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Mobile Search vs. Voice Search: Why You Should Plan for Both

More people have access to search engine technology than at any point in history. Not only are more folks searching, but they’re using diverse methods and devices to do so.

Desktop search volume has officially been outpaced by mobile, and voice search is not far behind. That’s why marketers need to take all search techniques seriously and give users on every platform the experiences they demand.

Let’s do a quick comparison of mobile and voice search technologies and offer some advice for marketers who want to make strides in these key areas. 

Mobile Search Stats

What’s easier than booting up your desktop computer and performing a Google search with your mouse and keyboard? Picking up your phone and cutting your search time in half!

It’s no wonder why millions of people are making the switch from desktop to mobile search, given the flexibility, speed, and convenience of the smartphone and tablet platforms.

Not only are folks using mobile search more than ever before, and they aren’t just browsing. Billions of dollars are transacted every year via smartphone payment processors, and you shouldn’t overlook these crucial business opportunities.

The information that users discover via mobile search leads to purchases more often than you may think. Nearly half of buyers use mobile platforms as their first step towards buying products and services, according to Quora Creative.

Mobile search happens anywhere and everywhere, and a growing percentage of buyers use their devices in-store to check reviews and features before picking products off the shelves.

Price comparison checks happen more often on mobile as well, with 62% of people using their phones to make sure they’re getting the best possible deal on products and services.

In short, mobile search is fast, dynamic, and the stakes are high. Your business needs to be on the front lines of mobile user experience and search engine optimization to succeed.

Mobile Search SEO Tips

Given those stats, it’s clear that the mobile revolution isn’t just an idea – it has already happened, and the trend is not going to reverse.

The first thing to note is that Google relies on mobile-first indexing to organize search results these days, meaning your mobile pages are more important than ever before. Data needs to be structured and crawlable in mobile format to be seen and sorted on Google, which is where 95% of mobile searches are conducted.

With that in mind, the fundamentals of mobile search SEO are largely the same as desktop-focused strategies. However, the competition is stiffer on mobile, as users are even less likely to spend time scrolling search results and viewing multiple pages.

It’s more of a winner-take-all environment on mobile, where the top search results receive the vast majority of the clicks. The key here is to focus on strong mobile content and stellar user experience so that your page rises to the top of the mobile SERPs and stays there. 

Speed is also a key factor in mobile marketing, reveals data from Blue Corona, which tells us that 75% of smartphone users expect immediate information when accessing the web.

Numerous studies show that for every extra second users spend waiting for pages to load, their likelihood to bounce to another website increases by around 10 to 15 percent. That’s no joke! Your mobile pages need to load in the blink of an eye to ensure steady traffic.

Use a protocol like Google Accelerated Mobile Pages to easily overhaul your code for maximum crawlability, boost visibility on search, and offer users lightning-fast load times from anywhere.

Voice Search Stats

While it hasn’t caught on as quickly and broadly as mobile search, voice-activated search methods are certainly not a fluke or novelty technology. 

There are many innocuous uses for voice search that don’t impact your business. Most people use the tech to play music, text friends, and check their daily schedules. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take voice search seriously as a legit way to market your brand’s products and services. 

Folks use voice search to instantly buy products from big-box sites like Amazon, Walmart, and Target, but smaller retailers are also introducing voice-activated purchase mechanisms. By 2022, global voice commerce is expected to rise above $40 billion, not to be overlooked.

Those who get on the voice search bandwagon love it and tend to stay on board. According to data from 99Firms, 82% of smart speaker owners say that voice assistant technology meets or exceeds their expectations. Make sure your business is seen (and heard) in voice search results to take advantage of this growing segment. 

Voice Search SEO Tips

We know that voice search is the way of the future, but how do you position your brand in the search engine to access these key markets?

Quality content is at the core of voice search SEO, but instead of long-form guides and how-to articles, you’ll want to focus on quick-hitting question-and-answer tidbits that put your brand in the spotlight. That means optimizing FAQ pages, mastering social media, and making the most of your digital presence in local markets.

Take every opportunity to answer pressing questions straightforwardly and directly throughout your site, as well as on guest post and influencer marketing campaigns. 

Play your cards right and your page could end up in a featured snippet or instant answer position, which is read aloud to the user and almost guarantees a qualified lead off the bat.

Since users are not likely to browse extensively via voice search, you must position your page in a top spot or land a featured answer box for immediate visibility.  

In-the-moment purchases are the bread and butter of voice search since users tend to perform these searches hands-free and on-the-fly. Here are some examples:

  • Working on a recipe in the kitchen and ordering a necessary item or ingredient online with a voice-activated search, instead of interrupting the cooking process.
  • Noticing missing socks or underwear at the laundromat and ordering a new box of garments with voice activation immediately.
  • Seeing a cool billboard or advertisement when driving downtown and doing a related voice search while keeping hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

As voice search technology becomes a bigger part of our lives, expect to see it integrated with traditional marketing in countless interesting new ways. 

Conclusion

As with any marketing trend, be extremely wary of putting all your eggs in one basket. Mobile and voice search SEO go hand in hand, with a lot of overlap between audiences.

Your efforts in mobile SEO will likely spill over into voice search SEO, and vice versa, so make them two sides of the same coin. As always, your content quality, social media presence, and technical SEO efforts will be what move the dial and yield real results.

Sources:

99Firms

Quora Creative

Blue Corona

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