Since we cannot easily segment voice requests in performance reports, a useful optimization of voice search for traditional search will be useful.
Despite the rapid growth in the use of voice and virtual assistants, platforms such as Google and Amazon have not yet provided SEO analysts with the opportunity to segment voice interactions and distinguish them from typical interactions in performance reports. This makes it difficult to fully assess the role of voice search and virtual assistants at present, but there are some signals that we can use to study any changes in user behavior and the directional growth of voice interactions.
From the very beginning of the voice search, it was widely believed that this would change the language used to interact with devices, as the search would become more conversational. In fact, many recent reports indicate that the commercial ability of voice interactions is still modest.
Requests have not changed much
In 2016, a Microsoft study found that voice queries are usually longer than textual queries in terms of word count. As the voice search grows, such a study will show that the average query length will also grow.
However, some studies have found that if the number of voice interactions increases in the proportion of paid and organic results that they produce, these requests are not so different in duration from typical searches to affect the average length of requests.
“Voice search” is growing, “voice commerce” is less
The term “voice search” is currently used very widely, often used to denote large-scale actions for everything: from specifying a girlfriend's contact device to connecting an address to navigation applications. Many of these actions, which can be interpreted as part of voice search, will be more appropriately classified as voice commands, in which the user does not search for any information, service or product, but rather tells the device what to do.
Thus, many data on the growth of voice search reflect some interactions that will not be considered a search if they were performed using manual input using the keyboard or mouse. However, surveys are becoming increasingly relevant in the question of what types of queries users use.
For example, a RichRelevance customer survey conducted in May 2018 showed that 70% of consumers in the US never used a voice assistant to search for a product, let alone buy a product that way.
Projections indicate that voice purchases are likely to account for less than 5% of e-commerce between the United States and the United Kingdom in 2022, given the expected growth rates of e-commerce.
At the moment, optimization for voice search is in many ways similar to optimization for search in general. Marketers should be aware of the demands that are growing in volume, and properly conduct advertising and content strategies.
The optimization made to be placed in important places for important requests is certainly useful for voice communications, but do not allow voice search to be the only determining factor for such efforts.
Things can certainly change quickly, as Amazon and Google make constant updates.
At the moment, however, voice search capabilities seem modest and not entirely unique in terms of how most marketers need to approach this in terms of optimization.
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