The Next Big Thing in Digital Marketing Might Even Have Google Shaking

Ring the bell and sound the alarm! It’s time to start thinking about the next big thing that’s going to change digital marketing. And, if the experts and their statistics are correct, you may already be dabbling in it yourself — in your car, on your mobile phone, even in your family room. What is it?  If you answered Siri, Alexa, Cortana or Google Now, you’re right! Voice search devices are officially here and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.


By 2020, experts predict that half of all web searches will be voice searches. No more tedious typing questions into that old-school browser bar. That’s so 2012. In fact, in the next 2-3 years, it is estimated that 30 percent of all searches will be “screenless.” These searches will be conducted on devices that don’t have a display. That means almost 1/3 of all searches won’t conclude with a listing of 4,875 results and five relevant ads spread across 325 pages.


This move to voice search and artificial intelligence is one of the most quickly adopted trends in recent history. In fact, Comscore estimates that 40 percent of U.S. adults are already using voice search at least one time per day — with 60 percent of those voice searchers having just started using the technology in the past year.


Amazingly, and unlike most tech trends, this one isn’t being driven solely by the young, tech-savvy crowd. It’s being adopted at a fast pace by even the tech-challenged older generations (sadly, this includes anyone over 40) who are finding talking into their iPhones or bellowing questions at Alexa across the room to be easier than pecking onto a tiny keyboard or trying to read text on a small screen without their readers.


This evolution will significantly change search engine marketing, as it would want to listen to a numbered list of search results or listen to an ad before getting their answer. It will also change search engine optimization strategies, as the way people search will change, as search will become more conversational (e.g.,“Who are Iowa’s current senators?”) than efficient (e.g.,“Iowa Senators”).


How will this impact marketers and what should you start to do in planning strategies to take advantage of this shift?  That’s still up in the air as the leaders like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google battle their way to the best business model going forward. It could be that the next Google evolves out of this, as the current search engine players have little incentive to encourage the current system to change.


In the meantime, there will likely be clever, one-off marketing ploys like Burger King’s attempt to hijack Google Home devices through the TV. But expect things to change quickly over the next 18-24 months as more people adapt to voice technology and marketers find ways to take advantage of the new trend.


More Information

If you’d like more insight on just how search engine optimization will change in the near future, including voice search, check out our blog, “A Case for Keywords: Why Keywords are Still Essential for SEO.”




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