Hey Google, What is Voice Search?

Get ready for voice search.

Smart speakers are changing the way people search for information. People are now searching for information with full sentences which creates opportunities and a challenge for marketers.

As a result, any SEO or paid search keyword research project will uncover entire questions people ask. Questions can be mined to expand the keywords you bid on and discover new content areas for your website.

This voice search trend started a few years ago when Google first launched the little microphone function. The rapid adoption of in-home assistants like Amazon’s Echo and Google Home are accelerating that voice search trend. The same behavior we observed from mobile search adoption can be seen with smart speakers. In 2017 there were about 30 million smart speakers sold in the US and in 2018 at least 50 million more are estimated to be in homes.

Mobile search is responsible for more than half of Google searches and at least 20% of those searches were voice activated. Given the option to speak made it easier to increase the number of words we search with. Google has collected this query data for years and got smarter about answering questions rather than simply providing results to sift through. The challenge for marketers is becoming the source search engines use to provide the single best answer.

Helping provide your customers with answers to the “how”, “what” and “where” questions they are asking about your product or service is a great opportunity for website traffic growth. Creating a list of questions you can build a paid search campaign around, or for adding Q&A content to your landing page, is worth your time.

With the number of in-home speakers given as gifts over the holidays and consumers already shifting their buying behaviors, the number of voice searches will no doubt start to skyrocket. You’ll want to start optimizing towards voice search sooner rather than later.