Monday, March 12, 2018

Let’s talk about Voice Search

(This is the transcript from our new video so it may not read as well as a normal blog post would)

Did you know that by 2020, 30% of all searches will be made without a screen. This is quite a scary thought for PPC advertisers. But what does it actually mean for us?

Well, luckily, voice search does exist within search engines when users speak directly to Google or Bing, triggering ads in the same way that they would from a traditional search. When this happens, as advertisers, we have to be able to interact with users in a way that is most natural in that moment. And with 65% of smartphone owners using voice search, the trick for us is understanding how to take advantage of this opportunity rather than be scared of it.

So I’ve got some tricks and tips for what we should be doing as marketers to react to this trend. Firstly, consider the search engines you’re using. Bing have put themselves in a very good position by partnering with popular voice search apps such as Siri, Alexa, and, of course, Cortana. So they’re going to be getting a great deal of voice search data to be learning from.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll need to learn how you users are searching. Study your search query reports, and remember these key points when trying to filter out voice searches from the rest of them.

Human type 40 words per minute, but speak 150. So voice search queries will be longer. Research from Google and Microsoft also agrees that voice searches tend to be 4.2 words or longer. So filtering for anything above this is a good place to start. Voice queries will also, more often, be in the form of full thoughts and structured in the way that we speak naturally when we want to find something out, which means question phrases will be a lot more common. Lastly, voice searches are also much more likely to have a high local intent, so look out for these in your search query reports as well.

After you’ve learned more about how your users are searching, consider using dedicated question campaigns to drive traffic from them. Watch out for low search volume, and consider how you can use broad batch modified keywords to avoid missing out on traffic as a result of that.

Now, the best thing about these campaigns is that they’ll be driving traffic from keywords that have strongly defined intent. So you’ll be missing a trick unless you are writing highly customized and engaging ad copy that answers these queries directly, whilst also sending traffic to highly relevant pages. At this stage, it’s also worth considering whether you have any blog content that may be relevant to send users to as a means of entering them higher up the funnel, depending on the intent of their search.

So when I say it like that, you’ll hopefully see that not too much has changed from the goal of traditional search campaigns. We want to continue being the right answer. We want to give the right message at the right time. And we want to give the most relevant experience to the user. All of this can be achieved with the same techniques as we use with traditional searches.

There’s our tips and tricks for understanding voice search. If you’d like to know more, get in touch.

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