How to Prepare for Voice Search in 2018

There’s no denying that voice search is going to be an SEO game changer in 2018 and the years to come. Currently, 40% of adults use voice search once a day, and it’s expected that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. At Google’s 2017 I/O keynote, four out of their 10 big announcements were related to Google Home and Google Assistant. So what does it all mean? If your SEO strategy doesn’t involve voice search, then you need to make changes now. In this post, we will cover the rise of voice search, and what you can do to prepare for voice search in 2018.

The Rise of Voice Search

Voice-first devices (like Amazon Echo and Google Home) are growing in popularity. It was estimated by Narvar that 30 million households will have a voice-first device by the end of 2017. And it’s no surprise that these devices are popping up everywhere, especially considering the ever-expanding skill set of these devices. These devices aren’t just for search queries anymore. They were designed to become your voice assistant.

With Google Assistant, Google is doing everything it can to become integrated into your daily life. From checking the weather report to making calls, Google Assistant can assist you with numerous tasks. Amazon Alexa comes with access to over 25,000 skills, such as ordering from Starbucks or checking your credit card balance.

Google search has also had a huge increase in the accuracy of their speech recognition. The English word accuracy has reached 95%, which is also the threshold for human accuracy. As voice search and artificial intelligence continue to improve, we will see the error rates decrease.

Prepare for Voice Search in 2018

Voice search is going to disrupt your 2018 SEO strategy. As users are driven away from typed searches, the competition for top positions in search results is going to be fierce. As voices assistants generally only provide one answer, it will become essential to earn and maintain those top positions. Local search is going to become more prevalent as most search queries have local intent. There is also a significantly shortened interaction time as users are searching for quick answers.

That all being said, here’s what you can do to improve your strategy for the rise of voice search:

  1. Compelling, Relevant Content: You’ve probably heard this a million times, but no strategy will be successful without this. You should be succinctly answering the users’ most common questions.
  2. Mobile Optimization: You need to be optimized for mobile devices. There’s no escaping this truth. Sites that aren’t optimized for mobile are being punished by Google, which can push your down in SERP rankings.
  3. Invest in Local SEO: Now is the time to ensure that your local SEO is optimized as search engines continue to place emphasis on local results.
  4. Fine Tune Your Keyword Strategy: Determine your most relevant and important long tail, general, and head keywords and focus all your efforts on them.
  5. Always Look Ahead: It’s critical that you are always looking out for the latest trends in the coming year. You must also be flexible and ready to make changes quickly.

Whether you’re a fan or not, voice search is here and it will continue to explode in popularity. It’s vital that your strategy can take on this growing trend. You will need to put a lot of focus on local SEO, keyword strategy, and relevant content if you want to reign supreme in voice search results. As with most growing trends, there is sure to be a lot of changes over time, so be sure to stay up to date on the latest trends, news, and methods of success.

Do you need help with your voice search strategy? Contact us today to get a jump start on your 2018 strategy!

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