No matter where you go in the marketing world, professionals have faith in voice-based advertising. The reason: voice search is able to tap into the natural methodology of human speech and thought, revolutionising the scope for bespoke advertising.
Ambitious figures have suggested that voice-based search will account for half of all searches by 2020, which seems wide of the mark, but voice-search is certainly on an upward trajectory. How, then, do we incorporate voice into marketing campaigns and which technology should we prioritise?
Picking The Right Tech
The first step is choosing which technology to focus on and optimising your advertisements around that. Voice search can come through many different forms: digital assistants, phones, home consoles, computers, tablets, eReaders, and everything in-between.
Understanding how this technology is interacted with and used is essential to optimising search. For example, 76 per cent of smart home speaker users will use the device for local searches, implying that local search is a huge draw for smart hub devices.
Conversely, voice search on mobile is more of a young person’s game, with 25 per cent of 16-24 year olds using voice-based search on mobile alone, so focusing on younger people for that device generally works best.
For adults, voice-based search is most commonly used on phones for directions, which makes sense considering the dangers of using your phone whilst driving. In essence, not all devices are the same in terms of search, so considering how each is interacted with goes a long way in optimisation.
The foundation of voice marketing and voice search advertising can be summed up in two words: natural speech.
Ensuring content is written in a conversational, natural way – usually erring on the side of informal – will help mimic the way people speak during voice search. Looking at the data of usual voice searches can help, but optimising with colloquialisms in mind can also help, particularly when looking at local SEO.
Local search will always be huge, but it’s paramount in voice marketing. Using the term “near me” is especially useful, with the search term seeing a 500 per cent increase in search volume when combined with phrases such as “to buy.” In general, voice-based search and local search is synonymous, so building and optimising around that is effective.
On the more techy side of things, analysing schema metadata can help you understand how your website is communicating with Google. Schema allows you to provide an in-depth description of what the data on your site means, allowing Google to read it better.
In terms of keywords, longtail is the way to go. Google voice search ads react better to longtail keywords. Generally, longtail searches are more conversational, which plays right into voice-based search’s hands.
The logical conclusion to all of the above is that you should, essentially, follow SEO best practices by focusing on user intent. If you’re already following these well-documented guidelines, then you will only need to make small alterations. If you’re not, get cracking (or learn how to with our digital marketing courses).
The Future Of Voice-Based Search
The future of voice-based search is difficult to pin down as forecasts are muddied by two camps: giddy optimists and traditional pessimists.
Whilst a lot of forecasts state that half of all searches by 2020 will be voice-based, but this same forecast was told for the year 2017, which didn’t occur. Pessimists see voice search as merely a trimming to text-based search engines, used for rigidly-defined search terms.
As with most things, the answer likely lies in the middle. While search may not be the new thing to spin digital marketing on its head, voice search advertising is definitely on an upward trajectory, so missing out is an opportunity lost.
Is Text Here To Stay?
Text is certainly here to stay. While voice is on a meteoric rise, text searches have staying power in digital marketing that voice search won’t be able to permeate. Even if voice search takes off on the same level as its biggest fans say, there will still be a healthy balance and competition between both. Staying on top of voice search advertising, though, should be top of your priority list for 2019.
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