If you're a B2B marketer, you can't afford to ignore the growing popularity of voice search. When thinking about the context that voice search is being used, most marketers assume that embracing this trend will only benefit B2C businesses. Yes, consumers are using voice technology to search for local restaurants and ask about the ingredients in a recipe. However, voice search is rapidly evolving and being used for a variety of purposes beyond basic consumer needs. B2B marketers need to pay attention to this trend as voice search can prove to be tremendously beneficial to their operations as well.
Who is Using Voice Search?
To be able to optimize your B2B organization for voice search, you need to be aware of who is using voice technology today and why. Taking a look back at 2014, research showed that 55 percent of teens and 41 percent of adults were already performing voice searches on a daily basis. While adults were primarily using voice commands to dictate text messages, teens that were early adopters of this technology were already using it to perform online searches.
If you flash forward to 2018, voice assistant technology comes standard in smartphones and Amazon Echo (Amazon's virtual assistant) is one of the most widely purchased items on the e-commerce giant. In fact, more than 24 million Amazon Echo and Google Home devices are expected to be purchased in 2018. Currently, voice search accounts for 20 percent of all mobile queries on Google; however, this percentage is expected to increase to 50 percent by 2020.
Why Are Consumers and Businesses Using Voice Search?
While voice search is quickly becoming second nature for consumers, it's also becoming increasingly used in a business setting as well. The top reason why consumers and businesses alike are embracing voice search is the convenience factor. It's fast (the typical person can speak 150 words per minute), hands-free, and more user-friendly than turning to a keyboard.
Voice technology is also becoming more accurate. The latest research reveals that Google Home devices are 95 percent accurate at understanding voice commands, which is a 20 percent improvement from 2013. Voice technology is also better geared to understand the context of the user's search, thus delivering more relevant results.
From a business standpoint, research shows that 90 percent of executives are using their mobile devices to research products and services before making a purchase decision. Considering that mobile devices contain built-in voice assistants, it makes sense that many of these business executives will rely on voice search to perform research. This is especially true for the emerging group of B2B buyers that have grown up with exposure to voice technology.
How B2B Marketers Can Prepare for Voice Search
Given the rapid adoption of voice search by consumers and businesses alike, B2B marketers must take the time now to optimize website content for voice search. Here are three major areas that B2B marketers need to focus their SEO efforts to account for voice search:
While voice technology assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home are on the rise, the majority of searches in the B2B space will take place on mobile devices. Therefore, optimizing your website for mobile users is more important than ever. However, this optimization should go beyond upgrading to a responsive website design. B2B marketers can make their websites more friendly for voice search by improving page load times, abandoning drop-down navigation menus, and formatting videos to play in full-screen mode.
2. Long-tail Keywords
The typical person can speak 150 words per minute, but only type 40 words per minute. Considering this, voice searches are typically longer-winded and include long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more conversational in nature, and it would benefit B2B marketers to be aware of the long-tail keywords being used in voice searches to cater to natural language queries.
3. Featured Snippets
We've talked about Google's Featured Snippets before and how they can benefit your SEO strategy. Voice search devices are designed to read the Featured Snippets aloud, which is why B2B marketers need to optimize content for Featured Snippets. Earning the coveted spot in Google's Featured Snippets will give you tremendous brand awareness and authority. From a voice search perspective, getting the Featured Snippets spot is the new page one of Google search results.
In the coming years, voice search will grow to become the preferred way for consumers and businesses alike to perform research online. Taking the time to optimize your content for voice search will greatly benefit your SEO strategy, thus increasing your online visibility.
If you're not sure how to get started with optimizing your content for voice search, we can help. Our search engine optimization searches are delicately constructed and keyword optimized to improve your online visibility and get you to the top of search results. Contact us to learn how we can help B2B marketers prepare for the rapid adoption of voice search.