Everything will be different when voice search becomes the norm. Notice that we did not say “if”. There is no question about the fact that voice search using smart devices is on the rise. People found how convenient it is to speak to Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. And they will not go back to typing search queries.
How big is the voice search trend? Here are a few statistical data to understand its growing role in the way people interact with the internet:
- US $601 million will be the value of the voice search market by the end of 2019, according to Technavio;
- 65% of people who use digital assistants won’t consider going back to text searches, a survey conducted by GeoMarketing found;
- 52% of owners of digital assistants use them to find deals, promotions and sales, according to Think With Google.
What Is the Connection between Voice Search and Digital Marketing?
There is a direct connection between how people search for information and how you supply it. Search engine spiders used keywords to find a match between what users typed in the search bar and the content of websites.
AI powered digital assistants use a complex algorithm of natural language, analyzing intent and the experience of previous interactions with the user to find a good match to the query. And, in most of the cases, the query is in form of a question. Thus, voice search is moving away from a few keywords and towards conversational language.
What Should You Do to Adapt Your Digital Marketing Strategy to Voice Search?
If you want your business to remain visible to prospects, you have to adapt your marketing strategies to become voice search friendly. Otherwise, you will be left behind. This situation is similar to the moment when websites became mandatory for businesses and the moment when having a mobile-friendly website became the norm.
So, what will digital marketing look like in the voice search era?
1. Featured Snippets Become More Important than the First Position in Google Search Results
So far, your SEO efforts had one clear purpose: getting on the first place of the first page of Google search results. With voice search, this envied first position becomes less relevant. What really matters for marketers is that special separate section called Featured Snippet.
The featured snippet has Position Zero in the new hierarchy of internet searches. Digital assistants are trained to suggest the first relevant result they find. And the featured snippet contains way more information that the meta description under search result links. It contains a description of the business, the contact details (address, email, phone number) and the rating according to customer reviews. Thus, the digital assistants will make a better match between the question and the content of the featured snippet.
2. SEO Becomes Local
Most of the questions digital assistants receive refer to local searches. People want to find a restaurant, a gym, an afterschool unit close to their home or to their current location. Many of them are driving looking for various products or services and use the smart assistant to help them find what they are looking for faster.
Thus, businesses need to optimize their SEO strategy with their precise location. The first, crucial step towards it is to register on Google My Business and fill in all the contact details. This is the only way a digital assistant can match a user’s location with your business and suggest it as the most relevant answer to the query.
3. Micro-Moments Must Become a Priority for Marketers
Micro-moments refer to immediate satisfaction of a need or wish to know something. People want to find answers to their questions now. Moments later, they want something else, or reconsider their options.
This is why your content must be ready to provide the answer to the query promptly. From “I want to know” a user can easily move to “I want to buy”. Whoever has the fastest and most accurate answer, wins a customer, as well.
4. The Mobile-Friendly Environment Is the New Standard
Voice search is intrinsically tied to mobile devices. Digital assistants are available on smartphones and laptops, primarily, and on home devices secondarily. A large proportion of interactions with these assistants take place when users are on the move. They are out with friends looking for a good restaurant. Their car broke down and they are looking for a nearby repair shop. They didn’t find an ingredient for cooking lunch at the grocery shop down the street and need to find it quickly.
Thus, having a mobile friendly website is no longer something desirable. It is mandatory.
5. The Rise of Screenless Apps
What are screenless apps? They are digital properties activated by voice search and which do not require the user to use the screen of their mobile phone to tap information. As a marketer or business owner, you should start considering adding one more digital property to your company assets: apps that can be used via digital assistants.
At the moment, screenless apps are in the early adopters phase. This is the moment when you should consider getting one, to boost your image of an innovative company that makes the extra effort to meet its customers’ needs.