In 2020, voice search will account for half of all searches.
With such a rapid increase in use, analysts predict that voice search will have a massive effect on digital marketing — before 2020 even hits. That’s why businesses need to research now, and not later, how voice search will impact their digital marketing in 2019. The time is now to start considering things like rankings and natural language processing (NLP) for your voice search campaign.
Discover the biggest changes that voice search will introduce to digital marketing now!
1. Voice search will direct more focus to featured snippets
Whether you’re a Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana, or Alexa user, you’re familiar with how your voice assistant delivers answers to your questions. They read the featured snippet for your search, which may range from, “when is the next leap year,” to, “when are the next summer olympics?”
Hint: They’re both in 2020 when 50 percent of searches will rely on featured snippets.
While digital marketing already focuses on earning featured snippets, the increased use of voice search and its dependence on featured snippets will only grow the value — and competition — of featured snippets.
Businesses don’t win featured snippets overnight, however.
That’s why companies looking to stay ahead of digital marketing are already starting a voice search strategy. They — or their Internet marketing agency — are building a plan for creating and optimizing content for voice search so when 2020 arrives, they’re ready to reach their target audience.
2. Voice search will increase the value of Position Zero
If you’re familiar with featured snippets, you know that they occupy Position Zero in search results. Like featured snippets, digital marketing strategies already aim to earn the Position Zero spot. When you rank in Position Zero, you maximize your online visibility to users.
Even better, you swipe valuable traffic from the first search result, reducing the click-through-rate (CTR) of the first result by eight percent. It’s a win-win for your business, as you’re taking away online visibility and traffic from your competition.
Due to the role of Position Zero in voice search, analysts predict that the value — as well as potential return — of Position Zero will only increase. With its increased worth, competition will only surge for Position Zero.
If your business oversees its Internet marketing strategies in-house, prepare your team to dedicate more time to earning and optimizing content for Position Zero. Or, start researching the potential value of partnering with a digital marketing agency that specializes in voice search optimization.
3. Voice search will prioritize the semantics of searches
Voice search introduces a whole new way to search — and requires marketers to learn it. With the predicted increase and dominance of voice search, marketers are now emphasizing the importance of semantics.
How do people search with voice?
When people search with voice, they adopt a conversational tone. That’s why some marketers use the term conversational search to describe voice search. So, instead of searching, “dehumidifier uses,” as you would on your desktop or laptop, you say, “Do I need a dehumidifier for my house?”
Note: Mobile searches that include, “do I need,” have grown by more than 60 percent in recent years.
Voice searches are conversational requests, which is why marketers need to reassess how they create and optimize content for queries, as well as how they research keywords. Otherwise, your business’ website won’t rank in voice search results — or earn those high-value featured snippets.
4. Voice search will maximize the value of artificial intelligence
Many marketers, as well as digital marketing companies, plan to apply the power of artificial intelligence (AI) when it comes to adapting to voice search. With AI, plus machine learning, businesses can compile and analyze a tremendous amount of data for actionable insight.
Already, there are more than one billion voice searches a month, which offers a massive amount of data.
The challenge for these businesses, however, is that they don’t have an AI-powered software yet — MarketingCloudFX is an example of software powered by IBM Watson, one of the most well-known and powerful AIs.
For many digital marketing companies, it will require years of development to create an AI-powered software. Meanwhile, businesses that oversee their digital marketing in-house will have an extreme disadvantage when it comes to voice search, prompting many to outsource the service.
5. Voice search will grow the mobile-friendly movement
More than 50 percent of the Internet’s traffic comes from mobile devices, which is why digital marketing agencies — and Google — have emphasized the importance of adopting a mobile-first approach to Internet marketing.
While voice searches happen on voice-enabled speakers, voice searches occur most often on mobile devices and tablets. That’s why businesses need to create a mobile-friendly website, as well as web design for consumers that use voice search.
Without a mobile-friendly design, companies face extreme repercussions from users.
For example, almost 40 percent of consumers are less likely to buy from a company without a mobile-friendly website. In comparison, nearly 70 percent of shoppers are more likely to purchase from a business with a mobile-friendly website.
6. Voice search will build the value of local SEO
Another way voice search will impact digital marketing in 2019? It’ll increase the importance and value of local search engine optimization (SEO), which is essential for brick-and-mortar stores that want to improve not only foot traffic but also sales.
Why does voice search matter to local SEO, though?
More than 55 percent of consumers use voice search to find local businesses. In addition, more than 75 percent of voice-enabled speaker users conduct a local voice search on a weekly basis, whether to find a new restaurant, check the latest movie times, or find a service provider.
People are relying more on their voice assistants and smart speakers to explore their local area.
That’s why local businesses need to prioritize local SEO. It offers your store immense value and tremendous opportunity — now and in the future. With the combined benefits of local search and voice search, you can increase your store’s revenue or reach your goal of opening a new location.
7. Voice search will make micro-moments a priority
In recent years, Google’s encouraged marketers to think about micro-moments. What are micro-moments? They’re instances when a consumer wants to know something, go somewhere, do something, or buy something.
With the increased use of voice search, companies will have to think more about micro-moments — and how they influence conversational searches. For example, what words or phrases often indicate an “I-want-to-know” moment or an “I-want-to-do” moment?
For some agencies, micro-moments will define all their digital marketing strategies for clients. The potential impact of micro-moments could influence a new wave of techniques that create a smarter and better way to market to consumers.
8. Voice search will become a digital marketing must
With more than one billion voice searches happening each month, businesses and agencies can’t overlook voice search. It’s a tool that more consumers are using in their day-to-day to find new products and services.
If companies ignore voice search, they ignore a new source of revenue.
That’s why voice search will become a new standard service for digital marketing. Whether you’re a local business, ecommerce store, or company that operates offline, voice search offers immense value and the chance to reach your target audience.
Plus, users want businesses to focus on voice search. In a recent survey, more than 50 percent of voice-enabled speaker owners said they’d like to receive updates about deals, promotions, and sales from brands.
Here, voice users are asking your company to give them a reason to buy your product or service. For a business that wants to increase their revenue and sales, voice search offers a smart way to do it — it’s only a matter of bringing voice search optimization into your digital marketing strategy.
Ok, Google, how do I get a head start on voice search?
If you’re looking to prepare for voice search, but don’t know where to start, browse our voice search optimization services. We can help you build a data- and result-driven strategy that increases your revenue — contact us today to get started!