Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google Voice search Assistant will change the nature of the queries. In this mini-revolution of interactions, brands must find their place and rethink their media strategies.

Google Voice search

The Google search bar may be in jeopardy. Today, nearly 20% of US Internet users (1) use voice search on their smartphones. Of these, more than 46% are between 16 and 34 years old. At the same time, 55% of adolescents and 41% (2) of adults use voice search more than once a day. These figures still seem far from the future potential. Indeed, by 2020, 50% (3) of searches will be done by voice.

With the help of their voices, Internet users can now play music, turn on the light, search for a nearby pizzeria, order products and get information on everything. It has been understood: Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google Assistant will change the nature of requests. Internet users will search for less information and express more orders, requiring immediate response. In this mini-revolution of interactions, brands must find their place and rethink their media strategies. It is now a question of trustering the 0 position of the organic results, but also of reinventing a syntax (in the proper sense of the term: a syntax of the orality, versus a syntax of the writing) in the paying strategies.

The famous “position 0” (the insert of direct answer proposed by Google at the top of the page: the answer box) will be the only answer used by the voice assistants. In other words, the best referenced will be the only ones to exist on these voice interfaces. SEO experts are already aware of Google’s new grading algorithm RankBrain, which uses a learning system based on artificial intelligence. They also know, since 2012 (era of Panda & Penguin updates), that any SEO strategy must now be consumer-driven. This makes it possible to understand the intent of your audience, in order to serve the best content, in the right formats, at the right time and in the right place.

In addition, advertisers need to rethink their syntax for their paid search strategies, from truncated keyword searches to “conversation queries”. We are in the early stages of paid voice research, which will of course continue to evolve as technology evolves, posing new challenges for brands. The logic of orality will open up new needs, new uses, versus the logic of written and therefore composed research.

At DigitasLBi, we have already advised several of our brands, such as Nissan, Engie, Radisson, Placedestendances and Citadium, and have positioned them at the top of the search results and in unique results delivered by voice assistants.

Finally, Search strategies need to be optimized and strengthened in the coming months in order to create a seamless Customer Journey. The transition to a vocal world does not necessarily mean the end of the screens. Just as we started with desktops, tablets and smartphones, voice simply offers users another way to interact with search engines.

Therefore, the future lies elsewhere: creating the perfect experience for the consumer. Brands that will make the search / information interaction easier for consumers will be successful.

The stakes are high, and it is business: we are in the same situation as the evolution of mobile search. While initially considered an information search platform, the smartphone is increasingly used to purchase products or services. And while the majority of current voice searches are informative and / or informative, we are likely to see an increase in commercial searches as users become more comfortable with voice functionality.

(1): GlobalWebIndex Study on Social Network Trends – 2015

(2): Google Study – 2014

(3): ComScore Study – 2016

Jérémy Querrec, Media Consulting Director DigitasLBi & Marie Nossereau, Director of Strategic Planning DigitasLBi