Voice Search Is Exploding and App Store Optimization Will Never Be the Same

Voice Search X ASO

Apple’s launch of the iPhone 4s way back in 2011 introduced the world to Siri. Since then, we’ve had Google Voice, Microsoft Cortana, and Amazon Echo Alexis, but now voice search is poised to change how we search stuff and its usage per day have rapidly increased to 55 percent for teens and 41 percent of adults. Businesses can benefit from understanding how this shift will disrupt current search (ASO), SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing strategies.

What has changed? Keyword searching is decreasing so sites or apps optimized for keywords will see a decrease in traffic and engagement. Voice search sifts human interaction from typing in key words or phrases to find something in the App Store to using natural language to look for apps. This goes beyond long tail search strategies where you combine multiple search terms to narrow your results on smaller niche audiences where your app or game is more relevant. People were using longer search phrases looking for more specific apps. Now they are using their voices to look for them in full sentences.

Should You Worry About Voice Search?

Well, not that much. But it’s a good time to prepare. With the growth of voice search, which uses natural language, there is an increase in questions as part of the app store search phrasing. These days, the use of search queries starting with “who,” “what,” “where” and “how” has increased by 61 percent. This simply means users are now asking questions online the way they would a person. This makes sense because they now can use their voice and ask their mobile phones. Siri, Cortana, or Alexis can act as your ambassadors if you adjust your ASO strategies accordingly so that your apps appear as a good answer.

Think less keyword stuffing and metas and a full sentence answers and conversational copy. Respond to a more natural language questions with more natural language answers or approach – the way you would answer someone in person. With the emphasis on quality answers and content, you must also think less like a marketer with heavy sales messages and more like a publisher or journalist.
Answering the What, Where, Who, When questions are the basis of writing a good news story and the basis of my Social Media Audit Template.

Google Voice search has doubled over the years and will only increase greatly. How can you take advantage of this new trend? Follow these steps below.

1. Research the most common questions posed by your target audience.

Search industry, interest and product forums. Search Quora, Reddit, or search comments on ratings and industry appropriate review sites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor or Amazon.

You may also create your own Q&A page, survey front line employees and sales people about most common questions and analyze your own social media accounts for common questions.

Then, search these common questions using voice search to see how the current answers are written. Use Siri, Google Voice, or Alexis to see what is appearing as the top results.

This will help you determine the current competition and provide a guideline for how to structure your own answers.
2. Create an app that directly answers those questions in simple clear sentences. Here remember the “who,” “what,” “where” and “how.” Provide clear and concise answers but fill out the information around the direct answers. Once you get the target on your app for the direct answer you can expand the topic. Also, you must not forget to create an app based on variations of the same questions such as, “how do I fix the ____?,” “how do I stop the ___?”, or who can fix this ____?, “what do I do if the ___?”

3. Consider local voice search. If you are a business with a physical address you should add this element to your ASO strategy. Maybe your users are asking questions based on geo-location such as “where is the nearest BBQ place? ” “where can I get ____?”, Who has the closest free wi-fi connection?” Make sure your business is listed with physical locations in Google+ Local and other geo-location social media sites such as Yelp, Foursquare, and Facebook.

What are the benefits adjusting to voice search? For ASO, optimizing your app with new information in the right structure can help get your content noticed over competitors to drive more traffic from highly qualified leads. The same goes with SEO. In social media, voice search optimized content will draw more attention because you are providing valuable answers addressing your target audience’s most common questions.

As an added benefit, this focus on discovering and answering your target’s questions helps you develop a better ASO strategy with a more valuable and relevant social media content. ASO coupled with a good Social media and content marketing strategies can help you boost your app’s ranking. However, this all depends on providing frequent, consistent, relevant content to target audiences. Knowing what questions your users are asking is another source of what app to create to drive awareness views and shares.

Adjusting to the shift to natural language and this new addition to your ASO process helps you think more like a consumer and less like a marketer. This improved understanding of what your customers are currently seeking could also lead to new product and service ideas to improve your business offering.

We are still early in this “voice search” trend. It is important to start adjusting your ASO strategies now and you could benefit from a competitive advantage over your slower to adapt competitors.

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