Do You Need A Voice Search Strategy? Probably

When many people want to find out about the weather, the nearest Chinese restaurant, or the best waterproof camera to take on their upcoming trip to Hawaii today, they don’t have to type on their computer or mobile keyboards. They can also speak to the assistants on their phones or smart home devices. Estimates from Alpine.ai in January 2018 estimate there are over one billion voice searches every month. Separate research carried out by Voicebot.ai shows smart speaker owners interact with their speakers 2.79 times per day, whereas people only use their smartphone voice assistants 0.33 times daily. Based on figures from Voicebot.ai and the total number of people with smart speakers, there could be roughly 26.4 million voice searches on smart speakers per day.

Here are six reasons why today’s marketing professionals shouldn’t delay developing a voice search strategy:

1. People use voice search differently 

Instead of saying “outside parking at (name of restaurant)” as they might ask a search engine when typing, people will probably use a more conversational phrase or question, like, “can I park outside of (name of restaurant)?”

When possible, those kinds of keywords, questions, answers, should be incorporated into company website content, to make these terms searchable through Google or Amazon voice search. 

2. People often use voice search in their cars

A 2016 study from Internet Trends Report found 22 percent of people perform voice searches to find local information. Separate research from Go-Gulf, published in 2018, showed over 52 percent use voice search while driving. That method gives users convenience, especially if traveling in unfamiliar areas. Marketers already employ geo-targeting methods to reach out to nearby potential customers. A voice search strategy offers another possibility for giving people in the area the information they need as efficiently as possible. 

Related: How Verizon’s Top Retailer Taps Smart Content For CX Success

3. Voice search is rapidly evolving

People don’t only rely on voice searches for Google queries. Voice search capabilities improved tremendously in 2017, and marketers must prepare for what’s to come. For example, people can seamlessly shop for things with their voice speakers, check their bank account balances, and more. Security experts have also become aware of voice hacking, and are exploring ways to prevent cybercriminals from mimicking voices to gain access to private interfaces. If marketing professionals don’t take steps to consider bringing voice search into their strategies, they’ll undoubtedly be left behind as competitors investigate ways to cater to people who search through voice. 

4. Voice search boosts efficiency

In today’s society, people expect immediate results whether they’re ordering a cup of coffee or binge-watching their favorite TV episodes. Voice searches appeal to how individuals hate to wait. Researchers at Stanford University found English language voice searches are three times faster than typed ones, plus had a 20 percent lower error rate. However, if marketers don’t develop voice search strategies, their audiences may conclude it takes longer than expected to get results, because the ones generated don’t fit their needs. 

When targeting content for voice search, marketers must ensure questions people ask prompt accurate and relevant results.

5. People will keep searching with voice – if marketers are ready, or not 

Even if marketers haven’t accounted for that type of searching, people are still participating in it. Forward-thinking marketers and advertisers must realize now is the time to test options and meet the needs of voice searchers. One way to do that is by conducting a mobile SEO audit. The results it gives could highlight weak points that need to be fixed for optimal outcomes. 

6. Older advertising methods may become less effective

New technologies tend to change how people interact with the internet. One study of mobile device owners found they only spend 10 percent of their time browsing mobile websites and 90 percent of their time using apps. Similarly, some advertising methods may lose worthiness due to changes caused by voice-recognition platforms. If individuals are conditioned to buy things through voice search, and the practice becomes widely adopted, consumers may rarely need to interact with websites. This would render traditional internet ads less effective. 

Does your team have a voice search strategy in place? Do you think you need one? Let us know in the comments below! 

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