InBusiness, Marketing, Marketing, Uncategorized

Voice Search: The trend that is changing digital marketing.

“Hey, Google!” This is the statement I yell to my Google Home Mini device to wake it up.  However for some of us, we are yelling “Alexa!” to our Amazon Echo devices. Either way, if you are familiar with either of these pharases then congratulations. You are part of the growing number of households across this country that has at least one voice-enabled device, within your house.

Currently in my house we have two smart speakers, a Google Home Mini and an Amazon Echo.  My family uses these devices to perform voice searches.  So, what is a voice search? Simply stated, a voice search is when you use your voice to initiate a search query.  The search query is performed by talking to a smart speaker (ex. Google Home or Amazon Echo) or a virtual assistant (ex. Google Assistant). Then the smart speaker or virtual speaker will answer back. You will receive either an answer to your query or a request for more clarification. 

These devices execute voice searches.  So, what is a voice search? Simply stated, a voice search is when you use your voice to initiate a search.  You are voicing your inquiry to a smart speaker (ex. Google Home or Amazon Echo) or to a virtual assistant (ex. Google Assistant).  Then the smart speaker or virtual assistant will respond to you with their search results. If the device did not find any results, it will ask for more clarification.

These devices and virtual assistants are very beneficial.  They perform many actions, and I know that I have not begun to tap into the usefulness of these items.  However, my goal is to continually use my Google device and learn more its functions every day. 

How do these devices affect digital marketing trends?

If you are a digital marketer, then you are probably curious to know how businesses use the information they receive from these devices.  If a consumer has purchased an Amazon Echo, for instance, you know their intention is to shop on Amazon with ease. I would argue that you can buy items with too much ease.  My 9-year-old nephew proved that when he was yelling at our device. He managed to sign us up for additional Amazon services because he was having fun yelling different things to the device. However, if a consumer decides on a Google device the initial reason for the purchase is not forthcoming. Personally, I do not use my Google Home device to shop. However, I do use it for many other day-to-day activities.

But as a digital marketer, you realize that it does not matter how the consumer use these devices. We are concerned about the wealth of information that these devices capture. For instance, consumers provide their location information to their devices so they receive accurate search results pertaining to their location. The searches they perform range from finding new restaurants to what the weather will be like for the day. Being able to access this information can significantly improve your search engines results and help your business reach its target audience.

However, to understand the impact voice searches will have on your digital marketing campaigns, we must pay attention to the trends surrounding smart speakers. Right now, we know that the number of voice-enabled devices being used within households is multiplying.  According to statistics from Dialogtech.com, 55% of households are expected to own a smart speaker by 2022.  We also know the following information.

  • 65% of 25-49-year-olds are using their voice-enabled devices to perform daily searches at least once per day
  • The 18-24 demographic group is credited with early adoption that drove the technology
  • 61% of 25-64-year-old users say they will use their devices more in the future
  • 71% of wearable device owners predict they will perform more voice searches in the future
  • Predict that half of all online searches with being by voice by 2020
  • Nearly 20% of all voice search queries are triggered by a set of 25 keywords
    • Keywords include the following – how, what, best, easy

Additionally, digital marketers must consider the purchasing power of voice searches. Overall, it is expected that voice searches will become a $40 billion marketing channel by 2022.  This means that almost half of all people that own voice-enabled devices will use these devices to purchase goods and services.  Along with purchasing goods and services, consumer use their devices to research products and services, sales and promotions.

In addition, voice searches drive calls to businesses.  These calls are expected to influence $1 trillion in US consumer spending this year.  Additionally, these calls convert anywhere from 10 to 15 times more than web leads and at a 30% faster rate.

What should digital marketers do with this information?

As digital marketers, this information impacts the campaigns we create for our clients.  More importantly, this should affect our SEO (search engine optimization) campaigns.   We design our SEO campaigns to improve our client’s search engine rankings.  Our goal is to ensure that our clients are relevant and show up in web search rankings that are considered relevant to their target audience. 

Now, do you see why the information from voice searches is relevant? We can apply the same SEO principles when optimizing for voice searches. This is accomplished by ensuring the phone numbers and address provided are accessible.  We should also ensure that our clients are optimizing their content for long-tail keywords. These will be the keywords that would likely be spoken out loud by the consumer.  Keep in mind that we should remember that at least 20% of these voice searches are triggered by keywords such as “best” “easy” and “how.”

Additionally, on the back end of your website ensure the catch phrase “near me” is included.  “Near me” should be included in your title tags, anchor text, and meta description.  This will help with your rankings when a voice search is performed that includes the words “near me” in their search query.        

Performing these tasks should position our clients to take advantage of voice searches.  Doing this provides our clients with another option to reach their target audience.  If you currently have an SEO plan in place, implementing these additional changes should not require much effort.     

What are your thoughts on voice searches and voice-enabled devices, such as smart speakers?  Is this a trend that you are embracing? Feel free to share your comments below.

For more information regarding voice searches and their impact on your marketing campaigns, I recommend checking out these articles.

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