A comprehensive and robust digital marketing strategy encompasses a large variety of channels that drive traffic to your business. Typically, this involves search engine marketing, social media marketing, and tapping other well-known platforms where there’s a large number of users that can be converted to customers. 

However, digital marketing is constantly expanding its horizons. Enter voice search, a relatively new development that is quickly becoming crucial to any digital marketing campaign.

What is a voice search?

Smartphone assistants and smart speakers – such as Apple’s Siri, Google Home, and Amazon’s Alexa – are all-powerful AI companions that are impacting search as we know it. In 2019, it was recorded that 3.25 billion voice assistants were being used in different devices. The trajectory of adopting such devices just keeps on going up.

More than 20 percent of all mobile searches being done today is through voice search. That number is expected to go up to 50 percent in 2020. Such a statistic is dangerous – if not impossible – to ignore, and digital marketers need to seriously consider including voice search in the picture when planning their marketing campaigns.

The rapid rise in popularity of voice search begs the question: how can you capitalize on voice search and use it as leverage for your business? Here are a few things to consider as we move forward in the age of AI-assisted online queries.

  1. Page 1 on SERPs won’t cut it anymore.

For a long time, a digital marketer’s aim was to get a website to the top page of Google and other major search engines. As long as your website is on page 1, it has been believed, you’re on the ideal search engine results page (SERP) regardless of ranking because most users will scroll down as they assess what to click on.

Voice search doesn’t quite operate within the same criteria. Smartphone assistants might not even show users an entire page, instead suggesting one or two search results that the algorithm deemed to be most relevant to the query.

  1. Voice assistants and local search go hand-in-hand.

The flip side to how voice assistants show search results is that they weigh heavily the proximity of where the user is. This will sound familiar to experienced digital marketers, since this is the same concept behind local search, except it uses voice and AI. It helps that data shows voice search users have a strong bias towards local-based searches. 

To take advantage of this, your digital marketing hygiene in terms of being optimized for local becomes more important than ever. The goal isn’t just to show in the top 5, or even top 3 of the SERPs anymore, but to be the first one to show up when a local customer is searching exactly for the product or service that you offer.

  1. Search engine optimization needs to be more organic than ever.

When people talk to Alexa or Siri, they don’t use rigid keywords like “NYC restaurant” for voice search. Instead, there are a lot more natural queries, which in this instance would be “find me a restaurant in NYC” or even simply “find a restaurant near me.” 

When voice search takes over a large part of the search ecosystem, the winning move would be to incorporate more natural language patterns in your content strategies. This could mean site titles and headers are going to be very different from what we’re accustomed to, but with the rise of voice search and users talking to their AI companions as they do with normal people when they search online, digital marketers will need to adapt to stay on top of the competition.

At Reach Local, we keep up with the latest trends and make sure we’re using the best practices. With a focus on local search and as voice search favors local-based queries, we know how to help your business be visible, whether your potential customers are still typing into Google search or asking Alexa for your address. Contact us and we’ll discuss how we can make your online business successful in a voice search world.

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