Why You Should Care About Voice Search in 2020
Since the dawn of the internet, manual forms of input via keyboards (and later touchscreens) have been the predominant method for fetching information and using digital devices in general. With technology improving and decreasing in price, new forms of input are beginning to emerge. By far, voice recognition software is the most popular of these new alternatives.
Given that almost everybody now has a modern mobile phone or device, taking advantage of voice-based commands is growing in popularity. This year, voice search will grow to record levels: you want to be sure your brand is positioned to take advantage of the nuances in this search method.
Let’s examine just why you should care about voice search in 2020 and beyond.
Voice Search via Mobile Is on the Rise
Perhaps the single biggest reason why some brands have been cultivating their search engine optimization tactics for voice searches over the years, mobile voice searches continue to rise with each passing year. In 2019, roughly 1 in 5 searches performed from a mobile phone or device was performed via voice commands: in 2020, that number is expected to grow to roughly 1 in 4.
In just a few years, we may see a majority of all search engine queries being performed via voice search rather than traditional forms of input. Given that people tend to search differently for information via voice than they do via text, optimizing your SEO efforts for these growing mobile audiences is absolutely essential. Otherwise, you might as well be pinging noise at search engines.
Voice Search Is in the Home Now, Too
While mobile voice search volume continues to increase, perhaps the largest increase in voice search by percentage has been in the home. With tools such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home and other lesser-known options making their way into homes, incredible numbers of people are now using voice commands to fetch information. From simple requests for time and temperature to more complex queries, this revolution is helping to speed up the prioritization of voice searches by search engines.
While brands seeking to improve their SEO performance might not directly benefit from a home device reading information from their website, it is likely that there are long-term benefits associated with optimizing. As one example, search engines began reducing visibility for websites that didn’t optimize for traditional mobile browsing; in the coming years, search engines may do the same thing for websites that aren’t compatible with voice search – in voice and non-voice searches alike.
Voice Search Is Preferred by Younger Consumers
If your target demographic is the elderly, then perhaps focusing on voice search might not provide much tangible benefit in the short term. However, recent data shows that consumers under the age of 21 almost unanimously use voice searches at least a few times each month, with nearly two-thirds using it at least once per day. Even among the oft-coveted 25-44 year-old demographic, a majority of shoppers and internet users report utilizing voice searches at least a few times per week.
If your brand wants to tap into the power of younger consumers and audiences, then you’ll need to optimize your content and strategy to target voice searches. Otherwise, your efforts to reach them will likely be no different than pinging noise into the great beyond.
Now that you’re aware of how voice search is changing and how important it is to brands, you can begin making the right decisions to bolster your competitiveness in these results. With 2020 just now upon us, there is still plenty of time to formulate a strategy for this year’s voice search game!