The rise of voice search and what it means for your business

When mobiles were introduced, we were amazed to have the world at our fingertips. We could pick up our phones and communicate with people instantly, search online for the answer to any questions, or add last-minute things to our grocery list.

Now, thanks to voice search, we don’t even have to lift a finger.

Hey Siri, can you tell us about voice search?

Voice search is technology that allows users to conduct a search or request an action by voice command.

Skipping a song while you’re driving is as simple as saying ‘Hey Siri, next song please.’ You don’t even have to hold down the Home button anymore, literally just say ‘Hey Siri’ and she’s ready to respond.

Siri’s just one example familiar to iPhone users, but other voice command technology includes Cortana on Windows, Samsung’s Bixby, Google Home, and Amazon’s Alexa.

There’s a lot more voice search can help with – ordering takeaway, online shopping, or even finding out how hot it is outside (because dressing for Australia’s weather is so hard to get right these days.)

A voice on the rise

A recent survey of more than 1800 smartphone users across the world revealed that 62% of participants engaged with voice-activated technology in the past six months, with 57% of Australians using voice search.

Of those who have used the technology, 95% intend to keep using it in the next year.

With lots of celebrities endorsing the technology, it’s no surprise it’s becoming more popular. The six-minute Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson ad for Siri was one thing, and then Amazon came out with an ad for Alexa, featuring the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Cardi B, Rebel Wilson among other popular celebrities.

Alexa loses her voice

Dwayne Johnson x Siri

How can voice search be utilised for marketing?

When it comes to the queries and questions we ask our voice search companions, results are powered by search engines.

Search language

Voice search will give you a single answer or option in response to your query. There’s no more scrolling through the webpage results to find the most relevant one; you get what the technology churns out.

To beat this, create more conversational content, because the way we ask questions while speaking is conversational, while we usually focus on keywords for a typed query. For example, we might ask Siri ‘What’s the weather like in Sydney today?’ but if we were to type, we’d probably just search ‘Sydney weather’.

So with voice search, rather than focusing on keywords, it’s best to focus on long-tail keyword phrases.

Create specific content for the common keywords or phrases your audience would search for – a keyword search tool like CognitiveSEO can help you find keyword phrases that are high-volume and likely to land your content in the top results.

Adding an FAQ section to your website could also increase chances of landing in the top results, as it’s likely the user could search the exact question (or one very similar).

Local SEO

Did you know voice-searches are also likely to be 3 times more likely to be based on something local? Maybe it’s about a restaurant, or a service station. To give your business the upper hand in local search, make sure your business has a Google My Business page. Secondly, reviews can help get your business noticed. Third-party apps and local directories with reviews can also help – the more reviews your business gets and the better the reviews are will likely boost it to the top of the search engine results.

While voice search is still something to get used to, it represents new opportunity and growing importance for marketers to adapt to future technologies. 



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