Is It Time To Panic About Voice Search?

Thanks to the phenomenal success of mobile technology, the internet has had to adapt to a new way of presenting information to users. Smartphones continue to get smarter, with voice activation integrated into the operating system of most available phones today. Microsoft recently said that around 25% of all searches are done by voice, so is it time to be concerned by voice search and how it can become a part of how you put together your digital marketing?

A Part of Analytics

Google has already hinted at the fact that searches conducted by voice could soon be integrated into the search console on Analytics. What this means is that either you or your digital marketing agency will be able to use voice search as a metric to analyse your website's traffic. The takeaway here is that if Google thinks it's worth measuring, then it's worth getting to know more about it. Google isn't exactly a newcomer to voice activation either: Android smartphone users can access a range of Google services and search by saying 'OK Google'.

The Problem with Query Length

Typically, if you are searching for something by voice, you aren't just saying a couple of words, as you would when typing something into a search engine. Television adverts for both Siri and Google will show people asking full questions and getting an instant result. While this is great in theory, it does pose some problems with accuracy. Locations, for example, might be difficult. With so many diverse place names throughout the UK, pronunciation could be an issue, particularly for those with regional accents. While this might not be so much of an issue if you're searching for a marketing agency in Hampshire, spare a thought for tourists looking for restaurants in Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Wales!

You can take measures to prepare for voice search integration, whether this is done in-house or through an SEO agency with expertise in optimising for specific search terms. As an example, you can optimise particular pages for long-tail search queries that people might use at the top of their search funnel. Take into account the fact people may pronounce things differently, and also make room for spelling errors.

While voice search is certain to be a growing trend, it's certainly not something that you should be panicking about. However, it might be worth asking your digital marketing agency for guidance on how you can adapt to voice searches that are potentially already being conducted and are relevant to your website. Despite the popularity of voice search, this doesn't take away from the fact that, as it stands, the vast majority of searches are still done in the old-fashioned way with a keyboard.