3 Ways Voice Search Trends Will Impact SEO in 2020

Brought to you by WBR Insights

Voice-controlled computers and devices have had something of a bumpy ride. For many years they struggled to effectively recognize and respond to voice commands and were usually the subject of ridicule rather than wonder.

However, times have changed, and voice-activated technology has now found a serious foothold in the hearts and homes of the public. It's estimated that by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be carried out by voice. The use of home assistant devices such as Amazon Echo is also on the rise, as well. Sixty percent of those voice searches will be carried out on screenless devices, and the number of US households that have at least one such device will rise to 55 percent by 2022.

The B2B world won't be immune to the inexorable onslaught of voice search either, so here are three trends you should prepare for in 2020.

#1 Geographical Searches

One of the biggest trends businesses should be on the lookout for is the rise of location-based searches. In fact, ten percent of voice searches are used to find local businesses and contain search terms ending with phrases such as "near me". People are three times more likely to search locally when searching by voice compared to typing.

This means that, as we move into 2020, your brand is going to need to make sure your online assets are optimized for local searches. You must make sure you have a Google My Business account to ensure your business is optimized through Google. Secondly, all your brand's outreach methods - advertising, website, content marketing, etc. - must also be optimized for your location.

This may seem like more of a consumer-facing consideration, but don't be fooled. We may be in a global marketplace but there will always be a place for reliable local suppliers. When people are looking for B2B suppliers in their area, they are likely to use voice search to do so.

#2 Keyword Optimization

You may think this is a no-brainer. And while we're sure you know that your website needs to be optimized for keywords, voice search is changing the nature and number of keywords required. You need to update your SEO strategy to match.

Voice recognition technology has now achieved around 95 percent accuracy which has caused a change in the way people interact with search. 70 percent of all searches in English carried out using voice are done so using conversational language rather than individual words. For example, instead of searching for something such as "office supplies", people are more likely to say something like, "OK Google, please show me local office suppliers". In fact, most searches now take the form of long-form questions, beginning with words such as "who", "when", "where", and "how", and the use of these is set to increase further through 2020.

Therefore, you need to get into your website's backdoor and start tweaking your keyword optimization to meet this new style of searching. Those who do are more likely to find their website floating to the top of the listing when potential customers are searching with voice.

#3 Young B2B Buyers Use Voice Search

Research into over 1,000 British voice search users found some interesting results. According to the research, men tend to use voice search more than women. Also, people between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most likely to search by voice, as are those with incomes of more than 50k Euro.

As it is still the case (unfortunately) that the number of men in high-level positions outnumbers the number of women, these stats suggest that those people in charge of buying are likely to fall into most, if not all, of these categories and are therefore more likely to use voice search while carrying out searches for B2B suppliers.

This means that the need for voice search marketing is going to become ever more important as we move through 2020. What was once the domain of B2C businesses is going to become ever more B2B focused as more young people move into influential positions within their organizations.

Final Thoughts

Voice search is well on its way to becoming the main channel through which internet searches are carried out. 2020 is going to be the year that this way of accessing online content shoots into the stratosphere, and we can expect to see fully voice-activated websites become popular very soon.

"In recent years, voice search has been dominating the search landscape," reports WSI. "Speech recognition in our devices has also become extremely complex and precise. Although voice search has been around for some time and is not a completely brand-new concept, we've experienced a technological breakthrough in recent years with the introduction of voice assistants such as Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri."

Voice search is set to be a hot topic at B2B Online 2020, taking place in April at the Chicago Marriott Downtown.

Download the agenda today form more information and insights.

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