Due to the need for instant information, people are constantly multi-tasking and generally on the move much more than in previous decades.
Although COVID-19 has had a severe impact on business travel when society comes out of this everyday life will resume, and pre-pandemic statistics will likely continue to holdup.
If are working with an SEO Company they will be able to advise you of how these now help your SEO strategies moving forward.
Voice Search: Predictions for 2022 and Beyond
Voice searches have soared in recent years and are fast becoming a staple of four generations:
- Generation X – (Born 1965–1980)
- Millennials – (Born 1981–1995)
- Generation Z – (Born 1996–2010)
- Generation Alpha (Born 2011–2025)
The global voice recognition industry was forecast to explode from US$10.7 billion in 2020 to a staggering US$27.16 billion in 2025. (Statista).
Voice searches on Android or iPhone and possibly Smart-speakers are now commonplace.
The market has never been more significant, from the need for directions to weather updates and now a keen interest in everything local, searches for groceries, staples, and various items needed the same day.
Google or Alexa voice searches are becoming commonplace in many households worldwide, to the point that people who are not using them are becoming slightly antiquated.
So why not use a voice search? It means you can be in the kitchen preparing your work lunch and planning your day at the same time, not having to sit in front of a computer makes sense, right?
No browser, searching, clicking on links, or waiting for pages to load is becoming a go-to service for millions.
Voice search results are becoming faster or keeping things more straightforward.
In the US alone, usage has risen from only 79.9 million in 2017 to an estimated 135.6 million estimated in 2022, a rise of 69.71%.
Number of voice assistant users in the United States from 2017 to 2022 (in millions) Source: Statista
Unsurprisingly the Smart-speaker market is continuing to grow. I’ll take some statistics from the United States, a good barometer for other western countries.
Approximately 55% of US households are predicted to own a Smart-speaker by the end of 2022 (Juniper Research). With the introduction of 5G, that figure should rise.
Naturally, with new technology arising, the younger generations will be keenest to sample its effectiveness.
However, for the older generation(s), once they understand how uncomplicated they are, (and in many cases) coupled with a reluctance to learn how to use a computer, it’s quite an easy transition.
Alexa, why are People Using Voice Search?
Here I’ve compiled some statistics from various sources across the internet tech world about voice search and what the plans are moving forward:
- Back in 2020, over half of the people that used voice assistants were using them daily or multiple times a day – 52% (NPR)
- During 2022 – 70% of consumers shall use voice instead of bricks-and-mortar to shop (Capgemini)
- Around half of all current consumers searching for products use voice (Narvar)
- 48% of people using Voice-activated-speakers want personalized suggestions, tips, and information from their selected brands (Google)
Conversational Assistants (Chatbots) What 2022 Holds
In this article, we will look at a set of predictions for 2022 and the industry’s future.
Many recent generations have little knowledge that chatbots are not something born of the 21st century. Far from it.
A pioneering British computer scientist Alan Turing who was far ahead of his time in the 1950s, started looking into if a computer could think. He published a well-received article, ‘Computer Machinery and Intelligence.’
This article hit a chord with Joseph Weizenbaum, a German computer scientist who at MIT university in the USA subsequently developed the world’s first chatbot in 1966 – named ELIZA.
Remarkable how dormant the technology has been, but no longer.
The digital transformation is moving at a rapid pace. With personal and professional lifestyles already transforming before 2020, the digital world has accelerated even faster with the global pandemic. Conversational assistants (chatbots) are integral in these transformations, enabling self-service support to become automated.
COVID-19s role in the acceleration and rise in the demand for chatbots cannot be underestimated. Business-process automation is in the most significant growth stage in its history.
Driven by the health sector in the past two years, other industries that have had critical staff shortages due to staff working from home or being let go have realized how much of a gap these automated bots can service effectively.
With teams fragmented due to remote work, the digital transformations that companies had to move quickly to implement were significant. The industry now looks back at 2020 as somewhat a year of reckoning. Then 2021 as a realization of the need to transition and retrospectively quantify as the ‘before and after effect’.
With support functions and teams overwhelmed, the need for self-service has never been higher.
The requirement to empower customers, employees, and suppliers to access relevant information, solve issues, and get answers 24/7 was the difference between companies maintaining their reputation or the opposite.
Conversational assistants are powered through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
These units can handle simple operations, help solve general problems. Answer re-occurring questions and assist humans with general operations and more.
On to my predictions for 2022.
A Continuation in Demand
Business Process Automation (BPA) is rising exponentially, driven by company needs, specifically those needing to save resources and deliver answers and services regardless of the global pandemic or economy.
Some support solutions have matured sufficiently in language processing and the tools required to function consistently.
This newfound maturity has seen project success, giving creators the required funds to press forward with the latest technological advancements.
For anyone thinking about investing in a chatbot, this is the phrase to should acquaint yourself with and understand its function:
- Intelligent Document Processing (IDP)
If IDP complements the evolution of the service, anyone in business can see how useful these are and where this market is headed.
IDP enables real-time processing of documents such as:
- Identification Document
- Order Forms
- Account Opening Documents and more…
This year, the possibility of interaction with the user about the information collected is a real possibility, with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) scripts (they facilitate direct access to systems without the need for new connectors to be developed).
Excluding the UK, European market growth is expected to be 1.5 to 2 times the figures seen in 2021.
Many companies since the pandemic began have sampled and are now using chatbots, industries such as the health service, telecom operators, banks, and public administrations, among others.
The challenge for developers has been to encapsulate different conversational instances that can be proficient across other domains.
For example, in retail and marketing, single instance responses are used to answer questions from buyers on the site. The chatbot is usually accessed using a text-based interface and not by voice.
Organizations that manage daily personal relationships will be highly responsive to this technology in 2022 when economies turn. Still, maybe they are now understaffed and need to begin re-hiring when their books start to balance.
2022 will increase in more specific fields, producing chatbots to be deployed in various ways with new integrated AI and deeper language understanding and learning.
- IT Support – Orders – Problem Solving – General Requests
- HR – Recruitment – New Arrivals – General Requests
- Sales – Guide to a Live Assistant – General Enquiries
- Customer Services – Complaints – Cancel my Visa Card
And many more sought-after areas for businesses.
Companies without the technology will need to consider implementing a particular solution.
With an increase in the number of options to facilitate increasing and incentives for salespeople to sell the solution, especially to larger firms, companies need to get a proper evaluation to ensure they are implementing the right solution.
The Rise of the Masturbates
With a vast increase in development across new business domains, accessibility to differing chatbots could become problematic, whereby a single interface may be required to group the different entry points.
You could call it a General or call it Masturbate. These help users tackle multiple problems and tasks that need to access various business domains.
The Masturbate acts as a single entry point to all the different services. It serves as the medium for the exchanges between the user and each business or sector in question. It’s the equivalent of the control tower at your main international airport.
They were designed to help the user avoid unnecessary time-wasting trying to search in other places for the expertise necessary to handle the inquiry.
Each domain is contacted through the Masturbate, depending on the request. Masturbates were already on the market in 2021 and implemented these solutions, and we are expecting the first updates and subsequent spread of use in Q1 to Q2 2022.
Increased Voice Testing
Most of the general public (even if not using them) have heard of the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Those mentioned above are not professional solutions for even a small business. However, voice search for professional purposes is highly relevant in 2022 and beyond.
They will be deployed to complement standard support (call bots) or hands-free as a complement to standard customer phone support (call bots) or as a hands-free associate (voice bot) in places like a laboratory or a vehicle.
The technology required to deploy a voice assistant successfully is more technical and complex than for a regular ‘chatbot’, which means delivery times from the developer will take longer this year, but the solutions will be forthcoming.
2022 will see companies continuing to test and assess voice to use the associated technology in channels such as voice synthesis, voice dialogue management, telephony, and of course, voice recognition.
Voice Assistants and Chatbots – Their SEO Benefits
Chatbots now carry a multitude of positive benefits for a business’s SEO strategy.
Since some of the more recent Google updates, Chatbots can inadvertently help the website owner.
Suppose someone is checking up on products or items they are waiting on. In that case, a bot can re-direct them to the information they seek. With Google now heavily favoring engagement and time spent on your website, this equates to positive feedback to Google’s algorithm.
The bot will need them to enter an order number, a purchase code, or a tracking code you originally supplied, depending on the products or industry you operate in.
Of course, user experience (UX) is another major ranking factor with Google.
Ensuring you as a business are satisfying the needs of their users and helping with their UX will benefit you moving forward.
In addition, if the chatbot satisfies the client, they may spend more time on the site looking at other items, products, or services. If they click through different pages, again this is another positive for your rankings.
Last but not least, they can be invaluable for non-native English speakers who can be hesitant to speak to someone in English in real-time.
In 2022, we should see fewer new entrants to the voice and chatbot markets. Still, we will see the rapid disappearance of the previous basic solutions like chatbots and voice assistants are upgraded the same way you update an operating system on your laptop or mobile phone.
With where AI currently stands, it doesn’t look like we will see a ground-breaking solution for major industries this year. However, we will see new consolidation and a blank canvas particularly at the entry-level for solution providers looking to enhance their service portfolios.
It’s an exciting and growing market. A true insight into the future where we believed 30 to 40 years ago was purely Science-fiction.
About the Author
Lancey Clemons is an experienced tech writer, digital marketer, and content curation specialist.
He has extensive knowledge of SEO strategies. In his free time, he likes to study new digital innovations, with a keen interest in crypto tech and blockchain.