By 2020, voice searches are forecast to account for half of all searches, so getting to grips with how this is going to impact digital advertising is crucial for marketers. This article will take you through some of the biggest effects this shift will have.

Voice search will increase the importance of featured snippets

Whatever voice assistant you use, you’ll know that they rely on featured snippets to answer your questions. Digital marketers are already focused on earning featured snippets, and their value and competition for them will only grow as voice searches become the norm.

Voice search will increase the value of Position Zero

Featured snippets occupy Position Zero, the holy grail of SEO, and this is where marketers want their websites to be. Not only do you maximize visibility, you also steal traffic from the first result. So this point goes hand-in-hand with the first: voice search will account for 50% of searches, voice search relies on snippets, snippets occupy Position Zero, so Position Zero will become even more valuable.

Semantics are crucial to voice search

When searching by voice, users will take on a conversational tone. If you type “things to do in London”, you might say “What can I do in London right now?” This shift means marketers will have to create content that’s more suited to queries, not just keywords or search terms.

Voice search will promote mobile

More than 50% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices, so a mobile-first approach to digital marketing has become prevalent. While voice assistants “live” in speaker devices like Home Hub or Echo, most voice searches happen on mobile. As such, it’s going to be even more important for marketers and web designers to produce mobile-friendly content and websites.

Voice search will increase the value of local SEO

Over 55% of consumers use voice to search for local businesses, and over 75% of voice-enabled speaker users do local searches at least once a week, be it to check weather, find restaurant recommendations or for local cinema showtimes. With this increasing reliance on voice to find local information, marketers need to prioritize local SEO.

Voice search will crystalize the importance of the “micro-moment”

What’s a micro-moment? These are those instances of a few seconds where a consumer decides they need to know something, or want to go somewhere, buy something or do something. Marketers will have to think about how these “I-want-to” moments translate into voice searches, and optimize accordingly.

So, with more than a billion voice searches being made every month, perhaps the most basic takeaway is that voice search simply can’t be ignored. If marketers fail to adapt to voice searches, then they’ll be missing out on over half of all searches, and that proportion is only going to rise. Whether a local business, ecommerce store or a totally offline company, voice search is an area that needs to be tapped into.