Voice Search and its Impact on Digital Marketing

Try to think back to the last time you went a day without using voice command. That includes any type of voice command in your car, on your phone, speaking to Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Bixby, even sending a voice message over Whatsapp.

Unless you’ve just got back from a remote hiking or camping trip, I’d bet it’s pretty difficult! Personally, I can’t exactly remember but I would say probably back at university when I broke my iPhone and was too poor for Alexa. What a gruelling 3 days before I got it fixed!

“The thought of speaking into a smartphone or mobile device to find information from a virtual assistant is something most people, years ago, never would have imagined. Fast forward to the present day, and not only are half of all searches being performed on mobile devices but searching by voice queries has increased by more than 30%.”
Three Design

My point being that voice command and voice search have slowly made their way into everyday life as consumers have become more and more impatient. We started as patient humans who flipped pages to learn, to typing a few words into the search bar hoping the internet can spit something back, and next thing you know we are fuming at Alexa for not understanding the difference between ‘morning music’ and ‘mourning music’! Information used to be waiting at the tips of our fingertips, now it's at the tips of our tongues!

 “By 2020, half of all searches will be voice searches.”

What does this mean for the

digital marketing world?

Voice search and its capacity for recognising human speech have improved significantly, being used around the world for search queries and in homes. However, voice search differs from web search in one very important way to marketers: you normally only get one answer or a few if you're lucky. Unlike a web SERP page where you will get pages and pages of results that are related to the search query. And what does this mean to digital marketers? Basically, more work.

Search Enigine Optimisation

If voice search is only going to pull up a few results, your SEO work needs to be spot on and tailored directly to voice search. Ultimately, this will take some work but if your website is the one that pulls up for a voice search, the CTR can potentially be much higher than normal.

Things to consider

Changing Search Query

How people search on the web compared to how they use voice search is where we really see SEO being affected. People used to search ‘Coffee in Islington’ on their phones but now will simply ask ‘Where is good coffee near me?’.

Auto-corrected Search Queries

Voice search technology is smart enough to turn incomplete sentences into full questions. So, a simple question like ‘Closest coffee’ would probably be turned into ‘Where is the closest coffee place near me?’.

Search and AI

Algorithms are continuously being updated and worked on to facilitate voice search by focusing on a more natural language, complex/longer search queries, and question-phrased terms.

How to Rank in Voice Search

  1. Natural language over basic keywords. Include questions and phrases that you expect your audience to ask or what they want to know. Steer away from basic keywords and start using long-tailed keywords. Think of how you would actually search for your website.
  2. Make it easy for Google. Provide clear and easy to understand content and Google will understand it. The algorithm will pull an excerpt from your page if it clearly answers the search query. So again, think about questions your site needs to answer, and then make sure to clearly state these answers in your content.
  3. Provide relevant content. Hand in hand with point #2, having relevant and useful content is going to naturally answer users search term intent.

‘With an error rate of only 8%, voice search is going to change the way people search.’
Three Design


With consumers wanting quick solutions without any hassle, voice command isn’t going anywhere. It is important that marketers consider the rise of voice searches and how it affects the way services and products are being searched. To ensure content is visible for every type of search query, websites formerly optimised for text-based searches will need to be updated and optimised for voice-based queries.

Wondering if your website is optimised for voice search? Have a chat with one of our expert team members.

Sunday 25th November 2018

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