Have you ever asked Siri to find something for you on an iPhone?
If not, chances are you will soon. If not Siri, then maybe one of her sisters – Cortana, Alexa or Google now.
When we’re sitting at a computer, its quick and easy to search by typing our search query. But it’s kind of a pain to do that from a phone. Many people find it much easier to push a button and speak their search query into their phone.
Apple broke new ground when it released its voice-based “digital assistant, Siri in 2011. Since then Bing (Cortana), Google (Google Now) and even Amazon (Alexa) have developed their own voice-based digital assistants.
I use Siri quite a bit, and to be honest I find it’s search results to be frustratingly poor, and more often than not after I ask Siri for something I end up typing my search query into Google to get better results. But the fact that I keep asking Siri shows I find it more convenient.
I believe it’s only a matter of time before the quality of the voice search results improve, and the number voice searches surpasses text searches on phones.
How is voice search affecting search marketing?
1) Optimize for natural language. When people search on their computers, they tend to type phrases like “website builder.” But when people use voice search, they use natural language and questions much often like, “Where can I build a new website?” or “What’s the best website builder?” Therefore, a good strategy is to create content which has titles that match common questions in your field.
2) Focus on Bing… for now. Siri is by far the most popular voice-based digital assistant, and Siri gets its search results from Bing. So, if you want your website to come up in the voice-search results, it makes sense to focus on Bing. However, Bing is owned by Microsoft and these relationships between search providers often break up faster than a Hollywood marriage. Plus Google, Microsoft and Amazon will all be battling Siri for market share, so Siri’s reign as the dominant voice assistant may not last long.
3) Go big or go home. Siri only shows the top 5 search results. If your site is not in the top 5, you won’t be seen. Therefore, its best to focus on improving your search results for queries which your site is already in or near the top 5.
Share your thoughts in a comment:
- Do you do voice searches on your phone? Why or why not?
- What if anything are you doing to get your website to rank better in the voice search results?