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OK, Google: Is Voice Search Optimisation a fad?

OK, Google: Is Voice Search Optimisation a fad?

Search marketing is big business for any event organisation. Whether you are looking to improve brand awareness or wish to boost your ticket sales, it’s crucial you are up to date with the times. Customers are using their voices to search. If your site is not optimised for voice search, you’re effectively placing leads into the hands of your competitors.

With the increase in popularity of voice assistants such as Siri and Cortana, and devices like Amazon Echo, Google Home and Sonos, it has been predicted that 50% of all searches will be conducted with voice or through images by 2020.

The main reason behind the rise of voice search is the increase in smartphone capabilities. Voice recognition and dictation technology have progressed drastically in recent years. For many users, it’s now more convenient and easier to have a conversation with your phone, rather than typing on a small screen.

Balazs Molnar, head of search marketing at Google Southeast Asia, had this to say about why voice interactions are driving search in Asia: “While voice search and commands are unlikely to replace typing completely, in many Asian languages it’s harder for people to type using a small keyboard. For instance, character-based languages or languages with a lot of diacritical markers, like Vietnamese. People find it easier to speak rather than type on their phones.”

The Internet Trends Report 2016 suggests people are using voice search for a variety of things including general day to day searching. Interestingly, an estimated 22% of voice searches are for local content and information, meaning that there are a few simple steps you can take to start appearing in voice search.

Small, quick voice search wins include claiming your business listings and event venu location. Not just on Google, but on Bing and Apple too. Voice search position is dependant on the type of device your audience is using. To be safe, it’s best practice to optimise for Google, Bing and Apple Maps. This is also why you need to make sure that all of your event listings are up to the date, relevant and reliable.

General Information makes up 30% of voice search activities. General information covers things like FAQ’s and recommended questions that you’d often find on the desktop version of Google search. This is where an FAQ page comes in particularly useful as the questions and answers tend to be conversational.

To fully optimise your event website for your audience’s needs, it’s important to understand what voice search is, how it differs to conventional search marketing and what you need to do to appear higher.

A year ago, voice search was a nice thing to have rather than a necessity for SEO. Times have changed and it’s no longer just a fad or buzzword. It’s here to stay and with AI learning every day, the results for voice will only improve.

The time is now for businesses and event organisations to start optimising their websites for voice search before you get left behind.

Zack is Symposia's marketing manager and is responsible for all Symposia’s marketing content and brand assets.

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