Talking to technology was previously limited to science-fiction and wasn’t always shown in a positive light, but the release of Siri by Apple in 2011 gave the world the reality of voice command – it went mainstream and kick-started a billion-pound industry.
According to ComScore, 50% of all searches will be voice searches over 2020. TheeDesign states that almost 3.5 billion voice searches are performed on Google every day. A significant factor for this includes the age of people currently using it. The statistics vary but it’s claimed that 55% of millennials use voice search at least once a day. The generation has been brought up with voice-enabled devices – it’s habitual and intuitive for them to use them this way. Accurate results are delivered faster enabling the tech-savvy (often impatient) user to have their intended searches met quickly.
Furthermore, long-tail keywords have a coherent relationship with voice search. Searching with their voice encourages a user to talk in full sentences and phrases (long-tail keywords). You lose the option of a search engines autocomplete when using voice to search. The familiar drop-down of predictions based on typing a search query is not applicable. We are more likely to ask a question or be specific when using voice search, as opposed to allowing the search engine to autocomplete the query for us. It is then likely that search engines are/will adapt their algorithms to cater to voice search results. And if the search engines are adapting, the website curators must adapt too.
Another central factor in making voice search and long-tail keywords the future of search is the growth of voice-enabled devices. The explosion of these devices on the market since the release of Amazon’s Alexa in 2015 has had a massive effect on searches. As previously mentioned, searching on these devices encourages a conversational tone which leads to long-tail keywords being regularly used. In 2017, voice commerce sales were $0.2 billion in the UK and $1.8 billion in America, which is estimated to increase to $5 billion and $40 billion respectively in 2022. Voice-enabled devices will only get more popular and important for users as they connect with other devices, and this means that voice searches will dominate the market.
Voice search and long-tail keywords are the future of search because they both work together in order to create a successful outcome for the user. The rapid growth of voice-enabled devices and the development of sophisticated voice recognition means that voice searches are fast and accurate. This has led to the number of voice searches increasing dramatically; by nature, voice searches are much longer than their typed counterparts. Users ask the device a question like they would ask a friend which has made long-tail keywords much more common. If search engines are not already taking this into account, then it is likely they soon will, and websites that incorporate voice technology will be prioritized in search engine result pages. Take this into account to ensure your platform reaches the top of the results.
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