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What Marketing Leaders Need to Know About Voice Search

The future of search marketing is here. Take a look — or rather, listen. Voice search will be responsible for half of all queries by 2020, and a majority of teens (and 41% of adults) use it multiple times per day. Which is to say, enterprising marketing leaders are getting invested now.

But voice search is very much in its wild west phase; there’s ample opportunity for smart optimizations to put your organization at the head of the pack, so you can evolve to ride the wave as it grows.

While your SEO team gets busy optimizing your site for voice search, here’s what you need to know to lead your team to voice search dominance:

Your Competition Wants to Scoop You on Answer Boxes

Home speakers like Alexa and Google Home draw their voice search responses from answer boxes, the featured snippets that rank above other organic results. We’ve seen some organizations grabbing answer boxes relating to their competitors, like TickPick.com’s possession of an answer box about Stubhub:

Of course, you want to be the one fielding questions about your products and services. But if your competitor has the answer box, that’s a lot harder — especially since, with searches performed on speakers, there’s no screen for you to appear on elsewhere in the search result. Be proactive: the more answer boxes you can capture, the better.

Put Your Best Foot Forward on Mobile

By far, the most popular platform for voice search is mobile. If a user is led via voice search to your mobile page and has a bad experience, you’ll see a serious jump in bounce rates — and those users may not return.

But there are plenty of ways to avoid that kind of blowback. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test will tell you what issues are hampering your mobile site, so you can optimize for all those incoming voice searchers.

Focus on Organic Search

Here’s a headscratcher: how do you serve an ad to someone browsing without a screen? If you don’t have an answer, you’re not alone — it’s a problem the industry has yet to properly tackle. But the solution in the meantime is simple: focus on ranking well for organic search.

If you create great content that solves actual problems for your customer, you’ll be at the top of the search results when the voice query comes crawling. And you’ll have the added advantage of ranking well for the half of searches that don’t happen via voice — it’s a win-win.

Like any type of search, voice search will furnish the most rewards on the people providing value to customers. Whether you’re trying to improve your mobile experience, land an answer box, or just rank higher, if you can focus on putting out the kind of content people actually want to engage with, you’ll win at voice search faster than you can say, “Okay Google.”

What are marketing leaders focusing on this year? We surveyed over 300 marketing executives to find out. See the results.

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