As I’ve talked about in my recent blog post, “Ok Google: Hear me Roar”, the incoming voice search revolution will entirely change the way people find information.

A friend of mine recently shared the stark reality of how the impact of voice search will be felt by search engine users and those that want to reach these users. It comes down to three numbers: 10-3-1.

When two recent Stanford graduates started a company, that is now a verb, with the mission of “organizing the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” the only way a searcher could find a result was to type it. If you were looking for “luxury condos for sale in Back Bay” there would be 10 results you could choose from on the search engine results page.

Google Desktop Search Results

Fast forward nine years, when a company that used to build computers released the first iPhone, the number of results that appeared on the first page of search results shrank to 3 on the smaller screen.

Google Mobile Search Results

What is most different about voice-activated searches from desktop searches, which produces 10 results, and mobile searches which produce 3 results before you have to scroll, with voice search you get 1 result.

Today, 20% of searches are voice activated. By 2020, 55% of searches will be voice activated. When you speak your search opposed to typing it, two things happen: first you use different words, second you are more specific.

Why?

Well, it’s a lot easier and more natural to say “what luxury condos for sale in Boston’s Back Bay are the best price per square foot?” than it is to type the same thing. Additionally, you would never type “I’m looking for a home in the Back Bay with more than two bedrooms for less than one million dollars,” however, you certainly would tell that to a broker (or to Alexa or Siri). If a buyer was to ask you that questions, and you were a real estate broker in Boston, don’t you think you’d want your website to be the one that answers it?

Siri

Give us a call to discuss how we can help optimize your site for voice search!

Categories: Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization

  • Gerry Howatt

    Hey Ted, great article. How will the search engines handle paid vs natural results? Meaning, if there is only going to be one, will it just go to the highest bidder?

    • Emily Coble

      Hey Gerry, thank you for your question! As of today results are pulled in organically – but that may change in the future, but not necessarily in the way we see PPC being used today in search engines.