If as a B2B marketer you think that voice search is only relevant in context to B2C SEO & local SEO, think again. Over the past 5 years, voice searches have evolved & adapted for a variety of purposes & its influence on B2B decision-makers has been significantly growing as well. As searchers are beginning to speak in search engine’s keyword-driven language, the search engines have evolved their algorithms to keep abreast with the evolving research methodologies of the customers.
Consequently, the B2B marketers too, have started to optimize their SEO strategies to be featured in the voice searches of the prospects. By activating the voice assistants by addressing “Alexa” or “Siri” or by simply activating the voice search functionalities on their phones the prospects have made interactions with search engines more conversational. As the impact of voice search on B2B SEO is foreseeable and also evidently profound enough, it’s time for the B2B brands to gear-up to optimize for voice searches.
By the year 2020, 50% of all the online searches will be voice searches (Source: ComScore) & according to Gartner, by the year 2020, 30% of all the searches will be done without a screen. Furthermore, a survey by GeoMarketing.com revealed that 42% of respondents considered voice-activated devices as essential components of their lives.
Google states that 72% of the people who own voice-activated speakers use them every day. Voice recognition function has improved drastically over the past five years & according to Kleiner Perkins (A venture capital Company); the accuracy is now 95%.
According to a report 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 are already being carried by voice searches & the statistics will only improve shortly.
How B2B Brands Can Leverage on the momentum of Voice Search to optimize their Web Discoverability
Voice Search is a considerate factor in customers' journeys. Over the past few years, the SEO experts have been observant about the evolution of voice searches & how they have modified the research methodologies, habits & behaviors of the prospects online. Looking over voice search can be a major blunder for the B2B marketers. However, the good news is that optimizing for voice search doesn’t require doing something completely new; rather involves implementing the best practices of SEO & focusing other modest B2B basics, as follows:
To thrive in a market dominated by voice searchers, the marketers should optimize their SEO strategies to understand & address the voice queries more effectively.
The following are some of the major ways that the marketers can use to sustain in the SEO world with voice searchers:
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 which according to Top Rank Marketing is currently at 50%.
Frequent mobile audits for the website need to be done. The marketers need to focus on the look & feel of the website on mobile devices & optimize the website design for improved users' experiences (UX). The website should load at a lightning-fast speed, which under no circumstances should be more than 2s.
The marketers should also ensure that the pieces of content their website can be easily discovered by the voice searches.
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 in improving 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 being Used in Voice Searches:
The marketers should brainstorm on all the permutations & combinations of keywords that constitute the voice searches about their products & services. Ever since Google updated its core Hummingbird algorithm on 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…”
As the voice searches, being conversational are more likely to be longer than their text counterparts; the marketers should research the long-tail keywords, and target them in the pieces of content being used on the website to improve the users' experience & deliver them 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 plus for strengthening the brand equity, authority & recognition of the company, as 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 the voice searches, “position zero” is the best ranking position for brands to look forward & 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.
Wrapping It Up
According to Search Engine Land, Voice Search SEO is an integral part of an overall SEO strategy & involves an extension or reprioritization of the best practices for strengthening the online SEO. Voice Search isn’t a practice to be left for consolidation in the future – it's up & running & is getting stronger with each passing day.
As the customers are increasingly using voice searches in their search queries, the B2B marketers need to adopt & leverage the advantages of digital assistants to optimize their business revenues.
Speed is the primary reason people prefer voice searches.
As Purna Virgi, senior training manager at Microsoft quoted: “You can type 38-40 words per minute on a mobile device, but you can speak at least 150 words per minute;” with increasing, speed & accuracy voice searches are well modeled to soon overtake the text-based search queries.
Technics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning have made voice searches grow smarter with time & with every user interaction. Voice searches are more conversational in nature & spoken language allows people to give explicit intent signals regarding what they are searching for with an immediacy, convenience & intimacy. With it comes to being conversational with searches, text-only searches can never beat voice searches.
As the Internet of Things (IoT), automated marketing devices for capturing intent data & the technics of artificial intelligence & machine learning-based algorithms are evolving, voice search can expand the realm of B2B intent data & can make intent-based targeting more precise.
With the help of voice searches, the marketers can analyze which stages of the sales funnel the prospects and customers are in their respective buying cycles. Furthermore, the marketers can also understand the magnitude of the urgency of the prospects while seeking for a product or service. Combining better explicit & implicit insights gained from voice searches with the conventional practices of targeting in marketing such as targeting on the basis of demographic data, the firmographic insights, "fit-data", psychographic analyses, technography & the research methodologies & their purchase histories; can help the marketers in unveiling new avenues of intent-based targeting within the realm of B2B marketing.
Voice searches tend to be three to five keywords in length are often longer than their text counterparts. They are often studded with words comprising WH-questions. For scoring high in voice searches, the marketers can start by researching the keywords that they are already ranking for on the first page of the search engine result pages (SERPs). They can analyze the search results to trace out the users' intent & can align their best keywords to answer the probable questions being searched by the online prospects. Oftentimes, aligning the pieces of content with specific WH-question for discoverability & answering the most frequently asked question of the prospects, directly, can be progressive practices for optimizing the voice search discoverability of the brands.
We, at Valasys Media, provide custom-made B2B services to our clients that ensure that they can deliver seamless experiences to their customers through seamless touch-points across omnichannel & thus can optimize their sales revenues. To help our customers achieve their core bottom-line endeavors such as optimized users' experiences, bolstering returns on investment (ROI) & improved sales revenues, we deploy extensive market research along with our dedicated B2B services.
Our services include lead generation, lead nurturing, account-based marketing, list building, content syndication, event promotion, business intelligence services & contact discovery services.
For deciphering the recipes to perennially healthy sales pipelines, feel free to get in touch with our team of experts.
If as a B2B marketer you think that voice search is only relevant in context to B2C SEO & local SEO, think again. Over the past 5 years, voice searches have evolved & adapted for a variety of purposes & its influence on B2B decision-makers has been significantly growing as well.