Constantly evolving and sometimes hard to stay ahead of, SEO is a moving target, but it’s too crucial for B2B businesses not keep up.
One of the biggest, if not the numero uno, talked about new search strategy right now is voice search. That is, relying on commanding your phone (Apple watch, speaker, or intelligent eyewear) to assist you with anything from directions to website search queries. A newfound reliance on voice commands as the way consumers search for products or services has the power to seriously disrupt visibility, web traffic, and, as a result, revenue for any business making its mark in the glorious labyrinth of the digital marketplace.
Now...let’s be honest. We’re all a little guilty of getting hyped up about the latest in tech trends, especially when it comes to developments that have the power to seriously affect business. Sometimes it’s just lots of noise, but sometimes these swift changes in tide are the real deal.
How do we know what’s what?
After mining mountains of research on the subject, we bring to you core takeaways about the future of voice search seo for B2B companies by going straight to the source with some (anything-but-alternative) facts.
Voice Search Trends in 2018
Voice search usage initially began around 2006 and has spiked in the past few years. Why now? Well, there’s the technology itself — with ever increasing accuracy (like the development of new Microsoft tech that has error rate only about 5 percent) comes ever increasing demand.
It’s also becoming more of an everyday occurance to overhear people talking to their phones or headsets and this normalization is a key factor in rising usage. Millennials are most likely to use voice search with around 36 percent usage, compared to just 10 percent of baby boomers who use voice search engines (per emarketer).
How prevalent is voice search out in the wild (aka your city) at this moment in time? As of January 2018, there were one billion voice searches per month, and, according to Edison Research, one in six Americans owns a voice activated smart-speaker.
How prevalent will voice search be in the future? Analytics company ComScore estimates that over 50 percent of searches will be voice based by the year 2020.
These stats are eye opening and to some — even a millennial like me — pretty shocking (doesn’t everyone still go to Google to search for gmail like I do?). Perhaps, however, the info most worthy of our collective attention is that the voice shopping market is expected to grow from $2 billion today to $40 billion by 2022 (sourced by the data gurus at Alpine.AI). And can we talk about the one billion voice searches that are made every month already? This is a huge opportunity or a huge portion of the market to ignore, depending on your opinion of half full water glasses.
Okay, okay, you get it. Voice search is super important. Now, what does it mean for the B2B SEO strategy for a company like yours?
6 Essential Strategies for B2B Voice Search SEO
Voice search SEO factors into your B2B strategy in a big way and can directly influence your sales, customer service, and even marketing efforts. Can your customers take action based on answers delivered by voice? For example, can they get directions to your business, re-order a product, or get a status update?
For marketing, when people use voice search to look up top of funnel keywords, take note. “Hey, Siri, show me information security resources.” You can remarket to these users, getting your product or service in front of them, to push leads further down funnel.
Here are some essential tips for (literally) making your site speak to the masses:
- Google does not play around, and it definitely doesn’t have time to decipher your long and meaningful sentences. Short, sweet, and to the point is the way to play it with voice search queries. Typically, a result for a voice search is only 29 words long and is written at a 9th grade reading level. So be clear and easy to understand.
- Along the same lines, people are speaking these vocal commands in the same way that they would order a pizza. Your new keywords optimized for voice search should reflect that. Keep the tone conversational and make good use of question-based keywords!
- Featured snippets are key, as over 40 percent of voice search results come from a featured snippet. Typically, featured snippets are read as answers to a particular voice search. Do some extra keyword research to figure out what search terms trigger a featured snippet, and then plan to target that keyword with full force.
- Getting technical: Page speed is important in voice search SEO. The average voice result will load in just over 4 seconds, which is more than 50 percent faster than average page loads.
- Don’t forget to include mobile in your voice search strategy. Quick page load speed is critical here too. And if you want to keep searchers from bouncing, make sure your website is mobile responsive. Design that mobile page so people can quickly see and get what they need on teeny, tiny screens.
- Lastly, high engagement on social pages will give you more visibility in a voice search.
That’s all folks! We hope we answered your FAQs before they made it to our page, but if not, get in touch and we’ll be happy to fill you in on the rest.
Megan creates content and messaging strategy and writes copy that resonates with our clients’ target audiences. She specializes in writing for digital, social and emerging tech platforms, with proven success creating content for large scale social campaigns. Most recently Megan was a Senior Copywriter at VaynerMedia in NYC where she supported some of the agency’s major B2B accounts.