One in five mobile users is initiating voice search to find information, according to cross-device data from Global Web Index.
While 20 percent may seem marginal, it represents a growing trend in user behavior to talk, rather than type, our way to the answers. In fact, 25 percent of mobile users between the ages of 16 and 24 are engaging voice search, per the same Global Web Index report.
What does all this mean for the future of online marketing? Well, if you are invested in search engine optimization (SEO), then it means mobile users may not find your information the way they used to – and maybe not at all.
But here is what you can do about it.
Plan for Voice Search Right Now
If you think about the way we have been conditioned to use search engines over the last two decades, it’s mostly typing in phrases like “best pizza places” or “next political debate.” But when we engage Siri or Cortana, we don’t search that way. Most of us ask questions rather than say phrases: “Where is the best pizza place in Chicago?” or “When is the next political debate?” Or “Why is it still 40 degrees in April?!”
Because of this shift, search engines are turning up results differently. Pages that are optimized for these types of questions are far more likely to display, as they are a better match for voice-related inquiries. So if SEO is something your organization is considering or is already involved with, then you will want to consider how to address the rise in voice search.
For example, you may need to consider what kinds of questions your audience is likely to ask about your products or services. Then, see if any of your existing pages can answer those types of questions. You may need to create new pages and optimize them for mobile users who search differently.
Whatever you do, don’t ignore the signs that you see today. Voice search is here to stay, so plan your SEO around this change in activity to see the best results.