Voice Searches Via Smart Devices Are Increasing During the Pandemic

Here Are Some Low Cost, Quick Tips That Can Help Your Brand’s Visibility Increase on Those Voice Search Queries
It’s 7am on a rainy Saturday morning up in Fairfield County, CT. I normally would start my day with a cup of coffee in hand and ask my Amazon Alexa about today’s weather forecast but on this day, the forecast was pretty obvious. So, I then posed another question to Alexa, one that has become commonplace in my household since the shelter-in-place order was given. “Alexa, what is the latest Coronavirus news?” This question has become part of my new daily routine as of late and as it turns out, I’m not alone.

As such, Alexa returned a voice result read from the World Health Organization’s most recent article on Covid-19 when I asked about it, providing my daily fix on the latest news about the pandemic.

Smart devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, are being used more now than ever representing a Swiss Army knife of sorts, providing usage as a health tool for connecting with friends and family, for entertainment purposes, and for helping users stick to routines during the coronavirus pandemic. They have become an integral part of our shelter-in-place daily routine.

In fact, according to Forbes, internet use during the coronavirus pandemic has increased by 70%. The average daily in-home data usage for March in 2020 increased by 38% from that of March 2019. And smart device usage is driving this surge. According to Statista, the use of smart devices such as smart speakers, smart TVs, smartphones, and tablets all increased in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And while smart devices powered by voice are providing a multitude of benefits for users during these trying times, we are seeing that many people are using it for health-related benefits, now more than ever. According to Voicebot.ai, over half of customers would like to use voice assistants for “one or more healthcare services.” The most common usage was to inquire about diseases and symptoms (32.2%). This figure has only increased as concern spreads to those that are curious if they too, are infected by the coronavirus virus.

Diving deeper, we see that certain audience segments are adopting voice search at an increasing rate as well, especially for older users. Voicebot.ai reported that 20.1% of adults aged 60 or more years own a smart speaker and of those, 46.6% are daily users.

All of these figures showcase that habits are changing. The increasing adoption and usage of smart devices powered by voice searches since isolation is obvious. This led me to think of the organic search opportunities that have presented themselves for brands based on these habitual developments. So with that said, below are four low-cost tactics that brands can adopt to help optimize their sites and enhance their smart device voice search visibility:

Tactic #1: Review Your FAQ Pages

Voice search centers around answering the 5 Ws – who, what, where, when and why. Many brands have FAQ pages that answer questions that fall into these categories. Review your existing FAQ content and make sure you have fully laid out questions and corresponding answers to these questions on these FAQ pages. Smart devices tend to scan these pages, among other news-related sources, when searching for voice-based queries.

Tactic #2: Break Out Each Question and Answer on Their Own Page

If a web page has no other content but the specific question and answer you want to optimize; you inherently have increased the keyword relevancy and weight of that page. This gives you a better chance to rank for that query. So, a good tip would be to break out the individual pages, where possible, by making a sub directory or a sitemap of your FAQ page.

Tactic #3: Optimize the URL of This Broken Out Q&A URL

To further increase search relevance, you can outline the specific question within the URL, separated by hyphens. Something like this could work: https://www.brand.com/this-is-the-question-being-asked.html. Simply separating the query with hyphens in the URL will also help signal to the search engines the specific, keyword-optimized source of the question being posed.

Tactic #4: Research Different Sources to Keep Fueling Your FAQ Content

A great source of what questions to display can be determined by simply asking or surveying your employees to see what the common questions are when a customer or client contacts your business. Sources that can be used to capture this content can include:

  • Phone call logs
  • Social media boards across various platforms
  • Contact Us form content
  • Internal site search query scanning
  • SMS messages from customers
  • Traditional comment cards
  • …and much more

These can all be great sources of common questions your customers ask your business that can then be turned into voice-optimized FAQ content for your site.

In summary, during these trying times, it is very apparent that habits are changing quite a bit at home, especially as it applies to voice search. These changing habits present unique opportunities for brands and we hope you have found these stats and quick tactics helpful. For any brand seeking organic search assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

And most importantly, please stay safe everyone.

Thank you!

Cyrus Karimi
VP, Search and Affiliate Marketing
Media Horizons


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