The shift to voice-first search is hard to ignore. Back in 2015, only 11 percent of internet users conducted voice searches. Now, that percentage has jumped to more than 40 percent and is likely to approach 100 percent in the near future. By January 2018, users had carried out more than 1 billion voice searches, and the number is likely to continue climbing. Projections were that it would get a boost in the multitudes by this year; clearly, that’s what’s been going on.
People can use their smartphones to ask a virtual assistant to perform an internet search for them. For example, a user can say, “Siri, where is the nearest bowling alley?” and their device will return online results from Google Maps or other sources. This shift from typing the search terms into the computer and then having it perform a search could potentially change the way that search engines return results.
Google Voice Search is a product by the search engine giant that allows users to do an online search by speaking into a mobile phone or other device.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the Voice Search
Since the way people look out for information is conversational and natural, search engines are forced to get more sophisticated when it comes to language interpretation. That way, they can better understand the way/s people communicate.
“Semantic context” goes a long way in helping search engines understand every single word in the spoken search. It also helps link it seamlessly to the next one.
Search Engine Land says that question phrases (“How?” “What?” “Where?” “When?” “Who?”) grew over half (60 percent) from year to year.
Voice search SEO affords local businesses influence over your strategy for SEO overall. People search for events and businesses in the immediate area. Over half of all mobile phone users, Meditative Spotlight reports, search for local businesses on their phones daily.
Voice Search and B2B Marketing
According to Search Engine Land:
- Amazon’s Echo was the best-selling product of the whole company during the holiday season in 2016.
- Google Home and the Echo device of Amazon are likely to exceed dozens of millions by year-end.
- Personal assistants are a default smartphone feature.
If you think voice search applies only to businesses-to-consumer (B2C) companies, you are at risk of being left behind. As brands switch to making more mobile-friendly content, they also need to consider optimizing their content for voice search. The rapid growth of mobile devices coupled with the increasing use of voice search means that brands need to adapt to this new way of searching faster rather than later.
Needless to say, marketers need to zero in on creating content that makes them easily discoverable by voice. In addition, marketers should include long-tail keywords and local data in their content and websites. Other steps B2B marketing teams can take include:
- Focusing on mobile
- Targeting “featured snippets”
- Using long-tail keywords that are conversational
Voice search has the potential to change the way we search and shop online. Additionally, it can empower consumers to use these tools on a daily basis to find what they need. B2B gets a boost given the way people search for things conversationally in the first place.
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