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Understanding The Impact of Voice Search On Digital Marketing

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By Jake Nordquist   |    February 20, 2018   |    6:10 PM

How Small Businesses Can Leverage The Power of Voice Search

If you’ve ever said, “Hey Siri,” or, “Okay Google,” you’ve used an intelligent personal assistant (also called a virtual digital assistant.) We can ask these smartphone assistants to do things like add an appointment to our calendars, open an app, and search the Web.

That last one is particularly important, because as more people use voice search, digital marketing will also change.

Change in the digital marketing landscape isn’t all that surprising — new tools are introduced regularly, algorithms that dictate SEO best practices are constantly evolving, and consumer preferences shift often.

But, does your digital marketing strategy need a face-lift to keep up with the way people conduct searches? Keep reading to find out.

How voice search is different from traditional Web searches

Voice search is having an impact on digital marketing because people use different language when talking versus typing.

For example, when someone searches using Alexa, they’ll use more natural language: “Alexa, who was the 34th President of the United States?”

The same search conducted in a Web browser might focus more on specific keywords, like this: “34th U.S. President”.

The keywords people are using to find information differ between voice searches and traditional Web searches. But what exactly are people searching for? Let’s also look at how people are using voice search in their everyday lives.

How do people use voice search?

In 2014, Google surveyed 1,400 people across age groups. The results of the study showed:

  • 41% of adults use voice search more than once per day.

  • 55% of teens use it multiple times each day.

  • Teens and adults alike use voice search while multitasking (78% and 63%, respectively).

  • Both groups used voice search for local searches, like asking for directions or movie times.

That last point is particularly important, and will likely have the biggest initial impact for small businesses. However, those changes aren’t likely to shift the marketing landscape too much (at least not yet.)

How voice search will impact digital marketing

Many voice searches focus on sending a text, making a call, checking the weather, and other tasks that don’t involve combing the Internet for information. When someone does use voice search to conduct an actual search, the questions are likely to be localized. People want to know where the nearest highly rated restaurants are or where to find a gas station.

What should small businesses do to harness the power of voice search?

Voice search will certainly have an impact on the digital marketing efforts of businesses, but we won’t be seeing major changes immediately. According to digital marketing firm Seer Interactive, there’s no need to revamp your marketing strategies at the moment:

Limiting Technology + Very Little Usage + No Major Change in Search Behavior for Those Who Are Using = Not Enough Data to Strategize Differently

Simply put, there’s little current data to show that voice search is having an impact on the types of searches that matter most to businesses. It’s an interesting trend to follow, but for now your business is best served by simply updating your digital marketing strategy with proven methods that deliver results.

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