The Rise of Voice Search: What Does It Mean For Copywriting?

With around one third of the US population using voice assistants in 2019, it is evident that over the years that voice search has been a part of our technology, it has quickly impacted how we obtain and process information. There is no surprise that the names Siri and Alexa instantly ring a bell for the majority of technology users. 

Voice Search Defined 

In a nutshell, voice search is the process of asking a question or requesting a task to a voice assistant, a robotic voice on technology devices. In turn, a verbal, automated response will return with assistance, relevant content, or answers from the internet. In this age of technology, voice search can be used for a variety of tasks, such as: 

  • Perusing the internet 
  • Sending texts and emails 
  • Gathering directions
  • Making phone calls 
  • Online shopping and brand research
  • Searching for stores, restaurants, or locations “near me”

Where Can Voice Search Be Found?

Smartphones are one of the most common places to find voice search. However, voice search also occurs anywhere from laptops, computers, tablets, and smart devices. 

Three of the tech companies dominating the market on voice search assistants include: 

  • Amazon: Amazon’s Alexa, the voice of the Amazon Echo, has become a household name in the six years of its existence. As a matter of fact, in 2019 Alexa voice assistant was the leading platform with around 60,000 supported devices
  • Google: Google has become a leading force with Google Voice Search. Google’s voice assistant saw an increase of 3400% of inquiries since 2008. 
  • Apple: Apple’s Siri has been around since 2011, and has been used on countless apple devices. In 2018, Siri virtual assistant was reported to be used regularly on 500 million devices

The Importance of Voice Search in 2021 and Beyond

Voice search has forever shifted the ways that consumers interact with technology. This is because it has improved the digital user experience in a multitude of ways. Some of the reasons why voice search is important in the lives of consumers are: 

It is Ridiculously Convenient 

Voice search makes consumer needs much simpler to fulfill. Some of the most convenient aspects that encompass voice search are: 

  • Speed: Voice search takes the cake for being faster than the traditional method of typing out your requests. Even if you have nimble typing skills, studies show that on average, voice searching is about 3.7x faster than typing
  • Accessibility: Since voice search can be hands free, you can utilize it just about anywhere. This includes during on the go activities like driving to work or going on a walk. Since mobile devices are always in our pockets, it is easier than ever before to use voice search 24/7 to accomplish tasks. Not only this, but 74% of consumers using mobile voice assistants do so at home. It is clear that voice search serves as a convenient way to search online while relaxing as well. 

It is Comfortable and Familiar

Another important aspect of voice search is just how habitual it is to use. When you start using voice search, it has been proven difficult to stop, for 72% of individuals with voice-activated speakers have integrated their devices into their daily routines. 

Also, the more that users invest their time into using voice search, the more that voice assistants feel less like a robot and more like a person they are communicating with. Google even found that 41% of voice-activated owners say that it feels like they are talking with a friend or person while speaking to their devices. 

It Impacts All Age Groups

Can you think of any other technological advancement that has so quickly infiltrated all age groups behaviors? Younger audiences are usually the leaders in adapting to new technologies, social media, and digital devices, but with voice search all ages are seemingly latching on.  

Older folks, teens, and middle-aged consumers alike are getting on board with the convenience of voice search! In a report conducted by PwC, it was found that all age groups are reporting a significantly heavy usage of voice search. In this report, heavy was defined as using voice assistants at least once per day. The statistics showed that: 

  • 59% of young adults aged 18-24 are heavy voice search users.
  • 65% of adults aged 25-49 are heavy voice search users.
  • 57% of older adults aged 50 or older are heavy voice search users.

The Future is Bright

Voice search is not going anywhere anytime soon. Over the years that voice search has been implemented in smart devices, it has been constantly growing in popularity and doesn’t appear to be stopping. Here are some key statistics that implicate the likelihood of voice searches future growth: 

  • Studies have projected that by this year (2020), 50% of searches would be voice activated
  • Many consumers have been using voice assistants to conduct their online purchases. In one report, half of respondents have already done so, and another 25% reported that they had interests to make a purchase with voice assistants in the future. 
  • In 2018 alone, the global shipments of smart speakers grew by 200%.  

Why Should Your Business Care About Optimizing Content for Voice Search? 

Consumers see the benefits and importance of voice search, so should marketers! With any new technology, businesses must stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest platforms to stay connected to their consumers, and voice search is no exception. 

Since studies are proving that consumers adjust their online behaviors with voice search, such as using it for shopping and answering questions about products, it is just as important for businesses to adjust to them as well. 

5 Tips To Optimize Copy For Voice Search

With all of this information you may be thinking, what should my next step be for my business and marketing strategy with the growth of this technology? One of the best steps to take is to elevate your copy for voice search!

The rise of voice search has created a new set of challenges for copywriting for your business. Nowadays, copy for your content marketing strategy must be written effectively for both written and verbal consumption; a tricky balance to achieve without understanding the intricacies of these formats! 

Optimizing content for voice search is crucial for voice search SEO and keeping consumers compelled with your business’ messaging. There are multiple aspects of the copywriting process that can easily be reworked to ensure that your copywriting ranks high and stays relevant. Below are 5 of the most beneficial ways to get started on optimizing your copy for voice search: 

#1: Write Copy in a Natural Way

With voice search, copy that feels conversational is the most successful route to take. Think about it… If your content is getting spoken aloud via voice assistants, you don’t want to alienate the listener by writing text that feels like a robot is talking to them. Not only this, but writing in a friendly manner is voice-search friendly, as the consumers using them for their inquiries are often speaking in a conversational way. 

Some of the best ways for optimizing online content for voice search into a conversational voice include:

  • Avoid keyword stuffing, or using excessive amounts of keywords throughout the text.
  • Pinpoint the questions or keywords that would organically appear in the vernacular of your consumers. As a whole, utilizing phrases that mimic your consumer will allow your tone to feel personable and friendly! 

#2: Stick to Long-Tail Keywords

Since voice search can feel like talking to a fellow human, consumers are often speaking to them in full, grammatical sentences. They are seeking to ask tailored and specific questions to their voice assistants as opposed to quick phrases through typing. On average, people asking voice search questions speak with about three to five keywords in a phrase at a time. 

Long-tail keywords are defined as phrases that are more specific and longer than single keywords. An example of a long-tailed keyword is the phrase “the most durable raincoat” versus using just the simple keyword of “raincoat.” Overall, it is important to integrate long-tailed keywords into your copywriting to ensure that you are ranking as high as can be. Thinking about the types of phrases and questions that your target consumer would be articulating is a great first step in improving your copy for voice search! 

#3: Form Your Text Around Questions

How many times have you asked your device a question? With the ease of getting rapid-fire answers back from Google and other search engines with the help of voice assistants, it is tempting to use it for just about any inquiry. 

To capitalize on this, it is important to create content that answers the specific concerns of your audience. A simple way to accomplish this is to create copy for a FAQ, or frequently asked question page. In this format, you have the ability to integrate question-based long-tail keywords seamlessly into your copywriting. In turn, it will allow your content to rank higher than competitors if consumers ask one of the specific questions featured on your FAQ page. 

#4: Optimize Your Copy For Consumer’s Mobile Devices

Your content will be much more likely to be consumed on a mobile device with the help of voice search. It is in your best interest to make sure that your copy is readable and compelling for a mobilized format. 

Here are a few tips for writing copy that is mobile-friendly:

  • Make Your Website Compatible: Check to see if your website is compatible with a mobile format. This way, you won’t risk your copy being cut off, and it will ensure that your copy appears readable on the smaller screen. 
  • Break Up The Text: With such a small screen on phones, it is harder for consumers to easily consume copy. To fix this problem, it is important to include a concrete structure and clean format within your text. This includes adding bullet points when applicable, shortening paragraphs, integrating subheadings between sections, and sticking to snappy headlines that get to the point.
  • Keep It Short and Sweet: On a phone, readers are often on-the-go and don’t want to spend too much time reading complex jargon. Use copywriting to your advantage by writing in a simple, helpful, and easily-skimmable way.

#5: The More Localized Language The Better

When consumers use voice search on mobile devices, they are likely searching for a product, service, or location that is geographically close to them. In fact, in 2021, it is predicted that $1.4 trillion in local sales will stem from mobile searches. Furthermore, phrases that include “near me now” have grown 150%

In order to take advantage of this opportunity, it is smart to:

  • Use Local Keywords: Keywords that point to a specific location, city, or region will help your rankings soar with voice search. 
  • Locate Your Consumers: Whether you are an online or in-person business, use consumer research to understand where your consumers are located. This will help you in creating copy that resonates with the needs and lifestyle of the location of your target audience. Answer Location-based Questions: As mentioned earlier, consumers enjoy the ease of asking questions for voice assistants to answer from the internet. Formulating answers to common location-specific questions in your content or a FAQ page is important to utilize in your copywriting. 

Step Up Your Copywriting Skills Today

With the number of voice assistants set to grow to 8.4 billion in 2024, it is more important than ever to optimize copy for voice search to sustain a strong internet presence. Improving your copy to adapt to this changing tech landscape will allow your business maintain a competitive edge with your content marketing strategy. Contact Amplihigher to partner with our seasoned team of professional writers on this exciting process today!