Strategies for the Future of Search: Trends in Voice Search

iPhone 6 and Headphones

We live in an incredible era, don’t we? Millennials remember what life was like without certain technologies but have been gifted with the ability to bridge the gaps efficiently and intelligently.

We are molding the future with our ability to utilize new technologies and methods of obtaining information. As Search Engine Marketing strategists, we utilize data to make predictions about the future of search. If you’ve been paying attention, one of these incredible new technologies that we are taking advantage of is voice search. Thank you Siri!


Your Phone is More than a Phone

It’s a powerful information machine. Matt Cutts of Google said, at SMX early last year, that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if mobile searches exceed desktop queries in 2014. There are close to 3 billion more mobile devices than PCs in the world. Go ahead and look at your percentage shift from desktop to mobile & tablet devices year over year. My guess is that you have already predicted what you’re seeing in that data.

Now, let’s take what we know about the progression of mobile search one step farther… voice search.

A recent study by PRNewswire showed it’s not just our generation who is taking advantage of mobile voice searches. In fact, the next generation of innovators and information seekers are utilizing voice search more than any other age bracket. For example:

  • 40% of adults use voice search at least once a day
  • 55% of teenage smartphone users conduct voice searches more than once a day
  • 85% of adults view voice search as the future

How does this information serve as a tool for prediction in Search Engine Marketing? Let’s look at some data


Voice Search Queries are Increasing at a Steady Rate

With recent data from an Internet Marketing Inc. client in the hospitality industry, I have discovered a steady increase in year over year voice searches from mobile devices. This data is the result of a Google AdWords Search Query Report with all “mobile device” exact-match type queries in the form of a long-tail question that begins with interrogatives like  “where”, “what”, “who, “when” and “how”. For example, “what is the phone number to the casino and hotel in las vegas, nv”. Since Google AdWords doesn’t allow segmentation by voice search, we can deduct that queries of this length, in exact match types from a mobile device, could be a result of a voice search.

 Year Over Year Growth in Voice Search Queries


The year over year data shows an overall increase of 49% in voice search queries. The majority of the increase stems from the search query results of phrases containing “how” (+76% or +71 queries).


Generating Campaigns by Utilizing Voice Search Data

How can we, as Paid Search Strategists, take advantage of such wonderful increases that will continue to increase exponentially? Let’s contain the voice search data that we are seeing year over year, and shape new campaigns around it. Why not sort the queries out from the Search Query Report, develop a new campaign, and create ad copy that answers the “where”, “what”, and “how” of the new generation? .  As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. You have the data. Provide the solution.


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