Marketers: Are You Prepared for the Voice Search Revolution?

Marketers: Are You Prepared for the Voice Search Revolution?

For all you marketers who think they finalized their digital search strategy at the end of 2017, we’re sorry.  You must start from scratch in 2018!

Well, not exactly.  A complete overhaul isn’t in order.  But it’s time to start paying attention to Voice Search if you have not.

What is Voice Search?

Voice Search is the act of using your voice to conduct a Search Engine Query, rather than typing it out. For example:

iPhone users who have procrastinated and need to make last minute plans to find a restaurant this weekend may be asking today: “Siri, where should I eat dinner on New Year’s Eve in Austin?”

An Android user moving to Austin and looking for a new home may ask: “OK Google, what are some new home communities in Austin?”

Back in 2016, Google shared that over 20% of mobile searches are done via voice.  They haven’t updated those figures in the last year and a half, but it’s safe to say that that figure is over 25% at this point, if not higher.

Smartphones have made it easier to conduct a search, and voice recognition technology has improved so much that many people rely almost entirely on Voice Search with their mobile devices.

Voice Search and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

We humans can be quite verbose.  It’s much easier for me to talk for 5 minutes about Voice Search to you in person than it is for me to write out a blog post about it!

And while there is some humor in that statement, it’s true.  We say many more words when we talk compared to when we write them.  Let me show you a couple more differences on how we talk and how we type when our brains are wanting to ask the same thing in a search query:

Talking:  What places are recommended for New Year’s Eve dinner that take reservations in Austin?

Typing:  New Year’s Eve Dinner Recommendations

And again:

Talking:  What new home communities have new construction homes in Austin?

Typing:  New Home Communities in Austin TX

You get the point.  We talk differently than we type.  And to the same extent, we Voice Search differently than we Type Search.

For this reason, having rich content becomes even more important on your website for SEO purposes.  Here are some recommendations on improving SEO for Voice Search:

  • Do not rely solely on technical jargon in your website’s content. Write it for simple understanding
  • Keep your blog regularly updated, and read your blog content out loud before posting it. Your goal is to have it sound more like your average customer than you.
  • Ensure your site is using Responsive Design. Voice Search is predominately done on mobile, and your visitors want a good experience for fast page load speeds and to help lower your bounce rate

Voice Search and Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

The key takeaway with Voice Search is that search queries are getting longer.  You’ll want to ensure you’re well positioned to take advantage of those long tail keywords.

  • Incorporate Broad Match in your keyword bidding strategy
    • For example, if you’re buying the Keyword “Infinity Dealership,” you’ll want to appear in the search for “Is there an Infinity Dealership in Austin Texas.”
  • Be sure to include Negative Match terms to exclude words searches that you do not want to appear by, i.e. “worst”
    • For example, “What is the worst Infinity Dealership in Texas.”
  • Keep an eye on changing search volumes with Google’s Keyword Planner. This tool can help you spot keywords increasing in search volume from the growth in Voice Search

If you’d like to review your search engine marketing strategy as it pertains to Voice Search, our SEM and SEO specialists in Austin here at Statesman Media would be happy to help.  You can contact us here.