Traditional search is starting to have to share a piece of the pie as an increasing number of voice search options are gaining a strong presence.
The appeal of voice search is the fast and seamless experience of getting information quicker than typing in a search. However, as of right now, it is far from a seamless experience. Plus, there are no robust reporting platforms out there covering it.
For now, the closest workarounds when it comes to determining if a user came to a site via voice search is taking a gander into Google Search Console to see which queries seem more long-tail and conversational, ones in which a person would most likely be speaking, instead of typing.
Having more concrete data around voice search is imperative, and it’s necessary to optimise it for SEO. But we don't have that data yet and it'll take time to get that on hand. While we try to figure this whole thing out with voice search, here are a couple of frequently asked questions or comments about voice search:
- "When and where are voice searching happening?"
No surprise that most smart speakers like the Alexa and Google Home are used at home while voice search on mobile devices is more likely to be used in the car. Currently, Amazon is releasing a new Alexa product for your car to assist with commands like navigation and voice to text. This can help improve on safety when driving so that people are less likely to text and drive or get distracted by searching for directions on their device.
2. "What are the top questions people ask through voice searches?"
Since currently voice searches normally take place at home and while driving, it's no doubt that questions will be related to those places, or helping you get things done at those places.
- Order products - “Ok Google, order more laundry detergent”
- Play music - “Ok Google, play Green Day.”
- Turn on the lights - “Ok Google, turn on living room lights”
- Order food - “Ok Google, order a cheese pizza from Dominos.”
- Make a call - “Ok Google, call Mom.”
Things are changing rapidly with the advancement of voice search in the home. Appliances like refrigerators and ovens now can connect with smart devices in the home and able to be voice controlled. Who would have thought that we would live in a world where we can talk to our fridge, or even better it can talk back and help you do things?
3. "It's not getting it right! #alexafail"
The appeal of voice search is the fast and seamless experience of getting information quicker than typing in a search. However, as of right now, it is far from a seamless experience.
Words and sentences can mean different things dependent on context, choice, order and punctuation. And different languages have their own unique structures, syntax, and cultural variations. Much of the focus on machine learning development is focused on working out user intent but that is still in its infancy and we still experience failures – There is a reason that #alexafail is a regular trending hashtag on Twitter.
Source: Jason Dabenigno on Twitter.
There is still many challenges to be overcome before we’ll see the likes of voice search in the mainstream. But we're confident that voice search will continue to grow and become more prominent over the years to come. Are you ready to optimise for it?