Skip to main content

How Voice Search is Rapidly Changing the Search Landscape

Before we jump too far into the future of voice search, let’s take a moment to figure out how we got to where we are today.

Voice search has progressively come to life following the same path and adoption of the “traditional” search landscape – it has migrated from keyboard to mobile device and most recently, to smart speaker and smart watches. In other words, it was really hard at the start; now it’s becoming easier – and it’s about to become really easy. In fact, it’s getting so easy that it’s estimated that 50 percent of all searches in 2020 will be made via voice. Talk about a whisper becoming a roar…

Here are a few more interesting stats that tell the story of a technology coming into its own:

46% of voice search users search for local businesses daily
1 in 5 online adults makes a mobile voice search
1 in 6 Americans owns a smart speaker

To be clear, this trend isn’t just being driven by Millennials talking to Alexa.  Every major generational group is quickly finding their voice and showing increased adoption since 2016. 

Millennials: estimated penetration of nearly 40% in 2019
Gen X: Estimated penetration of just over 15% in 2019
Boomers: Estimated penetration of nearly 10% in 2019
    (Source:  Hitwise Study (2017) Voice Search Penetration)

Putting Words into Action

So, what do these insights tell us? Voice search is a trend that isn’t going away.

Ok, got it. Let’s take the next step and see how your customers are currently using voice search. 

Oh, wait…we may be getting a little bit ahead of ourselves.  

Fun Fact: Neither Google nor Bing! have released capabilities for identifying voice searches within their respective ad platforms. The good news is that we know how internet users are utilizing
voice search – and we also know that voice search is converting some sales. Here are a few insights from about how voice search is flowing through the conversion funnel. for enterprise voice search funnel

Top of the funnel: These searches show informational intent
            Example: “Do you really need an electrician to fix your circuit breaker?”
Middle of the funnel: These searches show in-market consideration intent
            Example: “Who is the best electrician near me?”
Bottom of the funnel: These searches show purchase intent
            Example: “Need electrician in Dallas to replace my circuit breaker”

Adding it all up:  70% of our voice search is categorized as top or middle of the funnel intent.

Let’s take a breath and consider what we know now. Voice search is getting easier and gaining in adoption across all generations. It can convert sales. What we are waiting for? It’s true, there is a lot of momentum and we believe the future for voice search is very bright. However, we haven’t told you about some of the current challenges just yet. 

1. Voice search is getting competitive: More searches means greater demand for terms.
2. Voice search for SEM is a little pricey: estimates voice search is roughly 13 percent costlier.
3. Voice search doesn’t always convert: As noted above, the majority of voice search is top or middle of the funnel content.  

Drinking from a Half-Full Glass

Don’t go quiet on voice search just because there are a few challenges today. Voice search is only going to become more important to optimizing your search strategy. It’s just going to take some teamwork with your SEO partner.

In order to share the wealth of voice search, your investment in search should be tailored towards both PPC and SEO…The secret sauce of voice search is the combination of working between SEO and PPC efforts to have total voice search optimization.

-Scott Forysthe, for Enterprise

See below for the strategy is deploying for its customers and partners. We think this is going to carry the voice of the customer – and have business owners shouting with joy. for enterprise voice search strategy

Challenge: More searches than before
            Web Solution: Seeking & identifying valuable SEM voice searches in client campaigns
Challenge: They are pricey
            Web Solution: Adding conversion intent searches to SEM campaigns to lower cost-per-click and increase conversion rates
Challenge: They don’t really convert
            Web Solution: Adding informational non-conversion, intent-based searches as negatives to SEM campaigns

Want to see the presentation from Scott Forsythe? Just click here.

Have a question? Want to learn more about us? Give us a ring at (800)-862-8921.