Voice Search: The Future of Digital Marketing
It’s been over 7 years since Apple released the iPhone 4S, and along with it a new, integrated voice assistant named Siri. Since then, we’ve become accustomed to talking to our phone, and having it talk back. More than that, we’ve been introduced to Alexa and Cortana, and now we can walk into any room of our house and ask where the nearest pizzeria is, or what time the basketball game comes on, or what is the difference between Einstein’s theory of general relativity and his theory of special relativity. We are talking about some Star Trek-level stuff here! (Or Terminator-level stuff, if you’re a cynic.)
What does that mean for your business? It means that optimizing for voice search has become an essential factor in digital marketing; and its importance will only continue to grow in the next few years. A Google study in 2014 found that over half of US teens and 41% of US adults use voice search on a daily basis. Because these numbers are only going to continue to increase, you’ll need to know some vital details about voice search in order to stay competitive in the online market.
What You Should Know
- Voice search is a zero-sum game. With a traditional Google search, there are pages of results that pull up. Even on the first results page, where most of the traffic goes, there are perhaps 8-10 websites that vie for the searcher’s attention. Not so with voice search! At best voice assistants will give three options from which to choose; oftentimes, they will simply select the result that they consider the best match for the search request, and present that to the user.
- SEO keywords must be adjusted for voice search. People simply don’t speak the same way they type search phrases into a computer or mobile device. For instance, if you want to know where the nearest pizza restaurant is located, you probably wouldn’t say: “Pizza restaurant near me.” You’d say: “Where’s the nearest pizza place?” or something similar. SEO that takes into account natural speech, even including “long-tail” keywords, is going to be a decisive factor in winning the voice search battle against the competition.
- Content should be optimized to “answer” searchers’ questions. Because voice search queries will most likely be phrased as full questions, one optimization tactic that has begun to surface in several websites is crafting content that functions as an “answer” to the anticipated inquiry. Some websites incorporate a FAQ-like section that not only helps optimize that page for the voice search question, but also provides a naturally phrased answer that can add value to the customer’s experience.
- Providing up-to-date information will become more critical. Since a large percentage of voice searches involve local businesses, it will become even more important to maintain accurate information on your company’s website, such as hours of operation, special events, prices, and so forth. Using a voice search is often a spontaneous decision made by the user; therefore, it is important that your business information stays as up-to-date as possible in order to seize the opportunities that can come from customers’ sudden impulses.
Staying Ahead of the Game
As you can see, staying ahead of the curve in the voice search game can provide your organization with a huge competitive advantage. Many businesses are lagging behind in optimizing for voice search; this has opened the window for other companies to establish themselves as front-runners in the race to attract Siri’s attention.
At MAB, we put extra care into our clients’ search campaigns. We know that proper, well-planned voice search optimization can generate revenue, boost sales, and spread brand awareness. Contact us today, and let our experts lead you into the future of digital marketing.