Voice Search – What Does it Mean for Paid Search?

By: Madison Johansen

Are People Using Voice Search?

With the rise of digital assistants on our smartphones, laptops, and smart home devices, voice search has become the norm for a lot of people these days – and it is only going to continue to grow. In fact, some are predicting that as much as 50% of all searches could be through images or voice in only a matter of a couple years. These new technologies make it even easier for people to ask a simple question and get information from a device, so why wouldn’t you use it?

Data from a recent consumer survey from Stone Temple Consulting shows a breakdown of how people are searching for this information.

Google Voice Search

Their data shows that 44% of people are searching on their mobile browser, which only shows about 5 listings – 2 paid listings, and 3 organic listings. About 18% of people are searching in a search window on their phone which also shows both organic and paid results to choose from. The 16% of people that are searching via voice search do not see the search engine results, and the most relevant result is chosen for them. Guess what could be the most relevant result? …your paid search ad. If you aren’t utilizing paid search, you could be out of luck!

Adapting Your Paid Search Strategy for Voice Search

People have become used to typing specific keywords or phrases to find the necessary information online. Unlike these very specific keywords and phrases that you type into your search engine, voice search is much more conversational. Your keyword strategy should reflect this and mimic how real people speak and ask questions. One way to come up with these keywords is to think about the types of questions you get from customers on the phone or statements you use to describe your offering in person. Instead of just using conversational keywords, be sure to incorporate actual questions as keywords as well.

Because these searches are more conversational and natural, voice searches are often times much longer than the typical text keyword search. Again, thinking about how people actually speak versus how they search on their device via text is going to be different. Incorporating long-tail keywords into your existing strategy as well as conversational questions and/or statements, will help you prepare your campaigns for voice search.

Keywords are obviously not the only thing to think about in adapting your PPC strategy – ensuring your ad copy is relevant to the search is KEY to winning a voice search. Voice searches cover a variety of different intents, so it’s important to tailor your ad to align with the intent of the search. As with any paid search campaign, make good use of ad extensions as well, since they can help provide additional information. Ultimately, just remember that you are trying to answer the user’s question and provide them with the most relevant and useful information.

Google recently announced that they have developed new search quality raters guidelines for Google Assistant and voice search evaluations. Since there is no screen to look at when evaluating results, they are evaluating voice responses from the digital assistant. Google has designed machine learning and algorithms to try to make the voice responses grammatical, fluent, and concise. This is another element to think about when tailoring ad copy to voice search.

Although voice search isn’t the primary mode of search for the majority of people, we are all going to see it continue to grow in popularity, even over the next year. It is better to have a strategy in mind than to wait until it’s too late. If paid search isn’t currently a part of your digital program, please contact us and we will help you develop a custom strategy based on your business goals.

 

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