The Rise of Voice Search and What It Means for Marketers

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Are you ready for a voice-activated world? Is the world ready for such a thing?

Regular users are slowly getting into voice search. One of the aspects leading up to this point may have to do with Google’s Assistant being showcased by Google in 2016.

While the feature itself isn’t new, it opens up new opportunities to a specific branch of professionals: marketers. Whenever the Internet and output devices get new features, it’s up to marketers to figure out how to use them to their full potential.

Is this really the right moment to start looking into voice search? Let’s find out together.

Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Google Assistant

voice search

The smartphone was essentially the device which fueled this ‘revolution.’ Naturally, the main audience is made up of young people with a certain level of tech-savviness.

All the voice assistants mentioned above have their flaws. They are not perfect yet, but it seems people start to use them more often. Especially since Alexa can be used in the comfort of your home without the need to reach out for your phone.

Are you wondering how many people actually use voice search?

That’s yet unclear, but we do know search queries in 2016 have multiplied 35 times compared to 2008, according to Google trends via Search Engine Watch.

Granted, these assistants have become ‘smarter’ in 2016, and they can perform more complex tasks than before. However, marketers have yet to fully decipher how to take advantage of it.

Is It Worth Diving into Voice Search Marketing?

The short answer is ‘yes’ since it is expected that there will be 21.4 million smart speakers in the US by 2020.

However, work still needs to be done. For the vast majority of consumers to adopt voice-enabled search, marketers need to optimize their content to deliver the right answer at lighting speed.

Users rely on voice search to find answers to questions like:

  • Who was Albert Einstein?
  • Where can I buy an Xbox?
  • What is SEO?
  • How can I get to Chicago?

So you’ll need to predict this behavior – and questions like the ones mentioned above – and optimize your content to give the right answer.

Voice search is very similar to text search. Your voice gets ‘translated’ into plain text, and then the search occurs. Typing or speaking one of the questions above will return identical results.

However, there is a big difference between the two when you analyze how the user interacts with the search.

Keyword: conversational. Instead of typing “gyms near me,” a user will most likely use voice search with the phrase “what is the closest gym” or “find me a gym near my location.”

So your content needs to be optimized to answer both queries.

The same aspect of directly answering search queries applies to paid search. The messaging in any ad copy should be tailored to predict the user’s query, and it is more important than ever to have different match types for each keyword.

What Can You Do?

voice search

Naturally, marketers and brands need specific next actions before diving in blindly. The first step would be to adopt keywords and phrases that are more natural and in line with the way we would normally speak to each other.

Voice search could also deliver a new opportunity for content marketers and advertisers: to create interactive, personalized content.

Just think about it! Users would be able to talk directly to and interact with your content. Granted, it’s just a wild guess. Nobody knows when or if it will happen.

On the other hand, consumers need to trust that voice recognition is not only going to help them get answers but also that it will give them the best possible answers.

When that happens, the keyboard as we know it might be a thing of the past.

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