Voice Search as a Digital Marketing Tool: Integrating It into Your Business
Not long ago, voice commands from a person to a computer were scenes from science fiction movies. Today, over 50% of people use voice search to find information on the internet almost daily. Voice search offers a convenient way to quickly and easily access information in various aspects of life, such as stores, services, weather, current news, and more, especially when users are driving or have their hands full.
Despite voice input, text remains the foundation of communication, as the system converts spoken language into a textual format to search for answers on the internet and provide relevant results. Voice search opens up new opportunities for marketing and promoting a company. In this article, we will delve into voice search, its advantages, and its integration into businesses.
What is voice search and why businesses need this tool
Voice search is an automatic speech recognition technology that translates spoken language into text and searches for answers on the internet. Voice-activated search engines are powered by artificial intelligence and are a prospective channel for promotion as they take into account SEO optimization rules and provide results that the system deems relevant.
Speech-to-text input is facilitated through special software known as voice assistants such as Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, Apple's Siri, Alexa, Bixby, and other systems. To activate the program, you simply need to say a specific phrase followed by your request, for example, "Okay, Google, what's the weather in London?" Voice search works on Android, Apple devices, PCs, and various other systems.
The ability to provide verbal commands to search engines is essential for brands looking to expand their audience. It's also another way to engage in primary marketing communications and promote through voice marketing, which includes podcasts and voice-based social platforms like Clubhouse.
Advantages of voice search
Voice search on the internet is more detailed than text-based search. People tend to use more extended and natural language in their queries, allowing search engines to provide better results. Many people find it easier to speak a few words rather than write them down, resulting in more natural and conversational queries.
Enabling and using voice search is straightforward, leading to a growing number of users activating this feature. It is predicted that the voice assistant market will grow to $56 billion by 2030.
Opportunities for SEO optimization, which is an essential part of marketing and promotion channels. Detailed queries encourage an extension and clarification of the semantic core, making words and phrases more accurately respond to user queries. The closer the information matches the user's query, the better the indexing.
User-friendliness. Voice typing can be done without having to hold the device, which is particularly convenient while driving or when your hands are occupied. It's easier to ask by voice rather than stopping and typing text hastily or on the go.
Enhanced accessibility for visually impaired individuals. Users don't need to adjust keyboard settings to a larger font size as voice assistants provide spoken responses to user queries. This helps integrate individuals with disabilities into the digital world.
Continuous technological advancement. Voice search is here to stay and continually evolves. It has already become an integral part of everyday life through smart speakers, which control lighting, play music, answer user questions, and provide entertainment. Developers continue to improve speech recognition algorithms, such as Google's Hummingbird, which aims to understand non-standard queries, unclear speech, and complex formulations. As voice search capabilities expand, businesses need to adapt to this trend.
Which businesses need voice search
Voice typing is particularly important for businesses where users need information promptly:
Brick-and-mortar stores and services. When people urgently need to buy something (pet food, medicine, car parts, etc.) or access services (manicures, dental appointments, dry cleaning), a voice assistant can expedite the search process. Users can quickly obtain information about addresses and contact details, sometimes without the need to visit a website, as they want the product or service promptly.
Cafés and restaurants. This is especially relevant in tourist areas where proximity plays a crucial role. Users typically prefer establishments nearby when they want to eat quickly.
Delivery services. Speed is of the essence when it comes to delivery. People want their items promptly, so they search for nearby companies that can quickly deliver restaurant meals, groceries, packages, and more.
Taxi services. Ordering a taxi usually only requires a contact number rather than a detailed website exploration. Being at the top of search results after a user employs voice input is advantageous for these services.
E-commerce. Voice assistants can add items to the cart, place orders, and even recommend additional products based on the user's purchase history (as seen with Amazon's Alexa). Personalization and speed appeal to users who save time while shopping online.
Information portals. Voice typing is convenient for quick data searches, news, and answers to questions. Web resources, including news outlets and content-oriented blogs, benefit when they optimize their content for voice search.
How to integrate voice search into your company's marketing
Use long keywords and complete phrases
In voice search, people often speak in extended phrases, such as questions they would ask in a conversation. For example, "Where can I buy cat food in London?" instead of the more typical "buy cat food London" used in regular text searches. Therefore, it's essential to include complete phrases in your content, even if they are low-frequency. Don't forget to incorporate conversational words that frequently appear in queries.
Add a FAQ section
A section with specific concise answers will simplify the search and increase the chances of ranking higher in search results. Additionally, there's an opportunity to appear in Google's answer box, where a short text from your website and a link to it will be displayed.
FAQ section increases the chance of getting to the top of search results
Adapt content for mobile devices
According to Exploding Topics, 92% of people access the internet from mobile devices. It's logical to assume that users also prefer to use voice assistants from their smartphones. Therefore, the website should open conveniently and maintain the same functionality as the desktop version.
Add your company's addresses to all possible platforms
Create business listings on Google, and all relevant directories. This is crucial for local search, enabling users to find services near their location. Make sure to include contact information and a link to your website in these listings.
For example, if someone experiences a flat tire late at night and uses voice search to find "24-hour tire repair near N district," having your business listed with the specified address and operating hours could lead the search engine to recommend your service. This approach can significantly improve your company's visibility in local search results for queries containing the term "nearby."
Improve website usability and content structure
Standard SEO optimization criteria also work to enhance the effectiveness of voice search. If the website is user-friendly, loads quickly, and functions correctly, it is more likely to rank higher in search results.
Voice search is an alternative to traditional text input, where technology converts spoken language into textual queries, providing quick access to information and enabling more comprehensive questions. Voice search is applicable on both PCs and mobile devices, and its ease of setup and use makes it a promising tool. Businesses should consider leveraging voice search for promoting their products and services as it offers a cost-effective way of generating leads, especially for cafes, restaurants, taxi services, and delivery companies.
To ensure users can find their business through voice assistants, companies should optimize website content with long-tail phrases reflecting common user queries, provide sections with straightforward answers to common questions, and ensure mobile compatibility. Creating business listings with company addresses on mapping services is also crucial.
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