Typing on your mobile is no longer a necessity with Google Now. You can use your voice on the Google app or Google Chrome to search, create reminders or listen to directions. It’s becoming more and more sophisticated, and it won’t be long before it seriously changes the way we think about our website’s SEO…

What’s happening in the world of voice search?

“Okay Google” is the voice command to use to activate Google Now search, from any screen on your phone. You can ask Google Now anything you like, just like a normal search engine. You can also ask it to set reminders, ask for directions, play music, plus much more. With the local search element at play too, Google will understand exactly where you mean by “here”, no need to specify.

You’ve probably also heard about Apple and Windows’ virtual assistants/life-partners Siri and Cortana – similar concepts to Google Now, with slightly different functionalities. So the question is – which app are you going to entrust with your personal wellbeing?! I’ll leave that to you. What we’ll examine next is the real question at stake…

Should I alter my SEO strategy to take voice search into account?

You’re probably wondering how this new phenomenon will affect your website’s SEO strategy. If people are only likely to be using voice search on their mobile – to order pizza, or find out directions to the closest petrol station, will it even affect most businesses at large?

A conversational style of writing has been taking over web copy for a while now anyway. With the advent of Semantic Search and the Google Knowledge Graph, Google has become increasingly interested in giving direct answers to people’s questions. When you’re writing web copy, it’s vital to think about the searcher’s style of writing and the questions they might be posing.

What’s more, Windows has recently announced that Cortana will be on the desktop of Windows 10. So Voice Search is likely to be invading a wider sphere than just our leisure time anyway.

So what are the main differences between voice search and text search?

– Voice search tends to use questions much more than text search
– Voice search uses more words per query
– Voice search tends to be more conversational

If voice search does grow to become an increasingly present part of the search environment, it will be vital to adapt SEO and website copy to take into account the above.