The boom in voice search is impacting content marketing on a number of levels and for a variety of reasons. Content marketers are now more focused than ever on getting results from the burgeoning popularity of voice search.
What Voice Search Is and How It Differs From Other Platforms
Just what is voice search? If you’ve ever asked a voice assistant device like Alexa or Siri a question or given them a command, then you’ve used voice search. With voice search, consumers use voice commands to get the info or help they need from a computer or a mobile device instead of typing the requests on a keyboard, as consumers do with text search. Voice search is a hands-free option that lends itself to activities and projects like driving, cooking, and making and fixing things.
Voice search content marketing is on the upswing because voice search differs from other search platforms — namely text search — in a number of important ways.
- Voice search is more locally oriented than text search. Consumers tend to ask voice search questions like, “Where are coffee shops near me?” or more specifically, “Where are coffee shops near 72nd Street and Central Park West in New York City that serve hot chocolate?”
- Because people speak more quickly than they type, voice searches tend to use longer phrases than text searches.
- People typically use voice search when they just want one answer instead of a list of responses. When virtual assistant devices recommend a brand for a top product, consumers are more likely to buy it than the one they had in mind.
- Voice search is used most often with mobile devices. According to Google, voice search makes up 20 percent of mobile queries.
- Voice search reveals more about a consumer’s intent than text search. Because voice searches tend to include more details, content marketers get a very clear idea of what consumers are looking for.
- Voice search can make both purchases and repeat purchases easier and quicker. When customer-purchasing data is stored, it’s easy for customers to re-order.
- Voice search is having an enormous impact on content marketing, and for good reason. According to media analytics company ComScore, voice searches will comprise 50 percent of online searches by 2020.
Benefits of Voice Search for Content Marketing
Some of the key advantages that voice search has over text search for content marketing include the following:
One of the primary benefits of using voice search in content marketing is convenience. If a customer is in motion, like when they’re driving or walking, or their hands are occupied, voice search is the safe, practical option that’s most convenient. When it comes to driving, it can also be the legal option depending on the state or country the consumer is in.
Voice Search Saves Consumers Time
Another benefit of voice search is that it’s faster, and that’s because most people speak more quickly than they type. Consumers who use voice search are more often at the stage where they’re ready to make a purchase too. Most consumers prefer to do their initial research on a product via desktop computer because it takes more time and effort.
Voice Search Can Make It Easier for Consumers to Leave Feedback
Consumers can leave feedback, such as product reviews, more quickly and easily with voice search, which can help content marketers discover their information needs more readily.
Voice search can help to personalize content marketing down to the nitty-gritty details of consumers’ wants and needs. For example, Tide has a stain remover Alexa app that sends consumers step-by-step instructions on eliminating more than 200 types of stains. And with the Ask Purina Alexa skill, Purina answers dog owners’ questions about their pets. Both apps use voice search and content marketing to create brand awareness and position the brands as trusted authorities while creating valuable content for consumers.
How Voice Search Has Impacted Content Marketing
The conversational nature of voice search has changed a variety of elements of content marketing, including SEO, video and FAQ pages. Here are some of the key ways that voice search has transformed content marketing.
Voice search has changed SEO for content marketers to include longer phrases, based on how people actually speak, instead of the keywords associated with text search. Voice search phrases also go into greater detail than what a consumer would type.
Say a consumer is looking for a gelato café in the Mission District of San Francisco that has vegan items on the menu. Using voice search, they can ask, “Which gelato cafes located in the Mission District in San Francisco have vegan items on the menu?”
When it comes to content marketing, SEO and voice search, content needs to be more detailed yet still clearly and succinctly written for the straightforward way that mobile devices speak. Content needs to be more specific rather than general so it can be found via SEO, and that means using detailed statements like “XYZ Gelateria is a gelato café located in the Mission District of San Francisco that has vegan items on the menu.”
Voice search is relying more and more on content that is designed to answer questions, so smart content marketers optimize for it to get more traffic. Because of the surge in voice search, content marketers are aiming to optimize content by scoring spots as Google’s coveted featured snippets.
These snippets feature popular search queries and answers and occupy the prime positions on search results pages that users immediately see at the top of the page. Featured snippets help brands stand out from the competition and boost click-through, sales and traffic. Researching Google’s featured snippets that are relevant to your product or service can give your brand insight into the best keywords for voice SEO.
Voice search has changed the way that video is using content marketing, making it more important than ever. Video is more apt to use conversational dialogue, and that gives it a big advantage over forms of content that don’t when it comes to voice search. Video also has the advantage of being one of the best ways to depict a question-and-answer conversation, which is a crucial component of voice search. As a result of the growth in voice search, content creators are increasingly imbedding search phrases in video scripts.
Because of the popularity of voice search, FAQ content can now help bring you an even bigger audience. Frequently asked questions are often tailor-made for voice search and SEO, so include them wherever you can in your brand content marketing. In addition to a FAQ page on your site, you can also turn those questions into blog posts and include even more detail.
You can also repurpose your brand’s FAQ content for different platforms, such as Q&A videos. Content marketers are also scoring big by turning longer Q&A videos into shorter pieces, with each one focusing on a different question-and-answer or topic.