This article is for the savvy business owner who figured out voice is going to be big and want to get the top of the cream of the crop on voice. The bad news is a lot of brands already have a solid voice search marketing strategy and brands like Patron tequila, paypal and burger king, have all started their voice-based interactions with their customers.
The good news is, we are still scratching the surface. Voice shopping is set to jump from $2 Billion in 2018 to $40 Billion in 2022. That’s a 2000% growth. Tell me any other channel you know that’s projected to grow like that. This is where the opportunity lies, and you can’t afford to wait any longer on setting up a winning voice search strategy.
Why is voice search trending?
Time and Convenience. If we want two things, that would be it. And no, it’s not money because that’s what it buys. It buys time and convenience. And voice takes a big jab at that. It all makes sense when you look at the time it takes a user to search for something in the traditional way versus if they used voice. But time is not the only factor. What if you are sitting at home or in the office, and your device is not right next to you or if you were driving and want to search for a place or reply to a message you received? You could do a lot today with voice and technologies like drivemode are making this more exciting. So how much time and effort does voice save us? A study in the US done in 2017 shows that Drivers message more during afternoon rush hours than any other time they are driving. But thanks to AI and voice tools, we can now safely message during rush hours.
AI is changing the game not just in how we operate in our day to day activities but also in digital marketing. Consumers are spending more time searching through voice than typing on their phone or other devices.
Will voice search surpass good ol traditional keyword searching?
This business study found that 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information in the last 12 months and 46% of voice search users look for a local business on a daily basis. Do you see the bigger picture now?
Here is what people said when asked about their voice search usage to find local business.
Source: Bright Local
What is voice search marketing?
Voice search marketing enables you to get traffic and visibility to online shoppers using voice technology. In other words, it helps your website and business get traffic by ranking high enough to be featured when someone says, ‘Ok Google, where is the best electronics store in town?’ Most business and I am guessing you too, have always been optimising their SEM and SEO towards short keywords that may or may not make human sense and don’t sound very natural.
Example of traditional keywords brands wanted to optimise for
- electronics store
- electronics store sydney
- buy tv sydney
However, with voice search, users are asking things like
- where is the closest electronics store?
- Where can I find the best electronics store in sydney?
- Where can I buy a tv in sydney?
You see, voice search is not changing the game completely when it comes to your search strategy. Long tail keywords are becoming and will continue to be the dominant force in how users are searching.
So, how many Australians are using voice search? In our research, we haven’t found recent accurate data on that, but our gut feeling says we are following the trends in the US and the UK. We’ll update this post when we find good sources on that.
The next question becomes, how are Australian brands using voice marketing? We are yet to see Australian brands taking advantage of the voice technology in their user experience like Dominos pizza have when they started their voice ordering system a few years ago. There is a substantial investment that comes with developing something like that and we understand why many businesses can hold off on these kinds of investments but there are quick major wins you can do with voice search with minimal investment aka Voice Search Marketing.
Some marketers and business owners as me, how much additional traffic can I get from voice search? Well, that depends on many things including your industry and the type of products and services you provide. But one of the things that can help you understand how much additional traffic you can get is researching search volumes for long tail and natural sounding keywords. You can use free tools or some of the powerful paid tools like SEM Rush to get that data.
With that said, you are probably asking yourself, how do I optimise my digital marketing strategy for voice search marketing?
Here are some adjustments you can make straight away
Focus on long tail keywords
Voice search is all about natural ways of searching for something. Think and research about how people talk about your brand. Check out your social media channels and listen to what people are saying about you and other brands to get some ideas. Yes, long tail keywords tend to have much lower volume but that is about to change with voice search. Plus, long tail keywords will help your brand stay focused on the visitors and customers that matter because of their higher probability for conversion.
Focus on question phrases
What kind of questions would they be asking if they need your product or service? It may not necessarily be direct questions like ‘Where can I find a pizza restaurant near me?’. It could be things like ‘Is there someone that makes Hawaiian pizza in the northern beaches?’ You get the idea. Think outside the box with your question keywords and then validate with some numbers.
Get your schema right
Don’t overlook this. Your Schema is quite important because it allows you to optimise your right snippets which are used by Google to feature answers for voice search queries. The schema will come in hand when users are making non-branded voice search queries and trying to get more information. People are often than not, trying to get some information quite quickly and don’t want to visit a website. Schema markup is the tool that allows them to find this info straightaway without having to browse several websites. How can this help your business? It will establish authority and obviously give you more traffic when users click to get more information. Some schemas are more important than others. This article talks about which ones you need to focus on.
So, now what?
Voice search should be directly tied to your overall Digital Advertising and Search Engine Marketing strategies. With more consumers relying on Voice search, you are presented with an opportunity to capitalise on more engaged and active traffic for your business.