By Will Hockin,
Voice search has come on a long way since Siri was launched way back in 2011. More recently, technologies such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home mean more people than ever are using their voice to conduct internet searches. In fact, 55% of teens and 41% of adults conduct at least one voice search per day, and it is estimated that by 2020 voice will account for 50% of all search queries online, up from 20% in 2016.
With this new technology redefining how people discover and access content on the internet, what does this mean for content producers? A change in the behaviour of audiences means that digital marketers, and those seeking to gain their attention online, need to change their approach accordingly. It’s simply no use providing answers to questions that aren’t being asked.
Old School vs New School
To understand the impact voice search will have on copywriting, and what marketers should be doing about it, we first need to consider what digital searches have traditionally looked like, and how they look now. This essentially can be broken down into the difference between the typed and the spoken word.
Before the meteoric rise in voice searches, back when people did really arcane things like type queries into Google, a typical search focussed on a collection of keywords. For example, if you wanted to know the weather in London, you might search for “London weather”. Now, using Alexa, or Microsoft’s Cortana a typical query may be “What is the weather in London on Thursday?”
The two styles are markedly different, and voice searching perfectly demonstrates the growing emphasis on a more human experience for consumers digitally. Rather than typing a collection of keywords you hope will give you the correct answer, voice search easily allows you to ask the exact question you want.
What Does Voice Mean for Your Copywriting?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, your content and copywriting should reflect the changes in consumer search behaviour that we have just discussed. Be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater here, your website’s SEO still needs to be optimised for typed search as well. We’re not advocating a full copy re-write – just some tips to keep in mind for future copy and blogs.
Most obviously, your copywriting should read in a way that favours natural speech. As consumers articulate their queries in full sentences rather than a group of keywords, your copy should allow search engines to find those sentences.
Keeping it conversational will help you here. Conversational speech is typically more elaborate and lengthy, with carefully constructed sentences. But don’t panic. An easy way to keep on top of this is simply to read it aloud back to yourself, or even to a colleague. If it doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t.
As technology develops to allow us an ever more natural experience online, the content that we post must also evolve to reflect this. Creating a conversational tone of voice and picking the right words and phrases to make your copy human has never been more crucial. Remember, if you wouldn’t say it out loud, then why would you write it?If you’d like some help getting your copywriting perfectly optimised, check out what we can do for you. Or alternatively, get in touch with us today.