Today, we live in a digital-first world, which changes by the nanosecond. And, search is no different. Search is no longer just a ‘text box’; it’s much more than that. It has changed in look, form and function to become part of our everyday lives.
The evolution of search can be broken down into six defining eras: query, demographic, mobile, voice, personal and intelligent. With the advent of natural language searches, the era of voice search arrived. In fact, Bing currently powers the voices of Cortana (AI personal assistant for Windows 10), Siri (digital assistant for iOS) and Alexa (Amazon Echo). As voice search continues to rise in popularity, it could rival or even overtake text search. In fact, comScore predicts that by 2020, 50% of searches will be voice searches.
Bing leads some of the most important innovations in search
In a nutshell, search is no longer about looking for information. It’s now personal, predictive and actionable. It’s on our phones, in our homes and cars. In fact, we can now shop, book flights and hotels, pay bills and more directly within the search results page. For instance, Bing (the intelligent search engine from Microsoft) is leading some of the industry’s most important innovations. It helps businesses connect with their potential customers using rich audience-targeting capabilities and personalized marketing tools.
Bing’s intelligence is being used everywhere—from wearables and mixed-reality devices to phones and PCs—teaching them to see, hear, predict, learn and act. As a business, you can now build deeper customer relationships using Bing’s search, vision, and image and speech recognition technology. Search engines like Bing are thus becoming more and more intelligent; delivering contextual results based on trends, location and historical data. As search gets better with AI capabilities, it will continue to shift from a marketing tactic to an increasingly important component of consumer connection.
Optimizing for voice searches will matter for your business
Advancements in voice search and AI will drive rich answers that will help brands understand the customer intent behind their micro-moments. You will also get deeper insights into why consumers phrase their queries the way they do.
People not only type in their queries into search engines like Google and Bing, but also ask questions like they would if they are conversing with a human being. For instance, you might say, “Cortana, where can I find a pharmacy that’s open 24 hours?” If you were going to do the same search on a keyboard, you would be more likely to type something like, “pharmacy 24 hours.”
So what does this mean for you, if you plan to advertise on Google or Bing? Think about how you set up a business website and your paid search campaigns because at the end of the day, you want to reach voice searchers as well as keyboard searchers. Start thinking about this now to have a leg up on people who will wait to optimize until voice searches surpass text-based searches.
If you haven’t really thought about adding paid search advertising to your marketing strategy, here are some benefits at a glance:
- Immediacy: Your business’ ad shows up towards the top of search engines within minutes.
- Flexibility: Since you control bids and budgets, you can always plan ahead.
- Reach: You can have your ad show up for users on both computers and those surfing the web on mobile devices.
- Variety of ad types: As you delve deeper into paid search, you’ll realize you can use text ads, image ads and even multimedia ads.
- Geo-targeting: Target your ads to specific cities, zip codes, states or countries. This way, you’re not spending money for clicks from users who are outside your service area.
Voice search is set to change the digital marketing landscape over the next few years, but no one knows exactly how yet. One thing is for sure, though: it’s only going to get bigger. Stay ahead of upcoming trends to optimize your paid search campaigns for voice queries and start sooner rather than later.