Over one-quarter of consumers (27 percent) use voice search on their mobile and smart devices. There’s no doubting the convenience of voice searching for consumers. However, did you know it can also help you expand and improve your marketing strategy? This guide explains the impact of voice search on digital marketing and how you can use it to your advantage.
What Is Voice Search?
Voice search is a feature that lets people use voice commands to search for information on their smartphones, smart devices, tablets, and computers. Smart devices use artificial intelligence for language processing, search engine consulting, and retrieving results. You can use voice search for all kinds of inquiries, from asking for directions to asking specific questions. Some of the most well-known examples of voice search tools include Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri.
How Voice Search Affects Marketing
Voice search’s advent and continuous improvement have significantly impacted the marketing world. It’s important to recognize shifts in the marketing landscape before they take off as adapting early will set you up better for the future. The following are some specific ways that voice search has affected — and will continue affecting — businesses’ marketing strategies.
I. Changes in SEO Strategy
Search engine optimization (or SEO) is a collection of tactics brands use to improve their rankings on search engine results pages (or SERPs). The primary goal of SEO is to get as close as possible to the top of the results page, increasing the likelihood that people will click on your website/pages. As voice search becomes more popular, brands must adjust their SEO strategy to keep up. One of the most significant adjustments involves changing target keywords to align with voice searches.
When typing a query manually in a search engine, someone might use a phrase like “weather in NYC.” However, when conducting a voice search, they will likely ask a complete question, like “what is the weather like in New York City today?” For brands to increase their chances of ranking, they must adjust their content to include these questions and provide direct answers.
II. Increased Emphasis on Mobile-Friendliness
Voice search is especially popular on mobile devices like smartphones. Approximately 60 percent of searches already occur on mobile devices, which will surely increase as voice search and mobile technology continue gaining popularity. To respond to these changes, brands must make their websites and content mobile-friendly.
If people can’t easily access their sites from mobile devices — or if the website takes a long time to load — it won’t rank as highly on SERPs. As a result, the information from that site will be less likely to be shared or featured.
III. Increased Emphasis on Local Search
Over one-fifth, (22 percent) of people conducting voice searches use them to find location-based information. For example, they might use voice search to ask for directions to a nearby store or about the best Italian restaurants in their city.
With this information in mind, brands should emphasize local SEO when updating their marketing strategy. Incorporating local keywords and localized content into their websites and website content will help them improve their ranking and increase the likelihood that people will find them. This is incredibly relevant for companies that have locations in or operate from a specific area.
IV. Increased Demand for Instant Gratification
It’s no secret that people love instant gratification. We want what we want, and we want it now. Voice search has upped the ante and increased the demand for instant gratification even more. People don’t have patience for inaccurate or irrelevant voice search results anymore.
After all, when voice searching, consumers can’t see the SERP and scroll down to choose the most relevant website or answer. They’re counting on their smart device to provide the correct information to them quickly. With the ongoing demand for instant gratification, factors like fast load times will become even more critical in the future — along with content explicitly optimized for voice search.
Voice Search Marketing Best Practices
As voice search becomes more popular worldwide, brands must update their marketing strategies to keep up. Here are some best practices to keep in mind as you begin changing your marketing materials.
Conversational-style content plays a critical role in optimizing your content for voice search. People are likelier to ask full questions using conversational language, so you must incorporate that into your content. Otherwise, your content will be buried by the countless other websites using this strategy for their own benefit.
Think Like a Searcher.
Speaking of searchers, put yourself in their shoes when brainstorming keywords and optimizing your content. Think about the types of questions they’re likely to ask, then look for ways to include them (and versions of them) in your content. Most importantly, answer questions as thoroughly as possible so that searchers can get all of their answers from your source.
Use More Long-Tail Keywords.
Long-tail keywords help you rank higher and improve your content for voice searchers. With voice search, keywords typically get longer. Remember our example above about checking the weather in New York City?
For a standard web search, one might use keywords like ‘Best Restaurants in Boston’ or ‘Boston best restaurants’. For voice search, though, you’ll want to try and rank for a specific question and long-tail keywords like ‘what are the best cafes in downtown Boston’.
Focus on answering Questions.
Another way to improve your keyword optimization is to focus on question keywords. Focus on phrases that include words like “what,” “which,” “who,” “where,” “when,” and “how.” Doing so will help you provide answers to people’s questions and increase the chances that they’ll engage with your content or visit your website for further information.
Create FAQ Pages.
Frequently asked question (or FAQ) pages are also helpful for optimizing your content for voice searches. An FAQ page helps you rank for several question keywords and create more conversational content.
Improve Your SEO.
Don’t forget to step up your SEO game. Focus on location-based and industry-specific keywords, and update your business’s Google My Business listing. You can also use the Google Ad location extensions to display relevant business and contact information with your ads.
Utilize Voice Search in Your Marketing
Voice search has already dramatically changed the digital marketing landscape, especially regarding search engine and keyword optimization. Brands must adapt to keep up with these changes and maintain relevance. Follow the best practices discussed above to stay ahead of the curve. Are you trying to invigorate your marketing strategy and build organic traffic streams? You’re in the right place. Reach out to our team to see if we can help you with your goals.