By Raleigh

Speaking to a digital device brings back memories of old Star Trek reruns with actors speaking into a handheld device: “Beam me up, Scotty. There’s no intelligent life down here.” In those days, communicating through voice automation was about as likely as speaking to your lamp or coffee maker: “Turn on!”

But, alas, with the voice automation technology of today, we can do just that. Personal assistants can hear, understand, and follow our commands to turn on appliances, check the weather, and even order a pizza. Is voice automation a temporary fad or a vital new methodology for business?

With 46% of the US population using an Intelligent Personal Assistant (IPA) in order to keep their hands free to perform other tasks, many are already using voice automation to search the internet for information. So, businesses that use paid search advertising need to be to catch that wave, because voice automation for paid search is here.

How Many People are Using Voice Automation?

Surprisingly, a growing number of people are using voice automation for more and more tasks. Take a look at these revealing numbers:

  • Over 50% of US teens and 41% of adults use voice search daily.
  • Close to one third of 3.5 billion daily Google searches are voice searches.
  • Personal assistants on smartphones are widely used in the US: 71% of people between ages 18-29, 59% of people between ages 30-43, 39% of people between ages 44-53, and 38% of people ages 54 and over are regular users.
  • Voice search queries typically fall into four categories—30% general information, 27% personal assistant, 22% local information, and 21% fun and entertainment.
  • According to a Stone Temple study, three fifths of those surveyed use voice search at home, while 57.8% use it on a smartphone.
  • One estimate says that by 2020, 50% of all web searches will be voice searches.

How Can I Adjust My Paid Search Strategy for Voice Automation?

With users speaking into a device in order to effect an internet search, you can expect some notable differences over text queries. Let’s take a look at each and decide how to handle them in paid search.

Lengthen Queries

When typing in a search on Google, we commonly use the fewest number of words possible. “Paid search” or “pizza near me” are good examples. We can then refine if needed from the results that are delivered.

With voice search, queries tend to be longer and more conversational. The above examples would likely become, “How can I increase paid search?” or “Where is a good pizza place near me?” We speak in a more natural manner when searching by voice than when we type.

Therefore, your paid search keywords need to be longer and more natural. For instance, instead of just using “pizza” or “pizza near me,” you may also want to include, “good pizza near me,” “best pizza near me,” “new york style pizza near me,” or even “best pizza in town.” Try to think of how users would speak to a friend, and use that basic phrasing when choosing keyword phrases for paid search.

Add Questions

Voice automation searches also tend to be in the form of questions. After all, we are “asking” Siri or Cortana or Google to help us, so why not do so politely, as we’ve been taught? So, using our example above, some of your keyword phrases should look like this:

  • Where is the best pizza in town?
  • Where is the best pizza near me?
  • How far is the best pizza near me?
  • Where is the closest new york style pizza?
  • Who delivers pizza to my address?

Get Local

Mobile voice search is three times more likely to be local-based than text search. This is because most smartphone searches are also local. How simple is it to whip out your phone and say, “Hey Siri, are there any new york style pizza places near old town?” The local reference combined with standard location tracking software enabled on most phones allows for very accurate local searches.

How can you get more local with your paid search listings? Use local places of interest that matter to your business. “Where is the best pizza near the University of Oklahoma?” “Who makes the best new york style pizza in Times Square?” These local identifiers can be even more profitable than simply adding “near me” to every phrase.

Update Your Third-party Listings

When using voice automation search, the results are often in the form of local or business listings or crowd-sourced sites. That means a user will only see your business contact information.

Be sure your opening and closing times are accurate as well as your address and phone number in every public listing. Users will often click the available links to complete their business, and if yours are inaccurate, they will move on to the next one.

Taking Advantage of Voice Automation

By nailing down and using keyword phrases that better suit voice automation tendencies in your paid search, you can leverage these technological advances to speed ahead of your competition.

How do you know if all these changes are working? As with any SEO strategy, testing and adjusting is an ongoing process. Make the changes illustrated above and do some testing. Adjust. Repeat. Too busy for all that? That’s why we are here.

At Cast Influence, we live for applying agile approaches like voice automation search to help you engage and activate your audience. Drop us a line and let’s chat about how our disruptive innovation and growth strategies can give a boost to your business marketing strategy.