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22 May 2019 / Opinion

How do I optimise PPC for voice search?

Sean Healy / Head of PPC

27% of the global online population now uses voice search across mobile devices. In addition, 17% of overall internet users are now in possession of a voice controlled smart assistant.

So, it’s essential for brands to tailor their paid search campaigns to capitalise on this shift in search behaviour.

Furthermore, since 2017, access to a smart speaker has gone from 5 to 12%, outlining a clear indication of the growth trajectory within the voice search market. So, if the impact of this is something you have not yet considered, now is the time to take action!

This means that it is essential for advertisers to consider a few key factors in order to capitalise on voice search:

1. Put location at the heart of your voice search strategy

Nearly one third of mobile searches are related to location and people will use voice search when they are on the move and ask their mobile for assistance.

Ensure that related search queries are built into your account to accommodate for this e.g. ‘trainer shop near kings cross’ or ‘find sunglasses store in birmingham’.

This can be particularly valuable for retail clients with multiple stores. In these instances, we have seen success when building location-based campaigns for each store location, with the keyword format Product + Location.

You can compliment this by adding location extensions to your campaigns, which will provide essential store details such as address and opening times.

Going one step further for those retailers who utilise their Google My Business feed, it’s possible to target a proximity within a short distance of the store’s location.

Using this method to complement voice search behaviour traits and bid on keywords such as ‘jewellery shop near me’ allows brands to serve highly localised adverts to entice customers in-store.

It’s important to ensure that this omnichannel approach is validated by measuring successes through KPIs such as Store Visits or Store Sales Direct in Google and softer metrics such as CTR%.

It’s also possible to give a bricks and mortar businesses more visibility through Google Maps and drive store visits or phone calls with Google’s ‘Local Ads’ campaign type, which are designed to drive online footfall.

Epiphany’s recent tests of this product have demonstrated a significantly lower cost per store visit compared to generic search campaigns.

2. Capitalise on people searching with more natural language and conversational queries

The humanisation of smart assistants has provoked people to search with more natural language. This means that more people are searching by asking questions and using more key phrases within their search.

At Epiphany, we have seen an uplift in these types of queries across mobile devices. Examples include:

  • Where is the best place to holiday in Italy?
  • Which are the best noice cancelling headphones?

For the best results, it’s important to group these keywords into highly themed ad groups and consider that the intent of these searches may differ from other campaigns.

For example, the above searches take place in the consideration stage of the purchase, so you may want to consider building custom landing pages to accommodate for this.

In the first example, a holiday guide to Italy would be a more appropriate landing page at this stage, rather than a highly specific holiday package you are trying to sell.

However, as these queries are less likely to convert initially, it’s important to ensure that this is reflected within the bidding strategy to ensure efficiency goals can still be hit (i.e. ROAS, CPA etc.).

It’s important to regularly review search query reports to look for these conversational queries as well as other relevant, longer-tail terms. Voice queries are often more than 5 or 6 words long.

An easy way to find these valuable queries is by exporting the search query report into excel and use the =LEN(cell) formula in order to measure the number of characters in a cell, then order from high to low to draw out the longer tailed queries.

Initially focusing on building the search queries which have already driven conversions efficiently into your account will help to maximise results.

3. Test Dynamic Search Ads

On a daily basis, 15% of queries submitted to Google are new and this figure is increasing due to the longer-tailed nature of voice search.

Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) can help to fill in keyword gaps w by automatically matching search queries to content on your website, automatically generating a headline with a relevant landing page in the process.

At Jaywing, we have found that DSA campaigns can be an effective tool for new keyword discovery, as well as being an efficient form of incremental traffic.

DSA should be regarded as a short-term solution to any keyword gaps and relevant search queries triggered from this should be incorporated into manual campaign setups as soon as possible.

4. Optimise your website for mobile!

Although this falls outside the Google Ads universe, we see many brands fall at the final hurdle by allowing their website to let them down after spending time on optimising PPC traffic for voice search and mobile.

Mobile website optimisation is an important part of any integrated PPC and CRO strategy. So it’s essential that your website can work effectively across any mobile device and users are not put off users by a poor user experience or slow mobile site!

If you would like an audit of your current PPC campaigns to see where you can optimise for mobile and voice search in particular

Speak to us