Marketers, What’s your Voice Search Strategy?

voice search

Marketers have already made SEO their top priority. But as a marketer, are you thinking of voice search as part of your SEO strategy? As long as statistics are concerned, Google has disclosed that 20% of their queries come from voice search.

What marketers need to understand is that different people use voice search differently. It is gaining popularity but the way voice search is being conducted is evolving. First of all, in order to strategize properly, we need to dig in deeper.

History of Voice Search

This unique piece of technology dates back to the beginning of the new millennium. Google had just started tinkering with voice recognition and then rolled out an experimental voice search in 2004. Users could call a phone number provided by Google to ask questions and get the results delivered on their browser.

This progressed and after many more modifications led to what is now known as the Google Voice Search. This same technology powered Apple’s Siri till 2013. After that Apple started using Bing as part of its search engine technology to power Siri.

Following that came Cortana from Microsoft who owns Bing. Not only that Bing also provides search engine results powered by Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service.

Voice search exhibits clearly how it is changing the way people find information. The entire reason why a person should opt for voice search is because of the instantaneous answer that one receives.

So, let’s take a look at what people usually search for when it comes to Voice Search.

  1. Reminders, Shopping and To-Do Lists
  2. Searching for TV Schedules
  3. General Information regarding news, travel, recipes etc.
  4. Local Information such as business listings including restaurants, shops, weather, etc.

What Does this Mean for Marketers?

Primarily this is an opportunity for local businesses to up their SEO game. Even though it is not possible for marketers to find out what exactly a person searches for. But they can create a broad match modifier which triggers an ad when a certain set of words are used. And, the good part is that the marketers can dictate this. You can further analyze the results and the metrics of paid search campaigns. Then you can narrow down to the queries from mobile devices. You won’t be able to figure out which ones were voice searches but you can analyze the way it was framed.

At this point of time there is no tool or platform to measure these things. Hence, marketers have to rely on their own hacks.

How Can You Prepare Yourself?

We think there are three simple steps that you can take in order to prepare yourself.

  1. Rethink How Your Brand Shows up on SearchesYou have to keep in mind that due to variations in pronunciations, when it comes to voice search, the margin of error is vast. Marketers need to anticipate this issue because prospects might not land up on your website because of how they pronounced your organization’s name. You need to research misspellings that can be a result of mispronunciation of your brand’s name or a product. Add them to your keyword optimization strategy but make sure they are relevant to your cause.
  2. Natural LanguageThis is another tricky thing that you need to consider as a marketer. When someone types in a search, they use computer language like “Italian Restaurants Nearby”. However when that same search is to take place over Voice Search, it becomes “What are some local Italian restaurants?” As a marketer you have to keep all of this in mind and offer search results that are specific in nature and answer a person’s query easily. You have to optimize your landing pages and add copy to it so that you can account for the natural language searches.
  3. ToFu (Top of Funnel) adaptionThe right type of content will help your brand attract loyal customers. How about using voice search as a helping hand for your customers by answering their questions? When it comes to this, you can critically consider another aspect of voice search, long-tail queries. Since voice search tend to contain question words, it is safe to assume that as a marketer you can benefit by using that information to address ToFu queries.

The rate at which voice search continues to rise just shows how fast technology is progressing. More and more users are turning to voice enquiries, so this experience needs to be optimized. Right now marketers do not have access to precise data, but it might be just a matter of time when that becomes accessible.

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