Voice search is an emerging technology that is gaining a lot of traction with consumers. Virtual personal assistants on smartphone and tablet devices were only the start. Now, consumers are flocking to smart-enabled devices for their homes, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home.
We can definitively say, voice assistant devices are here to stay.
With more and more of these tools hitting the market and being consumed by the general public, voice searches are climbing at an impressive rate.
This is causing a noticeable effect on digital marketing, particularly search-related strategies like pay per click advertising and SEO.
Businesses need to think critically about developing voice marketing strategies to meet these changes. This discussion will look at exactly what we mean by this and how to prepare for the boom of voice search.
Voice Search Is Only Going To Grow
There are two simple reasons why voice search is here to stay: 1.) people love it, and 2.) it is improving every day.
Voice search is something that we've dreamed of since the 1950s. You can't have a good science-fiction movie without a character barking a command into a computer that is able to respond intelligently and fulfill their request. We've been waiting for devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home to finally become reality.
It's no wonder that there are already millions of voice-assisted devices being used in the US. This has caused some experts to speculate that screenless, voice searches will become the standard method by as early as next year.
And, technology only gets better and better with every interaction. As these AI-powered assistants continue to mature and learn, they become easier to use and more effective at handling user requests. When you think about how primitive the earliest version of Siri felt, it is a very noticeable growth in a relatively short amount of time.
There's seemingly nothing to get in the way of voice search's rise to power.
Voice Search Marketing Improves Your Customer Experience
The importance of a great customer experience is not lost on today's businesses. Marketing has changed radically in the Digital Age and the companies with the greatest competitive edge are typically the ones that provide the best experience to shoppers.
Optimizing for voice search has powerful CX benefits:
- Amazon and Google assistants can distinguish between voices, which can break ground to personalized insights into each unique user. Personalization is the key to a superior customer experience!
- Voice search makes brand-customer interactions more human and enjoyable. This can lead to better customer retention.
- Performing a voice search requires less time and is more convenient, which encourages future interactions.
Voice Search Influences SEO
As we touched on earlier, voice searches are changing the SEO game. The reason behind these changes is simple: we voice search differently than we text search. Voice searches are generally longer and posed as a complete question. Many searches have local intent, which is driving a lot of attention towards improving local search optimization practices.
To explain, consider some of the following examples.
Possible Voice Searches
"What's the temperature outside?"
"Will it rain today?"
"Do I need a jacket outside?"
"What time are the Giants playing today?"
"Are the Giants playing today?"
"Italian near me"
"What's the closest Italian restaurant?"
"Can you recommend an Italian restaurant?"
"What's the best Italian place in the area?"
"Who was the eleventh president?"
"Which president came after John Tyler?"
Voice search will also change SEO because of how the search results are relayed to the user. In a traditional text search, the user picked the result they found most relevant. In voice search, the device picks the result. Voice devices will almost always go with the top result on the page, which means that the #1 ranking just became a LOT more valuable.
It's worth mentioning that Google Home will pull answers from a featured snippet if one is present on the page. So, optimizing SEO strategies around ranking for featured snippets is also doubly important in the voice search age.
Let's Not Forget About Pay Per Click Advertising
The same search changes that affect SEO, also impact your PPC strategies. As people change how they search and what sort of requests they make, we also need to adapt to how we advertise for keywords. Again, longer, local and question-based requests are going to see big climbs in volume.
Did you know you can already see if your PPC campaigns are receiving traffic from voice searches? This is a good place to start because you'll gain a clear picture of how much of your audience is using voice search and what keywords they are actually using.
There is an unfortunate drawback to voice search for pay per click ads. These intelligent assistants don't rely on ad results to respond to a user's voice request. And, since the user doesn't actually see the results page, they don't even see your ads. If the future is dominated by voice search, this could be a dimming light for search advertisements.
Don't Leave The Door Open For The Competition
Voice search is only going to continue building momentum and you definitely don't want to be left in the dark. By being proactive in adopting a voice search strategy, you not only create opportunities for customers using these devices to find your business, but you also, put yourself ahead of the competition.
In other words, adopting a voice-friendly SEO strategy now will give you a head start and position your business ahead of its competitors. You'll have more time to establish yourself at the top of the rankings for these long, local, question-based keywords. Thus, making you the go-to result for voice searches.
Neglecting voice search for too long is essentially ignoring your customers and their needs. Plus, you open the door for a competitor to develop a dominant voice search marketing presence without interruption.
Voice search is paving the way towards the future of digital marketing. There are still a lot of uncertainties left to be decided, but one thing we can say for sure: voice search is here to stay. Are you ready for it?
My name is Anderson Frank and I'm a Digital Marketing Expert.
One of the best digital marketing Expert of 2019. He has over 14 years of marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit, and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies. For the last 2 years he is working with the fast growing Ads analytics company "PPCexpo" as a Google Ads Analyst. Read more
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