Hey Google, what’s the weather like?

Today, it’s not uncommon to see people out in the street casually speaking to… what appears to be nothing. However, talking to Siri, Google, Alexa, Cortana, and other virtual assistants has become a normal part of our daily lives.

With the surge in popularity of home devices like Google Home, Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana, more people are using their voices to search for things online. It’s quickly changing the Google Search Algorithm, as well as the way humans are searching for things online. Because we’re speaking to a device, we’re using more human language—instead of relying on “search query speak.”

As a result, voice search is beginning to have an impact on search advertising online. Hey Alexa, “Let’s dive in.”

Voice Search is Taking Over

According to comScore, almost 50% of all online searches will be voice searches by the end of 2020. Voice search is one of the most convenient ways to get information online. From finding out what the weather is like to seeing how many Indian restaurants are in your neighborhood, voice search is convenient, reliable, safe, and fast.

There’s no shortage of different voice search technologies to use. Here are some of the most popular ones in the marketplace:

  • Apple’s Siri
  • Google Voice
  • Amazon’s Alexa
  • Microsoft’s Cortana
  • Samsung’s Bixby

With voice search growing so quickly, it’s important for marketers to understand how this platform works. Voice searches are different from regular search queries in a number of ways.

The Basics on Voice Search

There are three main differences between voice search and traditional text searches. They are:

  • Voice search queries are longer with an average of 4.2 words per search
  • Voice searches are more conversational and they answer quick questions (“What’s the weather like?” and “Dry cleaners near me”)
  • Speaking of “near me,” voice searches are ideal for local marketing because they are typically used to find solutions in the user’s immediate area

With these differences in mind, it’s time to start optimizing your paid search ads to address these differences.

What You Need to Do Right Now to Get Ready for Voice Search Advertising

Here are a few of the things that we do here at Netsertive that you can begin doing right now to start optimizing your paid search campaigns for voice search advertising.

1. Assess Your Analytics to See if Your Paid Search Campaigns are Already Getting Voice Traffic

If you have a Google AdWords account, you can export a search query report to help you determine whether or not your paid search campaigns are already getting voice search traffic.

Start with a 30-day look-back window and see what search queries are driving users to your paid search campaigns. You can filter search terms based on popular voice search assistants like Alexa, Google, and Siri. Look for search queries with more than six words—this will give you a general idea of your audience’s intent, allowing you to optimize your content to match their needs.

2. Add Negative Keywords and Review Existing Negatives

You likely gleaned a lot of information from step one, so now it’s time to put it to work for you. From analyzing voice searches, you’ll likely notice a lot of keywords that aren’t relative to your campaigns.

Using that information, you can begin adding more negative keyword phrases to prevent unqualified leads from seeing your PPC campaigns—ensuring only the most qualified leads, and potential customers, see them. At Netsertive, we have a 10-year history of managing paid search campaigns so our negative keyword bank is in the thousands.

We recommend reviewing your existing negative keyword matches and making sure that relevant phrases aren’t in your negative keyword list. For example, voice search is ideal for local campaigns. Make sure you remove any instances of “near me,” “when does,” “where do I,” and other similar queries from your negative phrases so that your paid search ads will show up when these  phrases are used in a voice search.

3. Build Out Voice Search Keywords

Now that you’ve done your research, you should have a pretty good idea of what your customers are searching for. Now, you can use that keyword research to better build out your strategy—and determine the most valuable keywords to target in your paid search campaigns.

Be sure to work in more conversational terms to your keyword strategy, as well as question-type queries as these will be more likely to match voice search queries. Words like “who,” “what,” “when,” and “where” will be valuable in reaching those using voice search to find products or services like yours.

Get Ready for Voice Search Advertising in 2020

Sound like a lot of work? It is, but to fully optimize your paid search campaign for voice search, these things need to be done. One trick to building an effective advertising campaign is finding a digital marketing technology platform, like Netsertive's, that leverages machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI). It builds campaigns, tracks performance, automatically adjusts keyword bids, has the capacity to localize all of your campaigns at scale and has a robust analytics dashboard that connects the marketing funnel with the sales funnel to make sure that your advertising strategy is helping you reach your business objectives.

By getting your paid search strategy optimized for voice search now, you can hit the ground running to begin reaching more qualified leads at the start of the new year. Alexa, “What will be the hottest trend in 2020?”

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