By Lucy Bradley
In 2017, voice search has really come into its own – 40% of adults now use voice search once per day and this statistic alone highlights why we should further focus our digital marketing efforts into this area in 2018. With the rise of virtual assists such as Siri, Cortana, Alexa as well as Google’s very own virtual assistant, you can really see why 50% of all searches are set to be by voice by 2020 – and we need to adjust our marketing efforts accordingly. Voice search isn’t simply for the future, it’s here now and is growing by the day.
Voice search is something that’s common within our homes, whether it’s on smartphones or with products like Amazon’s echo dot for example – where it’s estimated Amazon has sold more than 10 million Alexa-powered Echo devices since late 2014 and that number only continues to rise. Virtual assistants are swiftly becoming a part of our everyday lives, it’s only natural they become a part of our day-to-day routines and therefore a ‘go to’ option in some cases. Voice search and the capabilities of virtual assistants are becoming more advanced and functional over time, attracting an increased number of people towards using it.
With the rise of voice search, it’s important to think about the impact this has in terms of keywords to target on your website, as part of your SEO efforts. The way we speak is very different to the way we would type a query; as humans, we can speak 150 words per minute yet can only type 40. When it comes to voice search, think long tail over short, looking at complete sentences and questions rather than short tail keywords and phrases. The key thing to bear in mind is encompassing a conversational tone to embody the nature of voice searches, think about what your users are going to be saying, and look at targeting these longer phrases going forward.
It’s important to consider the relationship between voice search and micro moments, which are focussed on acting on a need to go, do, know or buy basis; providing us with the information at the time we need it most. Voice search offers a convenient and efficient way to get those answers, whether that be directions to somewhere or perhaps a restaurant close by. Personal assistants allow users to be connected to the internet at all times, even when engaging in hands-on activities, therefore allowing users to gain access to the information they want when they need it most (in these micro moments). Furthermore, this is where the rise of Artificial Intelligence becomes increasingly important. Users want answers to their questions that are personalised to them, and the rise of AI combined with voice search allows for this. It feels much more personal to ask a question by speaking it rather than simply typing to a robot or in a search engine.
Your local SEO presence is something to further think about in line with voice search; mobile voice-related searches are three times more likely to be locally based than text, which really highlights the importance of making sure your local SEO is up to scratch. Micro moments and on the go searches definitely link into this, but to ensure you are able to provide this information to users at the time they need it, it is important to make sure all your local listings are accurate and up to date. This could be as simple as ensuring your Google my business profile has the correct business name, address and phone number. If you’re looking for a little more guidance when it comes to being found by those closest to you, check out our local SEO post on maximising your visibility.
These are only some of the ideas to put some thought into for the rising age of voice search, but it certainly provides you with the foundations for staying up to date with digital trends. Why not check out some of the other upcoming marketing trends for 2018?