When users’ search behaviour is constantly changing, staying up to date with search technology is crucial. In recent years, the rise of voice search has been undeniable in the search marketing sector. Users now crave tailored answers instantaneously through the likes of virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, all of which are becoming integral parts of our daily lives. 

This shift isn’t just altering the way we interact with technology; it’s also reshaping the strategies behind paid advertising (PPC) and organic search (SEO). Here, we look into how the surge in voice search is shaping digital marketing tactics and what it means for your brand’s online presence.

Currently, over 3.25 billion voice assistants are in use globally, with over 111 million people using voice assistants in the United States alone. This exponential growth was fuelled by the pandemic and our time spent at home and is now well embedded in our day-to-day lives. 

How voice search has grown 

Voice search has been steadily gaining momentum in recent years, thanks to the convenience it offers users. Whether it’s searching for recipes while cooking, getting directions while driving, or finding the nearest coffee shop, voice-activated assistants have made accessing information faster and easier than ever before. As a result, the way people phrase their queries has become more conversational and natural, resembling spoken language rather than typed keywords.

This shift in search behaviour has implications for both PPC and SEO strategies. When it comes to paid advertising, marketers need to adapt their campaigns to align with how people word their queries aloud. Traditional keyword-based targeting may no longer suffice, as voice searches tend to be longer and more conversational. Marketers must optimise their ad copy to mirror the language used in voice queries, focusing on long-tail keywords and natural language phrases that reflect how people verbally articulate their needs.

An opportunity for brands

Moreover, the rise of voice search presents an opportunity for brands to explore new ad formats tailored specifically for audio-based interactions. Audio ads on platforms like Spotify and Pandora, as well as sponsored messages on voice-activated devices, offer unique avenues for reaching audiences in moments when they’re most receptive to hearing from brands.

From an organic perspective, the impact of voice search is even more significant. Search engines like Google are placing greater emphasis on delivering accurate and relevant voice search results, which means that traditional SEO tactics need to evolve accordingly. This entails optimising website content for conversational queries, structuring information in a way that answers common questions directly, and prioritising local SEO to capture voice searches with local intent.

What’s more, the rise of featured snippets, knowledge graphs, and other rich results is particularly significant in the context of voice search. These elements often serve as the source of information read aloud by virtual assistants in response to user queries. By optimising content to appear in these prime positions on the search engine results page (SERP), brands can increase their visibility and capture more voice search traffic.

The rise in voice search also gives us an enormous amount of data which we can leverage to improve our marketing efforts. It also points towards the fact that having mobile-friendly websites is more important than ever, with 27% of voice searches happening on mobile devices. By optimising ad campaigns and website content for the nuances of voice search, brands can position themselves to capitalise on this growing trend and stay ahead of the competition. It’s clear that voice search is reshaping the digital marketing landscape in big ways. 

The need to adapt

As we look to the future, one thing is clear: voice search isn’t a passing fad—it’s here to stay. Brands that embrace this shift and proactively adjust their digital marketing strategies will be best positioned to thrive in the era of voice-activated search. So, whether you’re refining your PPC campaigns or fine-tuning your SEO efforts, remember to keep the voice of the customer front and centre. In a world where conversations with virtual assistants are becoming the norm, success lies in speaking your audience’s language.

Looking to elevate your search strategy?

Find out more about our paid media and SEO services at Hallam, including our overwatch consultancy and training opportunities and if you’d benefit from expert advice, get in touch.