Do you know more than 25% of all online users use voice search on mobile devices? And by the end of 2023, more than 8 billion people will be using digital voice assistants, primarily due to smart home technology. This business is growing, and there are many ways to engage customers and advertise. Devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo range are starting to take over living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms in Western nations. Moreover, a variety of smartphones and automobiles now come equipped with personal assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
It is a trend that arises from the close interaction between humans and technology, rising mobile usage, advanced machine learning algorithms, and these factors. It appears that its rise will never stop. So what exactly does this mean for brands? Does voice search need a different approach? If so, what exactly does it involve? This post will explore what is generally understood about voice search and provide you with some advice on how to include voice into your marketing plan.
Voice Search: A Natural Extension of Semantic Search
Voice search can be considered a natural extension of semantic search because it builds upon the core principles of semantic search to provide more natural and conversational search experiences.
Semantic search is a search technique that uses natural language processing (NLP) to understand the meaning of the search query and the context in which it is used. It goes beyond traditional keyword-based search to interpret the intent of the user and provide more accurate and relevant search results. Semantic search takes into account synonyms, related concepts, and the relationships between different pieces of information to provide a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the search query. Voice search takes this a step further by allowing users to interact with search engines using natural language spoken commands. It leverages technologies like speech recognition, NLP, and machine learning to understand the user’s intent and provide relevant search results. With voice search, users can ask questions in a more conversational way, without needing to type out specific keywords or phrases. In other words, voice search is a natural extension of semantic search because it builds upon the core principles of understanding natural language and intent to provide more intuitive and conversational search experiences. As voice search becomes more widespread, we can expect to see even more approaches to natural language processing and machine learning to further improve the accuracy and relevance of search results.
As marketers, understanding those behaviours is essential if we want to cut through the noise and connect. Brands create content that leads a consumer from question to answer. A search engine is an interlocutor that makes the connection. Google’s Hummingbird algorithm ushered in the age of semantic search, making use of the Google Knowledge Graph to understand the relationship between entities and deliver something approaching conversational search. Ask Google “Who is MS Dhoni?”, and it will respond “Cricketer”. The answer to the following question, “Who is his wife?” is “Sakshi Dhoni.” According to Google, “his” is a reference to Ms Dhoni. This is a small but important change that has an impact on how we should produce and market information via search. Instead of one-off discussions, we may now have conversations using search engine optimization (SEO). People’s expectations are rising as a result of semantic search, which is altering how they find information. The capabilities of the search engine should evolve together with us as digital marketers.
In short, this evolution is a necessary and natural part of the rise of Google voice search.
According to Google, users are increasingly employing words like “my,” and “I” in their search queries.
This is really insightful in terms of what the current consumer expects from online content. Nobody will ask these questions unless they intend to get a response that is unique to them and personalised. These are generally speech searches rather than text searches. This highlights the differences between voice search and regular search once more. Consumers are using digital assistants as personal helpers to do activities more quickly and simply than in the past. We assume the assistant “knows” who we are. Another issue that is commonly raised is the possibility of using voice search for commercial purposes. Also, there is a noticeable difference between voice search on a mobile device and with a smart home device. This may be expected given that we frequently carry around mobile devices with screens but rarely use them at home, but it has significant brand repercussions. Whereas a home gadget must provide a single, authoritative response, mobile phone screens offer a blank canvas on which to present options and information.
Walmart purchased conversational AI startup Botmock and teamed with Google to allow users to add goods to their virtual shopping carts through Google Assistant. Target and Carrefour also reached similar agreements with Google, and Ocado has collaborated with Amazon to develop a comparable Alexa experience. From this, we may start to understand the technological and human factors that have led to the rapid growth of voice search.
Voice Search Best Practices
- Prioritise speed and mobile compatibility: According to Backlinko’s analysis of 10,000 voice search results, voice search results have a far faster time to the first byte than the typical web page. Any mobile or voice search strategy should start here since Google’s “speed update” is now available to all users.
- Utilise structured data on all landing pages: The fact that digital assistants must filter through billions of pages to find the pieces that will respond to a user’s query is a significant problem.
- Try out different data formats: When looking for specific subjects and news about a specific business or event, Google supports the speakable structured data element.
Content marketing is one area where voice search can have a significant impact. It can assist you in:
- Develop conversational content – Since voice search naturally draws itself to the conversation, a content strategy should take this into consideration. Find the most frequently asked issues or trouble spots in your sector and, quite simply, provide the best solutions.
- Write with purpose, not with keywords- Compared to their written counterparts, voice search inquiries are typically significantly more diverse. So, attempting to target specific searches within the content is a difficult and pointless strategy. The goal of search engines is to fulfil user intent. Focus on comprehending and addressing these states to assist people in finishing their tasks quickly and effectively. This would bring in more money than designing landing pages to cater to certain requests.
- Create a consistent brand voice- In the future of voice search, brands will talk directly to their customers. This could take the form of search engines reading out text from the website or audio snippets that are included in the article. In either case, brands should consider their company’s voice rather than merely how it appears.
In addition, google voice search assessment in Google typically involves evaluating the quality and accuracy of the speech recognition and natural language processing (NLP) technology used in Google Assistant, Google Home, and other voice-activated devices or services. Here are some key areas that may be assessed:
- Speech recognition accuracy: This refers to how well the voice recognition technology can accurately transcribe what the user is saying. A high level of accuracy is crucial for users to have a positive experience with voice search.
- Natural language processing (NLP): NLP is the ability of the voice search technology to understand the meaning behind the user’s words and interpret the user’s intent. An effective NLP system can help ensure that users get relevant and useful results to their queries.
- Query understanding: This refers to the ability of the voice search technology to understand the user’s query, even when it is expressed in natural language and may not follow a specific format or structure.
- Response relevance: This refers to how well the voice search technology is able to provide accurate and relevant responses to the user’s queries.
- Voice user interface (VUI) design: VUI design is the process of creating a user-friendly and intuitive interface for voice search. An effective VUI design can help users easily navigate the voice search system and get the results they need.
- Personalization: Personalization involves tailoring the voice search experience to the user’s preferences and past behaviour, such as by providing personalised recommendations or recognizing the user’s voice to give a more personalised experience.
- Be sure that all names, addresses, and phone numbers are correct. One very obvious voice search option for companies is shown by the cooperation between Amazon and Yext , but it depends on brands providing reliable and consistent location data.
- To handle local listings and track your performance in local searches, think about employing a specialised platform. A rising number of mobile SEO tools and ranking tools for SEO are available to assist with these duties.
- Ensure it is simple for customers to carry out their intentions. This entails including explicit calls to action and pointers to additional information. Make the most of the limited time you do have because voice search demands a short attention span.
- Information for voice search questions surfaced using chatbots, applications, and social media. As a result, you ought to maximise your presence there in a consistent brand voice.
- Future products and services can be planned using voice questions. Any voice searches can be tracked and saved inside of an app. Planning new services can benefit greatly from this, as any unanswered questions will present concepts with known demand.
- The inability to separate inquiries using Search Query Reports or Search Console to discover which were entered versus spoken, presents a serious issue for voice search. It will come, but for now, marketers should seek to add the most value possible.
Voice Search is the new future. A few years back we did not have any idea that AI and voice search could become such a huge part of our lives. However, this has opened up the doors of new opportunities by which we can approach our potential customers in a better way.