becomes even more strategic. In fact, it is this response that the voice assistant of the engine will choose to respond to the requesting user.
A GREAT HELP FOR SEO: SEMANTIC SEARCH
According to Tamas Doszkocs of the weblib.com site, “semantic search means a search, question or action that will produce meaningful results for the user, even when the items retrieved do not contain any of the terms of the initial query, or else that the search carried out does not imply the words used in the initial request”.
In other words, this means that Google will not simply rely on a few words, as it did in its early days, but that it will “understand” the intention behind the search of the Internet user in relying not on the words taken separately but by studying the overall meaning given by the association of all the words of the request, as a human being would. The results obtained will not necessarily include the exact terms entered by the user but terms having the same meaning. Which will therefore respond just as well to the search carried out.
This new way of approaching queries was introduced in 2013 with Google’s Hummingbird update. This algorithm aims to provide even more relevant content by precisely “guessing” the user’s search intent in order to provide the most precise and complete answer possible. It is in particular from Lahore that the weather forecast, cooking recipes, or even Wikipedia files on a particular personality appear directly on the results page.
LONG LIVE SEMANTIC SEO!
You must therefore think “semantically” when optimizing your pages and therefore think about including content that is semantically rich. Not to focus on the main keyword but also to include many variations of it. Your article must really respond to the intention expressed by the Internet user when making his request.
Concrete actions can be taken to “be seen” by Google’s little bird:
Use so-called “long tail” expressions as often as possible (with a number of words greater than 3)
Use as wide a lexical field as possible: synonyms, subjects related to your main subject …
Integrate micro-data into your articles: user reviews, product sheets, etc.
Structure the pages using the title tags <h1>, <h2> … and bulleted lists
Add images (with the “alt” tag entered) and videos to your pages
Use the semantic tags introduced with HTML 5: <header>, <article>, <nav>, <footer> …
Voice search has two advantages: it improves the user experience by allowing them to make requests in natural language as if they were addressing a real human being. And on the webmaster side, it encourages them to produce high-quality content and understand the search intentions of their visitors.
So, be ready to adapt your SEO strategy to voice search!
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