2018 sees an evolution of the digital landscape, with further developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI), the introduction of GDPR and even image search – all of which have their own challenges and nuances to grasp.
But even for an experienced online marketer, the current voice search landscape can be a little complex, with so many assistants, devices, actions, skills, software development kits (SDKs) and a range of hardware providers.
One major problem SEO teams have faced is reporting on voice search, with data providing inaccurate results on voice search referencing, conversion rates and traffic to their website. Although there have been some initial conversations from Google on the reporting of voice search commencing 2018, there is currently no way track anything related to it.
Sensing a fault in voice search reporting, digital agency Roast used automation and software to run batches of queries across its test key phrase sets and clients. The data retrieved was examined to determine which domains and URLs have the highest levels of visibility across a set of key phrases; this breakthrough is a first in market Voice Search Ranking Reports. The tool allows companies to report back on which website are being referenced in answers given by the voice search assistant.
John Campbell, head of SEO at Roast, explains: “With two massive companies, Google and Amazon, pushing the boundaries and competing for market share, it’s going to be interesting to see how the market develops.
Despite this surge in the importance of voice search, we’ve seen little development across its tools and reporting. Many brands are in the dark about how their websites perform on voice search. We have developed Voice Search Ranking reports to help our clients have a better understanding of the landscape and their options with voice search. We can record the domain and URL used in the answer, detect if it changes or if the information read out to the user alters."
The digital agency can use the data from the Voice Search Ranking Report to create top-line views, such as the top-ranking domain, compare performance with competitors and track the number of voice search results achieved over time.
While conducting example reports, Roast found a few nuances with voice search previously unknown:
- The assistant might not read out your result, even if your website provides Google with the answer box result on web search. This happened to 26% of searches in the example report.
- When a result is given, one in four of the websites referenced in the voice search answer will be different to the website referenced in the answer box result.
- There are six variants of answers discovered on voice search so far.
- There have been examples of generic key phrases promoting the opening on third party actions.