Voice search via the likes of Siri, Cortana and Alexa, is not a new concept, however 2017 is set to be the year that it has a real impact on search marketing.
A study commissioned by Google found that over half of US teens and just under half of US adults use voice search daily and its use is continuing to grow every day. This means that marketers now need to ensure that they are factoring voice search into their search marketing strategies in order to remain competitive.
So how can search strategies be optimised for voice search? The key thing to remember is that voice based queries are generally far longer and are made up of full sentences and questions. Therefore in order to make sure that they don't miss out on this rising number of users using voice search, brands need to expand their keyword research to include more long-tail and full phrase keywords. Brands should conduct keyword research to determine how their consumers are likely to phrase their questions out loud and then ensure that this research is embedded into the company's PPC and SEO strategy. Taking this to the next step will involve brands then producing content that directly answers the user's questions. This will ensure that your website stands out as a helpful and informative website for users and will lead to higher levels of engagement on the website. This content can then also be used as quality landing pages for PPC campaigns.
Another key aspect of voice search that differentiates it from traditional search, is that it is far more likely to be localised. Users are searching on the go for up-to-date information to act on straight away, so producing localised content on your website is also more important than ever.
As tech companies are recognising the increasing importance of voice search, they're pursuing plans to make these digital assistants (such as Siri, Cortana and Amazon's Alexa) as smart and responsive as they can. As the assistants can do more and more for the user, this is turn will fuel the growth in users attracted to using voice search, meaning that search marketers need to start experimenting with their keywords now. If you're not sure where to start, try using voice search yourself and asking questions you think users might use to get to your site. If you're not ranking for these searches then that's the place to start!
Recently, Google has gotten into the game with Google Assistant, noting during the Google I/O keynote speech that one in every five searches made with the Google Android App in the United States is a voice search. Because voice-based search queries can be drastically different than typed queries, businesses will need to tailor their optimization efforts toward longer queries that fit with voice search terms, as opposed to shorter keywords that were common with traditional search.