Voice search has become a huge element of strategies for major technology companies as consumers fully embrace the enjoyment from speaking to their technology products. Recently Amazon added ‘Alexa’ their voice search product to their iPhone app, giving their hands-free product yet another feature for their customers. Devices that support voice search are said to quadruple in the market this year since Google’s CEO reported last year that already 20% of search queries are originating from voice search. Voice search is becoming a key element to digital marketing, making SEO providers view online marketing in a new way.

Voice Search Users

To understand voice search we need to rely on many different factors in SEO. Using query keywords such as ‘when, how, why, what, who or where’, can show you how users are using voice search and SEO experts can discover the given insight to how user’s behaviour is adapting to this new technology. For example, a consumer who is looking for a hotel in Oxford may carry out a typed search of ‘hotel near Oxford train’, whereas a voice search consumer is more likely to say ‘where is the nearest hotel to Oxford train station?’. This shows that users assume questions will be answered when using voice search which is perhaps a result of the product advertising, or possibly just a human response to how this technology works. The data below shows how query search terms for voice search and SEO are becoming more and more used by people, therefore search engines have improved their responses. Last year query search term use increased total impressions by 47%.

This also shows that in the last year, users searching on ‘when’ and ‘where’ have increased by nearly 300% overall. Voice search seems to be widely used for local search, whereas keywords such as ’how’ has only risen by 13% over the last year. Perhaps users are finding it more difficult to get direct answers from Google when asking how to do something, but asking ‘where is the nearest Chinese restaurant?’ gets an immediate response.

The Effects of Voice Search and SEO for Marketers

We know that voice search is fast becoming a popular way for users to search the worldwide web. But what are the implications? There seem to be two key elements, both relevant to in-home devices and mobiles. There are numerous questions that can help to gauge how voice search might affect online brands, showing what you can do to maximise optimisation.

What Are Your Keyword Experiences?

  • Check what landing pages and ad copy is being used for question related searches. Are users searching with keywords ‘when’ or ‘where’ and if so, should you be providing the same landing page as other queries. Consider unique landing pages with varied ad copy for greater user experience.
  • Are you using the correct product inventory and location extensions? You may consider using paid ads to help consumers get direct answers. Make sure content is relevant and supported by your AdWords campaign.
  • Local search is fast increasing, especially using mobile search. Check that your current location data is accurate so that search engines can pinpoint your brand to users straightaway.

Can Users Find Your Online Brand?

  • Check your localised content. Can local consumers find your brand? Do you need more local copy that indicates your whereabouts? If ‘where’ queries dominate your local search, you should explore opportunities for these search terms in organic and paid rankings.
  • Consider your websites content – do you need to increase your query-driven content and include answer boxes to increase your ranking?
  • Search term preference in your AdWords dimension report so that you can update and optimise your keyword lists. Understand the range of questions that users may be asking. See what other available data there is in your search term report.

Digital marketers are discovering how voice search and SEO can attract new users to online brands, giving them an exciting interactive way for searching online. There’s no doubt that content marketing will optimise the popular keywords of ‘how, where, when, why, what and who’, enticing consumers to sites with direct responses from relevant copy. Voice search will quadruple this year, giving the task of digital marketing a completely different angle to SEO and introduce a new part of the digital marketing process to the balance to drive even more users to your website.

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