The Small Business Guide to Voice Search and Mobile Marketing

December 17, 2014

Google Voice Search

Voice search tools like Siri and Google Now are changing the way people interact with their mobile devices. In the past year alone, voice-based queries have doubled among mobile users. The reasons behind the surging popularity of voice search tools are simple. Most mobile devices now come equipped with features that allow them to submit voice queries, and it’s often simpler to ask your smartphone a question while you’re on the go as opposed to stopping and typing keywords into a search engine. Voice search is both convenient and easy, and the changes have important implications for companies that are interested in broadening their reach with mobile customers. Here’s some information about what voice search means for mobile marketing, and some key takeaways for businesses thinking about their digital strategies.

The basics of voice search

Voice recognition technology has advanced in leaps and bounds in recent years. Gone are the days of inaccurate automated translations and the frustration that comes along with the technology. Google and Apple have both launched voice search platforms that are catching on with mobile users, and it’s easy to understand why. The voice recognition technology in tools like Siri and Google Now is both accurate and easy to use. As a result, mobile users have become more open to the idea of speaking their search queries. Recent data from Google’s Mobile Voice Study indicates that 55% of 13-18 year-old mobile users conduct voice searches multiple times daily, and 41% of adults are using these platforms to find what they need online. The bottom line is that the technology is steadily gaining steam with smartphone users.

How are voice search and mobile marketing related?

There are two key concepts that are important when considering voice search and mobile marketing. The first is that voice search is changing how mobile users find information online. The major difference between voice search and traditional search queries lies in the structure of the query itself. Mobile users who are conducting a voice search are more likely to ask their smartphone a question like, “Where is the closest Starbucks?” Alternatively, someone conducting a search on a laptop would probably input Starbucks and the city or town name to find the information they need. From a search marketing perspective, this implies that things are changing in terms of keyword usage. In the coming years, there will likely be less emphasis placed on individual keywords as an indicator for relevancy. Search algorithms may give preference to sites that are providing related content but not necessarily focusing their strategies on certain keyword groupings. Instead, optimization is migrating toward more natural speech patterns.

It’s also worth noting that people who are conducting voice searches on their smartphones are more likely to take immediate action, whether that means making a purchase or visiting a store nearby. Voice search queries are often related to local restaurants, cafes, stores, etc. If a mobile user is asking Siri or Google Now where they can find a cafe in the area, chances are they are interested in buying a cup of coffee. This has important implications for local businesses interested in making connections with mobile searchers. If you haven’t already claimed your listing on Google Business, potential customers could be bypassing your business in favor of a local competitor that has.

While traditional searches are still the preferred method for mobile users seeking out local businesses, voice search technology has advanced considerably and is slowly becoming more popular. Voice queries have the potential to revolutionize the way search engines process information and share relevant results for mobile users. The changes will affect the way local businesses use mobile marketing to reach new customers. Do you need help navigating the world of voice search and mobile marketing? Contact Be Locally SEO today to learn more about how our team of experienced professionals can help put you on the digital map in 2015.

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