Ok, so we need to accept that the days of laughing at the fool demanding their phone give them the weather report are well and truly over.
A report by Hitwise states that close to 60% of searches are now made by voice. Voice search is here and it’s here to stay. So what does this mean for you?
The Rise of Voice Search
According to Google, 20% of searches on its mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches, and if you consider that there is more than 1.2 trillion Google searches a year, that’s a lot of people!
Apple’s lovable artificial intelligence bot, Siri, was for many, the first introduction to Voice Search. Siri was originally developed as a standalone app before being acquired by Apple and released as a function in their iPhone 4s (2011). Samsung followed suit, releasing their own voice search service soon after and fans are still awaiting the major rollout of the improved service Bixby Voice, sometime this year.
It’s not only our phones that are enabled for voice search, this year we have seen the rise of in-home technology such as Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa that rely heavily on their voice search capabilities. Voice search is the epitome of efficiency and smart-tech, have you considered how it will impact you/your businesses marketing strategy? Let’s explore!!
Here’s a fun fact for you. Mobile voice searches are three times more likely to be local-based than text search. For example, “Siri can you find the closest petrol station to me” or “Siri, find me a burger restaurant in Port Melbourne”. If you’re a bricks and mortar and don’t begin optimising your strategy for voice search you are going to miss out big time (at least your competitors will be happy).
Use these 3 Tips to Optimise Your Local Marketing for Voice Search
Take note of any significant landmarks nearby, maybe you have a shop close to a large sports stadium, within a well-known shopping centre or simply on/just off a busy road. These locations need to a leading factor in your keyword strategy so they can cue the search engine to pull up your site. For example, I could ask my phone. Hey Bixby, where can I buy Sushi near Bourke Street Mall? Think of landmarks that are well known and are first-to-mind when talking about the physical presence of your business.
Say you’re a burger shop on a busy Melbourne street, what sets you apart from the burger shop 200 meters down the road? “The tastiest burgers in the world with fresh, free-range produce of course!!” Well, sadly we can’t yet taste test through our phones so how do you communicate your superiority in writing? The answer is long-tail keywords. Let’s look at the ways you could search for a burger store in Brunswick.
‘Burger store Brunswick’ (basic)
‘Burger store Brunswick free parking’
‘Brunswick burger store vegan options’
‘Cheap take away burger Brunswick’
‘Best vegan burgers in Brunswick’
We know there are hundreds of burger stores in the area so we will naturally try and narrow it down. Compile a list of the searches your customers are likely to voice to their phone. Now make a list of the adjectives used. Here are some common ones: best, closest, cheapest and most popular. They may also be searching for a particular benefit such as free parking, pet-friendly, BYO alcohol, or vegan/vegetarian menu options. Using your key benefits create a keyword strategy that goes beyond ‘Best Burgers in Brunswick”.
Us copywriters often get caught in the trap of trying to do too much with extravagant words and sexy catchphrases, and this works in some contexts, but it can also really damage your SEO score.
Someone using voice search isn’t going to be using complex words and sentences in their quickfire questions. I’m not going to ask Siri, “Hey Siri, find me a boutique burger shop that only sells delectable grass-fed beef from cattle raised in the green pastures of Tasmania”. Yeah, this sounds great for somebody who has taken the time to read it on your site, but Google’s algorithm will read this and won’t find much value.
Search Engine Land suggests a great way to add natural language to your site without entirely removing the sexiness from your copy. Create a Q&A page and literally write the questions you could imagine somebody voicing into their phone, using the language they would use! We are all about efficiency and when I’m hungry my brain is not functioning enough to produce long, extravagant sentences to communicate that feeling.
The sooner you begin preparing the better off you will be when the voice search robots invade and destroy all keyboards. Block out a couple of hours this week to sit down and scrutinize your keyword strategy using the three tips above!
Alita Harvey-Rodriguez is known as one of Australia's leading digital marketing futurists and the brains behind Milk It Academy – A research-based training firm to advance marketers skills into new school digital leaders and company innovators. For over a decade Alita has worked with global brands including SAP, Experian, SEMrush, TS14+, Estee Lauder, Myer, Power Retail, & Online Retailer.