Voice Search: Is Your Content Prepared for the Verbal Revolution?

Voice Search: Is Your Content Prepared for the Verbal Revolution?

Voice-enabled search is one of the biggest topics in SEO circles, but many content marketers haven’t embraced the implications of virtual assistants and other voice-powered technology.

As an SEO and content architect at Moz, I urge marketers to understand voice’s importance and the need to do so today to prepare for the voice revolution.

Voice search growing

Whether it’s Google Home, Siri by Apple, Cortana by Microsoft, or Amazon’s Alexa, voice represents an ever-growing share of the search pie. Statistics on usage are difficult to come by, but in mid-2016, voice search represented 20% of queries on Google’s mobile app, according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai.  And Baidu reports that one of 10 searches on that platform are voice searches.

Usage rates are likely to grow as more consumers buy virtual assistants, and as the natural language processing and machine learning behind these engines become more accurate and useful. The more people use virtual assistants, the more training data machine-learning models will acquire, and the more powerful and accurate they will become.

Research from MindMeld’s 2016 Intelligent Voice Assistants Research Report breaks down the primary reasons consumers use voice:

  • 61% – Useful when hands / vision occupied
  • 30% – Faster results
  • 24% – Difficulty typing on certain devices
  • 22% – They’re fun / cool
  • 12% – To avoid confusing menus
  • 1% – Other

The survey also reveals the most frequent settings for use of voice-assisted search – home (43%), car (36%), on the go (19%). Work comprises the remaining usage.

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