Our very own MD Angie, who in her free time is also long term resident to Hotel Owner's very own Agony Aunt panel on all things hospitality and marketing. Writing a quarterly article tackling issues in the industry and offering specialist advice with her 25+ experience, she knows just about all the in's and out's of everything in the leisure industry, reminding hoteliers and sales managers that if there is a will, theres a way!
This time round, we felt the subject was particularly relevant to today's market in all topics and wanted to share with you a glimpse as to some of the important issues we tackle on a daily basis on behalf of our wonderful clients.
Q: By 2020, 50% of all online searches will be done with voice. Do I need to do something differently to optimise my website for voice search?
This is a common statistic that was originally predicted by Andrew Ng at Baidu in 2014 stated that “In five years’ time, at least 50% of all searches are going to be either through images or speech. ”It wasn’t just about voice search but about the use of imagery too." The quote headlined into the “Internet Trends 2016 report” by Mary Meeker, who predicted 2020 as a figure, but as with many things, theres no need to panic as five year predictions are often just that – predictions.
Voice search is proving more difficult to benchmark usefully, mostly because the data has not yet perfected the metric reports so that we exclusively know what and how is being searched. Instead we have to assume that voice search is going to be an important adaptation for your website.
What do we know now?
Google suggests that 1 in 5 mobile searches are carried out by voice, and Hitwise highlight that 60% of searches happen on mobile. Therefore we can assume around 12% of all searches daily are likely to be done using voice. Smart speaker use is then recorded separately and the stats around this are a little blurred, but a well-respected article in Econsultancy estimated 26.4 million smart speaker voice searches per day in 2018. Demographic data is somewhat harder to find but Captech Consulting at the beginning of 2018 said that 53% of smart speaker users are aged 18-36, 32% are aged between 37-52, with just 13% aged 53 and over.
Determining the urgency with which you address voice search can be done by reviewing your own customers. The older your target audience, the slower the rate of adoption; but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Optimisation for voice search is a becoming must.
How can you optimise for voice search (and image)?
Websites used to rank pretty well with the help of ‘keyword stuffing’ – adding as many keywords as possible into the coding, the page copy and the meta tags, as well as blogging and social media. The search engine algorithms soon became clever and began to recognise that non-purposeful SEO did not necessarily deliver quality search terms and results and so were adjusted to make search terms more specific and a humanising language.
The good news is, voice search and desktop search are not actually that different, infant they are pretty much the same thing with differing methodology. Here’s what you should focus on for voice and search in general:
This is not the complete ultimate list of things you need to do, but its a good start. There are lots and lots of nuances you can take advantage of, but unless you have big budgets for SEO and ads, you'll get less of a return from optimisation. Focus on getting the basics right and the rest should fall into place.
If you enjoyed this article from Hotel Owner written by our very own MD, Angie Petkovic. Check out some of her other fantastic articles here.