The advent of artificial intelligence and machine learning have influenced various aspects of the lifestyle of people. More than ever, people are dependent on smartphones to accomplish their day to day activities such as banking, shopping, traveling, and many more. The introduction of voice search has a direct impact on the inclination of people towards technology.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have enabled people to interact with technology particularly search engines using voice. The conversational attribute of voice search allows people to express their intent explicitly, with convenience and immediacy. Indeed, these voice searches are most likely to overtake text searches in foreseeable years.
To quote in words of Purna Virgi, senior training manager at Microsoft, you can type 38-40 words per minute on a mobile device, but you can speak at least 150 words per minute”.
One of the evident differences between text and voice search is tone. While text searches tend to be robotic and terse, voice queries seem to be more personal and conversational. These are various statistics that demonstrate the changing behavior of consumers and inclination towards voice search.
Taking these statistics into account, search engines are drafting algorithms to enhance the accuracy of the search. One such example is that of the Hummingbird algorithm launched by Google in the year 2013.
The impact of voice search marketing is not only limited to consumer-based business. It is influencing the B2B marketers as well.
As per a report published by alpine.ai, more than one billion voice searches are conducted every month & hence it is pretty obvious that a major chunk of the B2B searches is already being carried by voice searches & upsurge is likely to be witnessed in statistics in coming years.
Considering the demand for time, marketers are optimizing their endeavors as per the shift in technology.
Here are a few ways, how B2B marketers are gearing-up for voice search marketing-
1. Optimization of the Website & Content For Mobile Devices (Mobile UX):
Most of the voice searches are conducted on mobile devices.
According to research by Boston Consulting Group, by the year 2020 B2B queries from the smartphones will amount to 70% of all the queries through several device platforms.
B2B marketers are conducting mobile audits for the website at regular intervals. This is empowering them to stay in tune with the evolving technologies. Further, the marketers are focusing on the look and user interface of the website on mobile devices to optimize the website design and enhance user experience (UX). This includes the acceleration of website loading speed. As per experts, the website should load at a lightning-fast speed; and under no circumstances should be more than 2s.
The marketers should also ensure that the pieces of content on their website can be easily discovered by the voice searches.
2. Optimize Content As per Local SEO to Bolster Search Appearance
If the brands have their physical presence in certain geographies, optimizing for local SEO is a must – whether or not the physical location of the brand is one of their top targeted geographies. Optimizing for local SEO not only ensures that the inventory draws a healthy proportion of the total foot traffic through direct customer walk-ins but also helps improves the brand equity of a company.
Most of the time, voice searches have carried the intent of availing local search results. So, optimizing for local SEO has multiple benefits, which the marketers need to focus on.
3. Focus on the Keywords Used in Voice Searches:
The pattern of queries changes in the case of voice search when compared to text-based search. Text-based queries usually contain 2-3 keywords, while voice search queries can have multiple keywords. Therefore, the marketers are brainstorming on all the permutations & combinations of keywords that constitute the voice searches about their products & services.
Ever since Google has updated its core Hummingbird algorithm on the 26th of September 2013, it has been rewarding the marketers for creating relevant pieces of content in terms of better rankings on SERPs.
The pieces of content being created should resonate with some particular questions that might follow the phrase “Hey Alexa…”
The queries are often studded with words comprising WH-questions. Hence, aligning the pieces of content with specific WH-question zooms the chances of discoverability. Further, answering most frequently asked questions of the prospects, is one of the progressive practices for optimizing the voice search discoverability of the brands.
As the voice searches are conversational, the marketers are opting for long-tail keywords and integrating them in the pieces of content being used on the website to improve the users’ experience & delivering the solution that they are looking for. Researching relevant long-tail keywords & targeting them in the pieces of content on the website can help satiate the natural language queries.
4. Don’t forget the featured snippets:
Whenever a featured snippet retorts up for voice search, devices read the snippet & source loudly. This is a huge advantage for strengthening the brand equity, authority & recognition of the company. For companies scoring featured snippets, Google distinctly announces that the company is exceptionally talented in providing the solutions for the queries being searched for.
When it comes to voice searches, “position zero” is the best-ranking position for brands to look forward to & score.
5. Ensure that the Schema mark-up is Apt:
The marketers need to ensure that structured data is integrated with the backend of their websites. Structured data is one of the many signals used to power the search results & the direct answers to the questions being searched by online customers.
Leveraging on the structured data, the schema mark-up assists the search engines to understand & crawl data more efficiently & assimilate the available knowledge graphs.
As long as there is smartphone integrates with AI, voice search is likely to flourish. Advancement in voice search is likely to present various advantages over traditional search methods. For example, voice search is quick and provides ease of use. It can be used while performing other tasks simultaneously. Besides, it is more fun to ask a question rather than to concentrate and type it. And either case the end result is same.
Considering all the pros offered by voice search, marketers should modify the search strategies. Besides, the change is likely to present a bouquet of opportunities to B2B marketers to get in front of customers and enhance their brand visibility and value simultaneously.