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How can you optimise your PPC campaign for voice search?

If you haven’t already – now would be a great time to optimise your PPC campaigns for voice search. It’s not exactly new anymore, but voice search has become much more popular over the past few years – which makes sense because it is a faster way for users to search.

Users can search verbally rather than typing their query – meaning they are more likely to use complete sentences and questions as opposed to incomplete or shortened written sentences. There isn’t exactly a shortage of voice search technologies to choose from now, with some of the biggest and most well-known names being: 

  • Apple Siri (the most popular voice assistant)
  • Samsung Bixby 
  • Google Voice (also known as Ok Google)
  • Amazon Alexa 
  • Microsoft Cortana 

Each time a new development like this takes place, it is important to see it as an opportunity to reach out to new or existing customers in a different way. To stay ahead of the competition when it comes to your digital marketing – you’ll need to adjust your PPC and SEO campaigns to reflect these changes in technology. Below we have highlighted our top examples of how you can get the most out of voice search as a business.

Evaluate your current search terms

Through Google Ads, you can find out which search terms have been used to find your ad – this is done within Keywords where you’ll find a Search Terms tab with all the terms listed. When looking through your search terms, you should be looking out for long-tail keywords and other searches that indicate a voice search, such as:

  • How do I…
  • Where is the…
  • Alexa
  • Siri
  • Ok Google

Once you know how people are searching for your ad – you can improve your keyword list and optimise for voice search to generate more traffic through your ads.

The main reason we keep an eye out for queries mentioning the voice search assistant name (Alexa, Siri etc.) is that it helps us to understand where we should be targeting ads. For example, we know that Alexa primarily uses Bing – so, if you’re noticing multiple user searches generated from Alexa, you should consider creating more Bing ads to reach out to this audience. The same would apply with Ok Google, etc. 

Create or adjust PPC campaigns for voice search 

Whether you create a new campaign or optimise an existing campaign, will depend on how many voice search terms you found when reviewing your current searches (as mentioned above). Using ad groups within an existing campaign is a good way to compare quality scores for ads to help determine what is and isn’t working.  

Review your keywords 

Depending on your current search terms, you should add negative keywords based on any searches that are not relevant to your brand. You should also review your existing negatives to avoid missing out on potential conversions through voice search.

Written searches tend to be short and concise because people don’t want to waste time writing complete questions when they don’t need to. For example, a written Google search will be something like “Black Friday London”. Whereas a voice search tends to be a complete question, such as “Siri, which shops in London are offering Black Friday deals?”.

We suggest thinking from a personal and logical perspective for this – think about how you would ask questions about your brand, service or product when communicating verbally. Voice searches tend to be longer because they are more conversational– so, campaigns that are optimised with natural language will produce better results. 

You can add long-tail phrases (typically three or more words) and question-based searches (who, what, where, why, etc.) to your keyword list. There are some great keyword tools that can help you to build an effective list. Our top tools include Spyfu, Moz and Keyword Planner – you can read more about how they work here.  

Consider local searches

Voice search is often used for local searches, meaning you should use location-based keywords in your campaign. You can use your long-tail keyword to match your location. For example, as a digital marketing agency, we could optimise for; “Where is a digital marketing agency in London?”

With local searches, you should also always consider the language primarily used in your targeted area to make sure you are matching searches. You can read more about our localisation services here.

  • Enable location extensions – Using voice search to quickly access a route to a location makes sense because it is quicker than opening a browser and typing. If you want people to find your business, make sure your location extensions are enabled on those specific ad groups so that your ads are able to serve within Google maps ads. There has been a considerable increase in these type of searches over the past few years, so enabling your ads for maps is a crucial part of local advertising.

  • Separate by user intent – We also suggest separating your voice search keywords by intent. What we mean by this, is that you’ll benefit from making a higher bid if there is higher intent within a search. For example, “Digital marketing agency near me” suggests higher intent than “What is a good digital marketing agency?” While both could drive traffic to your site, the “near me” in the first example indicates that the user is interested in contacting an agency soon and potentially using your service. The second example could just be research that doesn’t result in a conversion.

Get in touch

Voice search assistants are continually making improvements and helping to make a search easier for the user. It’s essential to build or adjust your PPC campaigns in order to reach out to these users and understand their search habits. 

Taking steps such as looking into your current search terms, adjusting keyword lists and optimising for natural language can help you to stay ahead of your digital marketing competition and drive more conversions through PPC. If you’re not sure where to start or have any questions – please get in touch.