Search conducted by voice on smartphones and smart speakers is upending the old rules for Google-based search engine optimization. After all, Alexa and Siri give only one result—so being first is everything. Even more critically, the way that users query their smartphones and smart speakers with natural language is entirely different than the phrase-based searches they conduct when typing on a laptop or phone.
Neither SEO nor voice search is going away—a quarter of U.S. households now boast smart speakers, and that number is only going to grow—so adapting content to both formats will be essential in the coming years. Some brands have had the foresight to optimize themselves into smart speaker functionality, developing skills for Amazon’s Alexa or changing site keywords to be more voice-search friendly. What’s important here is to understand if your audience is part of the smart speaker set already (are they early adopters with an Alexa in every room?) while also preparing for the long-term, inevitable rise of voice search for all of your audience.
The takeaway: Voice search optimization is poised to be a critical differentiator for marketers who haven’t jumped on this trend.