Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and many more companies have all recently entered the smart personal assistant market. With products such as Alexa that allow users to search the web with voice commands, these companies have pioneered a new way for people to search. These products are continuing to grow in popularity, so brand managers need to be aware of how voice search can impact their business.
5 Ways Voice Search is Affecting Your Brand
1. It Changes Your Sales Funnel
In 2016, search data shows that question phrases grew enormously, as pictured below.
(Source: Search Engine Watch)
This graphic means that people are searching for phrases that are at the top of your sales funnel. An example would be: “How do I make good coffee at home?” Let’s say your brand is a coffee company that sells ground coffee online. This phrase is a good example of a place where someone who is likely to eventually purchase coffee could enter your funnel. Going forward, it will be important to create content that speaks to these top-of-funnel phrases, as more and more people will be querying them with voice search technology.
2. You Need To Account For Natural Language
People search differently when talking versus typing. Besides adding more question words, they also use more natural language. Sticking with the coffee example, voice search users may be more inclined to ask “What are some good deals on coffee right now?” whereas a normal search engine query may be simply “best coffee deals”. These changes are important to keep in mind, as search engines will reward websites going forward that answer the query most accurately.
Natural language can also affect branded search. Brand managers will want to consider the potential for brand misspelling due to voice search technology and ensure that the correct spelling is showing instead. They will need to continually monitor for changes in search terms associated with their brand as a result of voice search.
3. Long-Tail Keywords Could Become Even More Important
Since more question words and natural language are inserted into spoken search queries, a higher percentage of searches contain 5 or more words, as shown in the graphic below.
Brand managers should seek advice from SEO and SEM experts on how to reach these long-tail keywords that will drive leads that are often missed into the sales funnel.
4. Voice Search Drives An Increased Focus On Local
According to Search Engine Watch, mobile voice search is 3x more likely to be location-based than text search. This is crucial for storefront businesses to take advantage of. Users could voice search “coffee stores near me” for example, where the results page will benefit businesses with store locator pages and an up-to-date address provided to the search engine. This is just one example of how voice search will place a high importance on satisfying location-based information for users.
5. Younger Generations
A recent Google study showed that 55% of teenagers use voice search more than once a day. This points to the potential rise of voice search in the coming years and further drives the above points as crucial considerations for brand managers.
Here are some actionable takeaways to better prepare your brand for voice search:
- Create more “top-of-the-funnel” content
- Account for natural language
- Monitor brand misspellings
- Don’t ignore long-tail keywords
- Keep location data up-to-date
Based on the available query data, brands that are prepared for voice search will be able to reach far more customers in ways different than ever before. If you think your business could benefit from some of the suggestions you just read, contact one of our experts.