Date posted: 08/05/2017 2 min read

Voice search to dominate mobile queries

How to improve your organisation’s approach to search engine optimisation (SEO) to better respond to an anticipated rise in voice search queries.

In brief

  • Finding a process that works in ranking your site successfully on Google is key to business success.
  • Voice queries now make up 20% of Google mobile search queries so ensure your business is SEO ready.
  • Episode five of the Acuity podcast investigates SEO best practice for small to medium businesses.

In 2016 Google revealed that 20% of queries on its mobile app were voice searches. This figure indicates a major shift in search query trends that will impact a number of key factors in how businesses use SEO.  

A number of factors will influence your organisation’s ability to remain competitive and your SEO strategy should be a key consideration.  

As users increasingly rely on voice search, businesses need to be ready. How your organisation structures online content, how users gain access to your brand and how your business ranks in search results are all important factors that need to be considered when implementing an SEO strategy.  

Typically businesses have produced a set of keywords that best define their business. These are strategically structured throughout their website and are designed to match the queries that would-be customers type into search engines such as Google.  

Your organisation’s keyword optimisation needs to keep up with this new trend.

The difference with voice search queries is that the language used in a voice search will in most cases be colloquial and informal. For example, a user may type the word “accountant” or “financial advisor” into a Google search query. But using a voice search platform like Siri, Cortana or Google Assistant, they may instead say, “find me an accountant nearby” or “Hi Google, I need the best female financial advisor in Coogee”.      

Your organisation’s keyword optimisation needs to keep up with this new trend. This means that businesses need to start researching what language is being used in their local community to access their products and services. Social media channels are typically a good place to start. Understand what local vernacular is being used to refer to your brand.  

This is the voice

Mobile voice queries are most likely to concern local businesses, and this provides small- to medium-sized businesses with an edge.  

Google’s voice recognition has the ability to understand a query with 95% accuracy. A Google study published last year showed that an increasing portion of the population is open to using voice searches. According to the study, 55% of teenagers and 41% of adults use voice queries to find what they want.  

Erin Everhart, senior manager, media strategy and mobile at The Home Depot says voice search will have a major impact on keyword optimisation because people use different language when speaking than they do when writing.  

“Considering that mobile makes up more than 50% of all 1.2 trillion queries Google sees in a year, we’re talking about 144 billion searches happening through voice commands” Everhart says.  

“And that number is only going to grow as more consumers begin adopting voice search over text.”  

Acuity podcast investigates SEO

To learn more about SEO, listen to episode five of the Acuity podcast, titled A spoonful of SEO makes the cash register ring. In this episode, hosts Mike Lynch and Andy McLean chat to Michiel Heijmans, COO and partner of SEO company Yoast about how businesses can use SEO to drive traffic and compete successfully online. 

Heijmans says that Google is becoming increasingly human and things that matter to humans now matter to Google.  

To hear more about SEO optimisation, listen to episode five of the Acuity podcast.

How to find our podcast

The Acuity podcast tackles the latest issues in economics, business and finance and is available to stream and download for free at  

Bookmark the Acuity Soundcloud page to keep up to date with new episodes as they are published. Or, you can subscribe to the Acuity podcast in your preferred format (including iTunes) to receive new episodes directly via your chosen channel.