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The Future is Here: Why Voice Search is Taking Over This Year

Mar 21, 2023
Digital Marketing
by Sydney Frenkel
voice search

As consumers, and their devices, increase their reliance on voice technology, businesses and marketers need to start considering the impact of voice search on their digital marketing strategies. In 2023, voice search will likely play a significant role in shaping the digital marketing landscape.

What is Voice Search?

Voice search is a technology that allows users to perform online searches using spoken commands rather than typed text. It is often used with virtual assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, which are activated by voice and can search the web, access information, and perform other tasks in response to spoken requests. Voice search allows users to quickly and easily find information and perform tasks without the need to type out questions or navigate through menus and websites.

Why Voice Search?

Understanding the intent behind voice search is crucial for adapting content strategies to the increasing popularity of this technology. According to Google, there are three key attributes that define voice search queries. They are: 

  • often related to mobile or on-the-go topics
  • do not contain sensitive information
  • unlikely to lead to a website that requires significant interaction 

Additionally, voice search is frequently used to locate nearby businesses, such as restaurants, hotels, and retailers, based on the user’s phone location coordinates. By optimizing content for these characteristics, businesses in these industries can effectively leverage the potential of voice search.

Who is the Audience?

Voice-activated assistant devices are used by 36 million Americans, with millennials making up the largest demographic at 35.8%.

In contrast, only 10% of baby boomers use these devices. When considering the demographics of those using voice search, it is essential to also consider other characteristics and how they may relate to the use of this technology.

The Impact of Voice Search on Content Marketing

One of the biggest changes that voice search will bring this year is the shift towards longer, more conversational keywords and phrases. Rather than typing out short, keyword-based queries, voice search users are more likely to speak out full questions or requests, meaning that businesses will need to optimize content for longer, more specific keywords and phrases in order to rank highly in voice search results.

Another way that voice search will impact digital marketing, by way of content, is by using featured snippets and SEO. When a user asks a question through a voice assistant, the assistant will often read out a featured snippet from a website as the answer. Because this material is more likely to be chosen as the response to a user’s query, businesses that are able to rank for highlighted snippets will have a competitive edge in voice search

In addition to optimizing for keywords, key phrases and featured snippets, it will also be important for businesses to consider the structure of their content for voice search. Voice assistants are more likely to respond with shorter blocks of text indicating that using clear, concise language to break up content into easily digestible chunks will become more and more necessary

Businesses will need to consider the role that local search plays within the voice search realm. For instance, when a user asks their voice assistant for “nearby Italian restaurants,” the assistant will typically read out a list of local businesses that match the search criteria. The responsibility, however, remains for companies to ensure that local directories and mapping services are correct and currently reflect their location and proper contact information. James Weiss, Big Drop’s Senior Director, stated the following:

Voice search is just one of the latest trends in the marketing ecosystem for discoverability, but it drives home a very specific point that transcends digital: a presence is only as good as the information it offers. Because most voice assistant devices don’t have screens, the visual element is completely removed from a user’s query, eliminating arguably the largest contributing factor to decision-making. In essence, the content does the talking, and as we know, inaccurate, or poor-quality, content is a major difference for users between moving forward and bouncing elsewhere. Even though it changes the fundamental nature of search as it has been understood for so long, it is exciting to think about how hands-free search options will evolve and what businesses will need to do to adapt beyond 2023.”

In Conclusion…

Voice search will significantly shape digital marketing in 2023 and is showing no sign of slowing. Businesses that are able to adapt their strategies to optimize for longer keywords, featured snippets, clear content structure, and accurate local information will be well-positioned to succeed in the voice search market.

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