How is ‘Voice Search’ changing digital marketing?


Voice Search/ AI enabled personal assistants are no longer a thing of the future, it’s a reality now. Numerous people across the globe are using “voice search” either through their Personal assistants like Siri, Cortana, Google Now or through search engine’s like Google and Baidu’s voice search capability.

Voice Search’s potential can be easily illustrated with Mary Meeker annual internet trend report in June this year.

voice-search for voice search

Recently at SMX West, Google’s Director of Conversational Search Behshad Behzadi shared that Google has seen the ratio of voice search growing much faster than text search.

This makes us realize the fact why the best and biggest businesses like – Google, Apple, Microsoft and now Amazon with its New entrant ‘Amazon Echo’, are betting big on voice enabled technologies & are extensively researching with data and analytics to improve its offerings.

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella believes the next big bet for Microsoft is “conversation as a platform”.

Today’s digital personal assistants like Siri, Cortana and Google Now are growing smarter with every interaction – A.I. of these voice-search enabled personal assistants is evolving by understanding user intent basis previous search queries, multiple-step queries and user behaviour.

Even the voice word recognition accuracy rates that have been an problem statement in Voice Searches have been rapidly improving in the last couple of years. For that matter, you’d be surprised with the fact that China’s search engine ‘Baidu’s’ accuracy rate is at 95% compared to Google word recognition accuracy rate of 90%

voice search accuracy-rate


Now let’s understand a little about – Who, What and the Intent of ‘Voice Search’ users.

Who are the users of ‘Voice Search’?

Voice search is being used by all age groups, a high volume of users being in the bracket of 18-43 years.


What are voice searches being used for?

‘Voice Searches’ through personal assistants like – Siri, Cortana, and Google Now, are being used for various purposes these days; from general web search to finding local information on restaurants, shopping, asking directions, fixing appointments to sending reminders, etc.


Here are few more reasons for using voice search (courtesy: Mary Meeker)


Tech giants are investing heavily on these personal assistants and analysing data collected from bots to get better insights and improve upon the customer experiences.

Behzadi (Google’s Conversational Search Director) said, they believed the future of search was “an ultimate mobile assistant that helps you with your daily life so you can focus on the things that matter.”


Voice VS Text based search queries – The Finer Difference and Marketing Takeaways:

1) Question Tone: Voice searches are dominated by question phrases, unlike text searches


          Marketing Takeaways:

  • Use long tail keywords with question phrases and conversation tones as keywords and in ad copies. For ex:
  • Which is the best roof-top restaurant?
  • What is the flight ticket to London?
  • Where is the nearest CK store?
  • Use conversational tone in your website content for it to rank SERP’s witch voice search
  • You can use tool like FAQfox for finding such questions.

2) Lengthier queries: Voice searches are longer in nature – more than 4 words, unlike text based search queries which are shorter in length – about 2 words.


But, surprisingly if you see Cortana’s successful voice search query length, it comes to 3 words, given that natural speech queries are longer in length.


          Marketing Takeaways:

  • Add longer and voice search friendly keywords on landing pages and ad copies
  • Broad and phase match targeting can help for voice search related keywords
  • Create separate campaigns to monitor results for voice search related keywords


3) Intent: Voice search uses natural language and are more conversational in nature with a stronger intent


          Marketing Takeaways:

  • Create long tail keywords basis the user intent and natural language questions
  • Use fillers like – ‘the’, ‘for’, ‘to’ to make your questions voice search friendly
  • Create separate campaigns to monitor results for voice search related keywords
  • Optimize your website content with such questions.

4) Huge impact on Local/ brick & mortar businesses: Mobile phones are an important source to seek local info which is why Mobile voice search is three times more likely to be local-based than text search.

Moreover, search engines like Google have improved there query results many levels up for local searches. For ex: Which is the nearest Italian restaurant? And this is what you get –



          Marketing Takeaways:

  • Keep your local listing, your business listing, and your crowd-sourced sites updated and active.
  • Use local search related keywords, like landmarks or popular places in questions. For ex: Which is the best eating joint near London Eye?
  • As of now, local business will be benefited the most with ‘Voice search’, it’s better to gear up now for it.


What’s the Future of ‘Voice Search’?

We know Smartphones are here to stay and these numbers just prove it –

  • With an avg. number of 95 Apps on a device, 35 Apps on an average are used in a day
  • There are 226 Ads (on an avg.) seen on a smartphone with 102 unique interactions in a day with the web (Courtesy: Borderless Access)

Marketers have started using Mobile marketing smartly but, still a lot needs to and would be achieved in this space, where ‘voice search’ would help take Mobile marketing to the next level.

Why? Cause, it provides better user intent and understanding of predictive capability to marketers which helps them further understanding the user behaviour better (especially on Mobile), empowering them to target them better bringing businesses one step closer to their TG.

Soon we might have business Apps and Websites with voice search capabilities instead of internal text search capabilities.

Deep-linking of personal assistants with other smart apps, websites, wearable’s, cars, household products, etc. where communication would be based on voice commands, and the A.I’s can take actions predicting the user behaviour, helping us help sort our daily life so we can focus on the things that matter.

Think of the potential of ‘voice search’ for the visually impaired people…though the challenge is to provide results in audio format for them.

‘Voice Search’s’ potential is huge & undoubtedly, it’s the future of marketing! And marketers & businesses taking early advantage of it would have an edge over others!


Anshul Agarwal

Spearheads the Marketing function for, Brand, Marketing (with a specific focus on Digital Marketing) & Strategic Innovation for B2B & B2C, globally for a reputed Indian MNC. An MBA in Marketing & International business and a certified Digital Marketing Professional, an Automobile Enthusiast who loves to Travel, is a nature lover, a blogger and a curious soul who loves to learn new stuff and ideate.

Anshul Agarwal has 3 posts and counting. See all posts by Anshul Agarwal

One thought on “How is ‘Voice Search’ changing digital marketing?

  • November 10, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Lengthier search terms are tricky part. Google says 80% search queries are new and voice will this percentage for sure.

    Tracking and creating relavant content will be tricky I think.

    Great article.

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