Ok, Google – How is voice search affecting content marketing?

Voice search now comprises over 20% of all internet inquiries, as markets have become saturated with Voice Search Tools like Amazon’s Echo products (Alexa) and their newest competitor, Google Home. Though industry monster Amazon rarely reports on sales of their devices, it was announced by Jeff Bezos that Echo sales over the past holiday season were in “the tens of millions”, an indicator that voice search trends are only set to grow at a rapid pace.

This new way of using the internet has left marketing executives to wonder what implications will arise from a more convenient way to search. After years of constantly adjusting digital content to optimize written search, its time to regroup and re-strategize to accommodate for the rapid increase in voice search.

Why Voice Search

In order to properly optimize your digital content, it is important to understand a user’s intent when choosing to use voice search in favor of traditional type searching. Determining why someone has decided to engage with a virtual assistant as opposed to a search engine web page can be as important as the actual query itself.

According to Google, there are three main characteristics of voice search queries:

  1. They are more likely to be about an on-the-go topic.
  2. They most likely will not deal with sensitive information.
  3. They generally do not include searches for websites that will require the user to have significant interaction.

As voice search technology becomes increasingly more reliable, factors such as the searcher’s geographic information and browsing history become more important in generating an answer. The biggest impact from voice search, at least initially, will be seen by local brick-and-mortars, E-commerce retailers and media sites. These business models rely on quick, answer searches that will help drive immediate traffic to their sites.

How Voice Search Is Different

Specific language is also important to think about when addressing the differences between voice and type search. With traditional search, marketers are expected to infer intent from a string of words that may not have an obvious correlation with one another. On the other hand, voice search is typically made in full sentences, with verbiage that shows the relationship between key terms. For example, in type search, a user might simply input “italian food charleston” while the same person might say “Where can I find the best Italian food in Charleston, South Carolina?” in their voice search. The use of adjectives, connecting words, prepositions, etc. can make a huge impact on the search results. Identifying the very different patterns of language between the two types of search will prove to be a very tedious task for marketers around the globe.

What Does This Mean Moving Forward

Finally, much like the e-commerce boom, the use of AI will ultimately bring a seismic shift in the way we make purchases. Without users being driven to company websites to view products, the importance of good written content will become equal to that of visual content. Hootsuite recently published a prediction that said 82% of all web traffic will be claimed by video within the next three years. With both the power of both AI and video on the rise, it will be important for companies to identify where their marketing dollars will be most effective. Don’t stress though, finding your customer and connecting with them where it’s most natural is what EVG is all about. We’re here to help guide you into the future of content marketing.

Stay tuned for more in this series on how Voice Search is impacting SEO and localization.

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