Voice Search Marketing: Are You Ready for the Future?

As of 2018, over 1 billion search inquiries per month are made via voice. Voice search has experienced explosive growth due to the increasing popularity of affordable and convenient voice-powered devices like Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri.

Voice search hasn’t only changed the game for homeowners.  It’s created a whole new way for business owners and marketers to connect with consumers through voice search marketing.

On a recent podcast for LinkedIn, Axel Steinman, VP of EMEA Bing Advertising Sales, reported that consumers are now using search throughout the entire buying process, not just to research the product or service. Expecting a seamless digital experience, users leverage search with a specific intention: to complete a task. That’s why Steinman recommends using shorter, simpler commands such as, “What time is it?” when crafting marketing content designed to appeal to voice search.

4 TYPES OF USER INTENT WHEN CONDUCTING A SEARCH

Your digital strategy should always begin with user intent. Consider these 4 types of intent so your website, content, and customer experience are optimized to accommodate and respond to the goals of your users or customers.

1. INFORMATIONAL

A user with informational intent is simply conducting research. Although this user isn’t quite sale ready, you can convert them in time if SEO-optimized educational content on your website provides recommendations that you can fulfill.

A user with informational intent is simply conducting research. Although this user isn’t quite sale ready, you can convert them in time if SEO-optimized educational content on your website provides recommendations that you can fulfill.

A user with navigational intent knows what they’re looking for and searches for a specific product or destination. For example, this type of user would enter the term “Facebook” into Google Search and click through to the Facebook.com website instead of simply typing the URL into the address bar.

3. TRANSACTIONAL

A user with transactional intent is further down the sales funnel because they are ready to engage and purchase. Transactional searches are the most valuable because the easier you make it for this user to find your product, the more likely they will choose to purchase from you.

4. COMMERCIAL INVESTIGATION

A user intending to conduct a commercial investigation may conduct up to 12 queries before searching for a specific product or brand, according to Think With Google. A hybrid of #1 and #3, this user combines research with a desire to purchase. SEO-optimized, benefit-led content is key to converting them.

THE FUTURE IS HERE. ARE YOU READY?

Just imagine it’s 2020 and 50% of searches are conducted via voice search. Today, nearly 20% of Google Search queries are made via voice and completed with a 95% accuracy level. Because this booming technology is still its infancy, a brand that adopts voice search now can get a jump on everyone else.

For a voice search marketing strategy to work, you’ll need to start with the user-intent models above and adapt your brand’s voice experience to focus on delivering the most relevant messaging to assist customers along every step of their journey.

Forbes urges early adopters of voice search to focus on using highly targeted long-tail Keywords over the traditional, less targeted “head” keywords consisting only one or two words.

Voice search is rapidly evolving, so if you don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to optimizing your website and content to leverage this emerging technology, consider investing in an agency that specializes in molding digital brand experiences to converse with their customers.

This article was originally published as Chapter 7 of our ebook, Today’s Top 6 Ways to Use SEO to Grow Your Business. 

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