When it comes to digital marketing, the future is now. Voice search is a convenient way for search queries to be done, as it is more convenient than typing them out through the keyboard—saving both time and effort for the user. With word recognition accuracy improving every year, it’s a tool that is becoming more and more attractive for consumers—and businesses are starting to take notice when planning their digital marketing strategies.
In the United States, 51% of consumers prefer using voice search over typing while researching products for shopping, and a Google study suggests that 62% of people using speakers with voice assistance are likely to use that technology while buying something. Furthermore, a 2018 study by Mobile Marketer (now part of Marketing Dive) projects that the value of voice search shopping will skyrocket to $40 billion USD (more than $51 billion CAD) by 2022. In other words, voice recognition technology has come a long way from its early start with Bell Laboratories’ Audrey system in the early 1950s.
Regardless of what your voice search strategy may be, it’s important to have one in a world where voice assistants and smart homes from companies like Google, Apple, and Amazon are extremely popular. Here are some reasons why digital marketing professionals should optimize websites for voice search.
Why Has Voice Search Become So Popular?
One of the biggest reasons why voice search has grown in popularity is because of how much faster the average person can speak compared to their typing speed. The average typing speed is between 37 to 44 words per minute. For speaking, the average number of words per minute can be as high as 150. Thus, voice search is hugely convenient for users if they want to search for longer and more specific queries, and is a tool that can also help increase website traffic and add a new dimension to SEO practices. Voice search can also improve client retention, as this technology can provide users with a tool to make their interactions with companies easier and more effective.
Major Companies Like Google Are Already Using It to Their Advantage
Nowadays, voice search technology is a seemingly ubiquitous part of our society. You see companies such as Amazon and Apple using virtual assistants as a major draw to their products, and users can voice their search queries via Alexa and Siri respectively. Among companies that are already using voice search, and doing a great job of it in the process, is Google. By either clicking on the microphone icon on the far right of the search bar, or using a phrase such as “Hey Google” or “OK Google” to activate the voice search function on their computer or mobile phone, a user can enter their desired search query without even needing to touch their keyboard.
Google has been integrating voice search technology into many of its products and services over the years. With this in mind, it could be smart to optimize your website for voice search with Google in particular after getting your digital marketing diploma. Of course, whichever direction you choose to pursue, voice search is a form of technology that is rising in popularity, and can help you grow your business and expand its reach when utilized properly.
Why Should You Use Voice Search in Your Digital Marketing Career?
If you’re considering integrating voice search into your website and optimizing the site for that purpose, you have a variety of advantages to enjoy by doing so. For example, you can use it to help answer questions from users about your company and services preemptively (eg. where you’re located, what your business hours are, which kinds of products you sell) by developing your website content with these intentions in mind.
Another way you can optimize a website for voice search purposes is by focusing on how you use keywords. For example, long-tail keywords account for around 70% of the Internet’s search queries. These searches are more specific in nature, and are more convenient to use in a voice search than when typing. These types of keywords are also more targeted and specific than shorter ones.
However, remember that many queries made through voice search are made in a conversational format, involving the user asking a specific question. Since it’s more convenient to do this via voice search rather than typing, try using keywords that are formatted like a question. Rather than using shorter and more specific keywords more commonly used in typical online searches, such as “coffee” or “third wave coffee”, phrase your keywords in the form of a question, such as “Where can I find third wave coffee?” or “Do you know where I can buy third wave coffee?”. Writing content this way can help your website appear first for users, as they will have been written like questions a user would ask in a voice search.
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