Yes, is the short answer. The rise of AI voice search will fundamentally change how we interact with our search engines?
Voice Search was first introduced by Google in 2012 (following Apple’s introduction of Siri in 2011) but it was clunky at first and it took a while for the tech to develop sufficiently to ensure the features were usable by everyone on a day to day basis. Now, voice search is ubiquitous.
How many of us now find ourselves shouting into our phones, car dashboards or home devices, asking them the most stupid of questions or requesting help with simple daily tasks? I know in our house, rarely an hour goes by without Alexa’s or Google’s name being invoked. [More than 50% of adults reported that they use voice search daily.]
And that very ubiquity is one of the main reasons voice search has had such an impact on the way we interact with our search engines; it’s just so easy. So easy to ask questions out loud, without having to open our browsers and type them in.
Using our voices instead of our fingers has also changed the way we ask our questions; it’s changed the words we use and the order in which we use them.
So we now ask more questions [more than 1 billion voice searches happen every month] in different ways, and we still expect our search engines to provide us with the answers. Quickly. [An average voice search SERP requires 4.6 seconds to load.]
And most of the time they do. In fact, it’s so rare now to get an incorrect search result for our query that we notice if it’s wrong. [Voice search assistants answer 93.7% of search queries on average.]
The rise of voice search has had such a profound impact on the way we interact with our search engines, that it could be argued it was the biggest change to hit search since the introduction of Google in 1997.
And now we not only have voice search, but AI voice search. Bing has just announced it’s introducing AI voice search to desktop. Powered by OpenAI GPT-4, Bing Chat is a search experience that facilitates a two-way, more conversational style of search experience. Bing chat will provide the answer to the query asked, and the SERP (search engine results page) will provide links to relevant websites.
So what does this ascendency of voice search, and now AI voice search, mean for us content creators?
Below are my five top ways AI voice search will change how we interact with search engines, along with my top tips for how you can change the way you create content to reflect them.
- Queries Will Be More Conversational
AI chatbots are designed to interact with humans in a natural and conversational way, so our interactions with search engines will become even more chatty. The language we use will be much more informal and potentially colloquial, and there will be more inference required to decipher the meaning (intent) behind what we actually mean by our questions.
Content creator tip: write naturally! When posing your questions, think about how your target audience will actually ask this question, then include question variations throughout your content. Make sure your content answers the questions posed in a concise and easy-to-understand way. Be mindful of seeker intent: what does your customer really want to know when they ask this question?
- They’ll Be Busy When Asking Questions
AI voice search is hands free and mobile, so users will likely be multitasking or on-the-go when they’re asking questions into their search devices (for e.g. they may be cooking or driving). This means their interaction with the search engine is a less dedicated activity and needs to be more responsive. Think quick, instant queries rather than deep-dive research into a subject.
Content creator tip: stop telling them your life story! Your audience wants a quick answer to the immediate question they’ve asked, so provide a succinct response to that question only. You can expand or include links to further information should they wish to continue their research. Keep your content short and punchy and imagine it being read aloud to a busy person.
- Personalised Results Will Be The Norm
AI voice search utilises user specific data, such as location, search history, preferences and behaviour patterns, to deliver more personalised search results. It will be better able to tailor responses to the individual seeker than any search engine has before. This means the search experience will become even more customised and the SERPs may be unique for every user.
Content creator tip: go hyper-targeted in terms of your customer! Segment your audience as much as possible and create content just for them. Use language that speaks directly to the individual customer and don’t generalise. Address their pain points specifically. Create solutions just for them. Answer their questions. It may mean you need multiple pieces of content for each product or service.
- Search Will Become Hyper Local
Because many AI voice search interactions happen on-the-go, local SEO is where it will come into its own. Seekers will quickly and easily ask local queries or get recommendations for restaurants, shops or local businesses, and receive real-time information based on their location in return. AI voice assistants also learn from past interactions, so they can provide better recommendations to users over time.
Content creator tip: embed your business in its location, particularly if you are a local business! Make sure your location is in your website’s metadata. Mention your location(s) and the geographical areas you cover in your content, often. Utilise Google My Business, Maps and Bing Places For Business. And make sure your business information (opening hours, contact details etc.) is always up to date.
- The SERPS Will Change
AI voice search generates its own responses to search queries, so it is no longer reliant on websites to provide the answers to the seekers’ questions. Hence, the way voice search results are delivered is different and your website may not feature as part of that. However, AI voice searches delivered via a screen still have a results page, and websites will still be featured there, ranked in the usual way. So it’s important your website is there and not your competitor’s.
Content creator tip: don’t give up! AI voice search may provide the answers, but customers will still need websites. Continue to create valuable content that educates, entertains and engages your audience – content that asks and answers customers’ questions – and don’t neglect the CRO. Traffic numbers may be smaller, but those that do land on your website should be further down the buyer journey and thus easier to convert. Make sure your website is ready to exploit that.
Need Help With Creating Content For AI Voice Search?
Don’t panic. GrowTraffic can help you create the right kind of content for your website that ensures you won’t get lost in the AI voice search revolution.
Contact us today to find out more about our SEO content creation services, or to get advice on what these changes will mean for your website.
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