Should B2B marketers worry about the rising trend of voice search? After all, the purchasing process in this sector still follows traditional trends and is less influenced by the latest trends. Companies don’t look for purchasing managers and supply chain directors on Instagram or TikTok. Contracts are not concluded over a Messenger chat.
However, voice search is different from other hot trends in marketing and sales. It is a new technology that offers convenience and facilitates quick and effortless searches. And this is something every busy purchasing manager needs: a quick and simple to find products and services their company needs.
What Is the State of Voice Search in the B2B Sector?
A survey conducted by Perficient Digital identified some interesting patterns of voice search usage. And they apply to the B2B sector, as well. For instance, among the top places where people use voice search:
- 50% – at the office alone
- 38% – in the office with coworkers.
This means that corporate employees are likely to resort to voice search during brainstorming sessions, meetings and collaborative work on projects.
As for the age groups of people who use voice search at work:
- The most active group is the 25-34 age group;
- The second most active group is under 24;
- The third category is 35-44.
Thus, the first and third most active age groups in voice search are your prospects: people between 25 and 44 years old, who have risen to managerial positions. Also, looking at their income levels, people who are most likely to perform voice searches in the office are:
- Most active group: US $50,000-99,000;
- Second most active group: over US $100,000;
- Third most active group: US $30,000-49,000.
The conclusion is clear: high earners in managerial positions use voice searches at work, both alone and together with their teams. How does this affect your B2B digital marketing strategy?
1. Include Bing in Your SEO Strategy
Voice search does not depend on a single platform – Google – to identify search results. Apple Siri and Microsoft Cortana, for example, search primarily on Bing, the search engine developed by Microsoft.
Thus, if you have ignored Bing so far, it’s time to include it in your SEO strategy. While your competitors are still focused on the most competitive search engine, you can stand out in voice searches with less costly and time consuming efforts.
2. Align Your Mobile and Voice Search Strategies
The good thing about voice search is that it is tightly connected with mobile devices. Thus, as you are already working on your mobile marketing strategy, all you have to do is expand it to include voice search.
What does this mean? These are three key aspects to consider:
- Site loading speed;
- Website security
- Domain name authority.
You can achieve all these by performing regular maintenance on your website, removing broken links, reducing image size and using an antivirus solution for websites.
3. Expand Your Negative Keywords
Most people use voice search when they want to learn something they are curious about. As a B2B marketer, you don’t need this kind of traffic. These website visitors are not qualified customers.
Thus, you want to update and expand your list of negative keywords by adding information seeking questions, such as:
- What is…,
- How does it work;
- Where is.
4. Include Voice Specific Keywords in Your SEO Strategy
At the same time, you should expand your keywords with voice specific terms. These are also question terms. You can easily identify them from comments on your social media accounts and requests for proposals.
These are questions that potential customers ask when they are evaluating and comparing offers. If they use voice search, they are very likely to use the same questions. If you optimise your SEO strategy for these question terms, digital assistants will provide your website as the best result for the query.
5. Try to Rank for Featured Snippets
A Featured Snippet is a separate section of Google search results, which provides a brief and accurate answer to the query. This section appears ahead of the other search results, inside a rectangle. Digital assistants are most likely to pick this result as the best match to the query.
To rank for this category, you should include a brief and clear summary of your content at the top of each content piece. This summary should include the most relevant keywords, as well as one of the specific voice keywords in the form of a question.