Voice search marketing

Voice search or voice-based search marketing has been much hyped for its SEO benefits, but delivers little direct benefits for most businesses in my opinion.
I find the hype annoying since for the last 10 years that has been a misquoted 2014 prediction  that “voice search will by 50% of all searches by 2020”. Well it’s still being widely touted and of course, smart speaker use has increased dramatically without delivering clicks, but the reality is that voice-based searches on mobile and desktop have a minimal impact on SEO for most businesses.
Cameo Digital explain the impact of voice search simply when they comment that: “regardless of whether the uptake for voice search increases, the game stays virtually the same for SEOs“.

I would that changes in keyword behaviour prompted by rising local voice queries are particularly important to optimize for.
Their definition is:
Voice Search involves using a spoken command to retrieve the information you want from search engines. There are two types of voice search, each differing in their type of output. Only the first of these, however, is relevant to SEO:
  • Type 1: When a user chooses to use spoken voice commands as opposed to typing a query into Google. This is treated as a normal web search, the data of which will be collected in Google Search Console, so SEO as normal.
  • Type 2: When a user chooses to use a spoken voice command in order to receive a spoken answer. This is the case with many smart speakers such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa. These searches are not logged in Google Search Console and have very little relation to SEO.

So, businesses can tap into any changes in search behaviour by focusing on the fundamentals of SEO such as keyword research, on-page optimization best practices, structured data and creating quality content with high Expertise-Authority-Trust to fit evolving search behaviours that includes more conversational queries.


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Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights. We’re a publisher and learning platform that helps our 150,000 active members in over 100 countries plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing activities by applying the actionable advice in our planning templates, guides and interactive e-learning tools.

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