Voice Search: The Next Frontier for SEO

Post by Colin Mumma, Specialist

Voice search is slowly but surely creeping into the search space, with more and more dedicated smart devices expanding their search capabilities beyond keyword query-based search. Like most technologies, it takes some time for it to work efficiently enough to serve the public, which means developing search functionality for voice search that is contextualized and intuitive to use. Smart device voice search users have to be not only comfortable with using voice search features, but also be satisfied with the results. You may be surprised to know that voice search has been around since the early 2000s and is only now starting to become adopted by the main stream. It is because of smart devices and Personal Digital Assistants (Cortana/Siri) that have made the technology more available in devices that many people already have.

These indicators tell us that mobile optimization and voice search are becoming even more prevalent in 2017 with plenty of room to grow year-over-year.

Who Is Using Voice Search?

According to Google, about 41% of adults and 55% of teenagers use Voice Search.

It can get very granular from here – different people use voice search in different places:

  • People start using voice search at home where they are not in public and eventually warm up to using the feature in more public, open places
  • Men typically use voice search features more than women do, and the more public the area the less-likely a woman is to use voice search
  • Voice search is a more desirable search method than a site’s internal search functionality, but less desirable than using search engine applications or mobile browsers for searching
  • Voice search is primarily used to make phone calls and perform simple, online searches followed by map navigation, note taking and selecting music

In the same study, they polled the top three reasons for utilizing voice search:

  1. Speed
  2. An audible, voice-led reply (via assistant)
  3. Hands free

These three things make perfect sense; the convenience of using the feature is what attracts people to using voice search, and where they see the value of using these tools is in the experience of search.

How Does Voice Search Affect SEO?

There are many indications that optimizing for voice search will differ from that of typical keyword-focused optimization strategies. First off, people do not speak the way they typically search on the web. Voice-driven searches are less predictable with a need for context-based search as opposed to specialized wording of terms. People who use voice search want more answers and fewer results. Different markets will also be affected differently by voice search adoption. Since people talk to digital assistants like people and not like machines, it can be hard to tell what users are going to “ask” their Personal Assistants (PAs). There is an impact on SEO when the below search examples are beginning to change:

Standard Search Query

“blue jeans Chicago”

Voice Search Query

“Hi Siri, just wondering where I can find a pair of skinny blue jeans on the Mag Mile here in Chicago.”

Both searches above are aiming for the same thing: blue jeans; however, the voice search command is a much longer query that is more conversational in nature and must be contextualized before being able to deliver the better, few results that voice search users want. It is because of the uniqueness and specificity of the voice command that ecommerce retailers will likely struggle more. It will likely take some time before that technology is streamlined and widely adopted. Personalized, long-tail keywords will pave the way towards adopting voice search keyword strategies.

Content should also be written in the voice of a natural, conversational tone to make it easier for search engines to match the context of the on-page copy and the user’s query. Schema markup is also essential for making sure your site/content will appear in the Quick Answers section of the SERP (position 0). Users who want quick information find results in this area the most desirable. Make sure that you are doing everything you can to make sure marking up all of your site content with microdata, or JSON-LD (recommended by Google). Creating FAQ pages with lists of often-asked questions also ensures that users have a primary resource for getting their questions answered.

Start Using Your Voice Search Features

The implications for voice search in 2017 are coming to a head. 2017 is a good time to start keeping voice search in mind for developing future digital strategies in every channel. Brands should:

  • Leverage smart phone features: Expect to hear more and more about voice search optimization in the direct future and start using those features yourself if you have a smart device with a digital assistant
  • Understand the implications: Voice search is best learned about through experience as opposed to research. Using these search methods will help marketers understand the way they personally use voice search and the impact it has on their search experience. Ask yourself, “If I were to ‘ask’ my PA about this product, what would I ask and what would I want in return?” This type of thinking is imperative to understanding the wide adoption of voice search implications for marketers and brands (especially brands)
  • Adopt and develop voice search strategies: Soon enough, voice search may become the most casual, predominant way to make quick informational, purchase, and navigational queries due to the mainstream adaption of smart personal devices. Marketers and brands should begin adopting and developing voice search strategies before it is too late. The time to begin optimizing and thinking about voice search was yesterday – start thinking about how your clients can obtain a leg-up by opening a discussion about this technology’s implications on your digital marketing initiatives.

To learn more about voice search, contact Performics today.

We’re Recruiting!

Graduate Account Executive:

We are looking for charismatic candidates with an appetite for marketing and relevant experience. You could be a recent graduate or graduating in 2017.

Does this sounds like you or someone you know?

‘I’m curious about how companies go about promoting their brands and products. That’s why I’m passionate about marketing. From the latest TV spot, through Twitter, right down to how customer loyalty schemes work; every channel fascinates me. But the evolution of marketing is reaching a giddy-speed. So I’m proud to say I remain a committed student of marketing.’

How to apply: To kick start your career email curiouscareers@wdmp.co.uk with your CV and tell us what makes you curious. Deadline 21st April 2017.

Office Manager:

Are you an ambitious confident and pro-active Office manager? Our amazing and curious CRM Agency needs someone who is not scared to get his/her hands dirty.

This is the perfect role for a fun and professional hard-worker who can multi-task and provide a professional front of house services at all times.

As Office Manager, you will be responsible for all matters relating to the office including acting as front of house, reception duties, supporting senior management and picking up adhoc duties as they arise. As well as carrying out a range of facilities general administrative duties and also provide PA support for 5 Directors.

How to apply: Please email your CV and a covering letter explaining why you think you are suitable for the role to craig@wdmp.co.uk

The post We’re Recruiting! appeared first on WDMP – an award wining, independent, modern CRM agency based in London.

An Interview With Ardath Albee: Perception, Storytelling & Content Buyers Actually Want

Ardath Albee is the CEO of Marketing Interactions. She regularly works with B2B clients to create digital marketing strategies that are compelling, highly leveraged and, most importantly, designed to engage prospects across the entirety of the buying process — what Ardath refers to as The Continuum Experience.

Her most recent book Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results was referred to as the “new standard for digital marketers” by New York Times bestselling author Jay Baer, and she is also a sought-after national speaker on topics such as content marketing and personas.

Earlier this year, we were fortunate enough to attend Ardath’s session “How Buyer Personas Power Sustainable Stories that Turn Prospects into Customers” at the B2B Marketing Exchange in Scottsdale, AZ. Afterward, our VP, Customer Insight Lianne Wade connected with her to discuss storytelling, content binges, and why marketers should get out of a campaign mentality.

You offered up a very compelling image stating that a common problem for marketers is that perception does not equal reality. Can you explain this, and how companies can overcome it?

B2B marketers tend to believe they know their audiences, but in reality they haven’t taken the time to do the research and deep dive as far as necessary to really understand them.

Part of this is because we know our solutions too well – so the curse of knowledge. We also tend to evaluate content and marketing programs based on what appeals to us. Yet we’re not our buyers or customers.

Developing personas is the best way I know to get to the level of understanding and knowledge that informs truly relevant content and marketing programs that resonate and compel action. Action being the key outcome.

cat that thinks it's a lion

You stated that campaigns halt momentum; yet, as we know, many marketers today manage communications through campaign-driven efforts. How can they avoid this campaign mentality and build momentum to deliver “The Continuum Experience”, a term you have coined?

The biggest problem with campaigns is that they start and stop. If your buyers take 9 months to buy your complex solution but your campaign lasts 3 months, you’re leaving them hanging just when you’ve expended a lot of effort to engage them.

There are a growing number of stakeholders involved in the decision, lots of knowledge to transfer and consensus to be reached. I’d ask marketers to identify anyone who has ever said, “Please give me 3 content offers and have a salesperson call me to schedule a demo.” I don’t think they can.

Campaigns are a construct created by companies to put a box around a program for reporting purposes. They are not based on what a buyer needs to decide to make a purchase decision.

Notice in the graphic below the “dead air” space that happens when traditional campaigns end and new ones begin. All momentum the marketer has built up with prospects halts. There’s nowhere to go.

But with a continuum approach, marketers can keep the momentum going from problem to solution, fulfilling buyers’ informational needs at each step and stage as their context changes given the ongoing knowledge transfer.

Campaign vs. Continuum

Our agency uses storytelling in marketing, because it is so compelling and memorable. You talk about how to build and sustain stories. Can you elaborate on how B2B marketers can effectively use stories in their communications efforts?

Storytelling is compelling, because it’s natural. It’s the way we explain our world, the choices we make, and our aspirations. The most important thing to remember is that your buyer is the hero of the story. Not your company, not your product.

Focus your storytelling on helping the buyer learn what he or she needs to know to make an informed decision. And don’t assume they’ve already decided they need your solution. We need to start earlier in the pre-sales process to help them decide that they have a problem worth solving with our help.

Simple formula: Buyer sets out to solve a problem. Finds he doesn’t know all he needs or have the right tools to solve the problem. He enlists the help of a mentor (your company) to teach him what he needs to know to solve the problem. With your help, he clears the hurdles in his way and helps his buying committee reach consensus. He chooses to become your customer and lives happily-ever-after.

Apply this thought process to whatever you’re selling with the buyer as the hero, and you’ll have a compelling story across the entirety of the buying process — from start to finish.

Slide by Ardath Albee about Storytelling

You talked about an idea which I found very intriguing: content binge. When a buyer is ready to consume more info, provide them with easy access to information and package it. Can you give some practical ideas on how this would be accomplished?

When buyers become motivated to solve a problem, they tend to want to ingest as much information as they can about how to go about doing that.

Establishing problem-to-solution content hubs on your website or creating a microsite groups all this information together and reduces the effort they must expend to access the information.

The best part is that if you’ve designed your content to match needs at different stages of buying, you can also identify where they are in their buying process and respond to their buying patterns with highly relevant content offers and follow-up.

What is the one thing that you want B2B marketers to know about buyer personas that they may not know, or perhaps have a misperception about?

Buyer personas, built well, are great for understanding individual members of the buying committee. However, a greater value is in understanding the relationships and overlays between the personas as they work together to reach consensus. Or don’t. By understanding the group dynamics, you can create content and share information that will help them work together to solve the problem.

Slide by Ardath Albee

Tim Riesterer from Corporate Visions spoke about defeating the Status Quo Bias by teaching customers something new about their business needs that they may not know today; thereby disrupting them to change their behavior. In your opinion, how can B2B marketers overcome this bias to motivate buyers to act?

This goes back to question one. If you truly understand your buyers, you should be able to identify their “jobs to be done” or unmet needs, as well as why their status quo position won’t get them there.

Armed with this insight, you have a much higher chance of being able to show them something they haven’t seen in the same light before.

Ardath, where will be you be speaking next, and what topic will you cover?

I’ll be at Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit in San Francisco, April 24th – 26th.

I’ll be talking about how to create an ABM strategy to drive consensus for complex sales.

Wilde Agency Logo 1

Wilde Agency is an award-winning integrated marketing agency that specializes in understanding and utilizing the science of human behavior to drive superior results for our clients.

Previously, we have spoken to Dr. Aaron Reid about what marketers can gain from implicit research technology, and prior to that, we chatted with international bestseller and visual marketing expert Dan Roam about the persuasive power of drawing.

The post An Interview With Ardath Albee: Perception, Storytelling & Content Buyers Actually Want appeared first on Wilde Agency.

Global Performance Marketing Agency, Performics, Launches in Ukraine

Performics has launched in Ukraine, giving local market clients access to an improved digital service offering and world-class performance marketing expertise. Performics offers display, search, social and programmatic buying campaigns to clients. Performics is based in Kiev and is led by experienced Business Director, Alla Malinovskaya. All digital campaigns for Publicis One clients in Ukraine will now be managed by Performics.

Malinovskaya has 21 years of experience in the advertising and communications sector, including 12 years at Publicis Groupe. Over the past 5 years, Malinovskaya was Business Director of the Media Hub at Publicis Groupe Ukraine (now Publicis One), providing centralized support for all media agencies of the group, including paid and organic search, SEO, e-commerce, programmatic buying and classical media buying, non-standard projects, negotiations with key contractors and quality control of digital placements.

Malinovskaya and her team of specialists have a wide range of expertise including strategy and planning; social, paid and display media campaign management; research, data and insights; and web development, UX and graphic design. The team has a portfolio of work for highly respected brands like Nestle, L’Oreal, Mondelez, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Sandoz, Sanofi, P&G and KievStar.

“With the launch of Performics in Ukraine, which is based on Media Hub Publicis One, we plan to expand the list of services and expertise offered to all Publicis One clients. We’re also launching a Performance Content practice, and our existing Analytics and Research practice is being transformed into a Planning and Insights department. The Performics launch in Ukraine provides a wide range of capabilities to all Publicis One clients, advancing their digital marketing performance through world-class capabilities, technologies and international quality standards,” says Malinovskaya.

Through the global Performics network, Ukrainian clients will benefit from the following advantages:

  • Scale: Performics is the largest and most comprehensive global performance marketing network, with unmatched access to media partners
  • Strategy: Our mission is to be the premier revenue growth driver for our clients
  • Specialists & Tools: Performics leverages data, technology and talent to create and convert consumer demand wherever it is expressed

About Performics 

As the original performance marketing agency, Performics converts consumer intent into revenue for the world’s most admired brands. Across a global network operating in 57 countries worldwide, Performics creates connected and personalized digital experiences across paid, earned and owned media. RECMA recognized Performics as one of their Top Digital Agency Networks of 2014. Headquartered in Chicago, Performics is a Publicis Media company. To learn more, visit www.performics.com.

For further information, please contact:

Alla Malinovskaya
Performics Business Director
Tel: +38 (044) 494-49-11
Email: AMalinovskaya@performics.com.ua







Chuffed to have won three UK Sponsorship Awards last night!! ‘Best use of PR’ for Barclays Premier League, ‘Best use of Research & Evaluation’ for Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and Natasha Cabral walked away with the hugely prestigious Barrie Gill Award, given to the rising star in the UK sponsorship industry. Fantastic work.

Bing Ads: The Most Must-Use Features

Most PPC specialists find it challenging to break out of their usual “optimisation routine”. It’s human nature to focus on what we know that works and to concentrate the majority of our time on it: Google.

In the meantime, Bing keeps growing (faster than Google according to comScore) and it already accounts for 33% of the search paid advertising market in the US, and 23% in the UK. So, marketers shouldn’t disregard Bing as easily if we really want to achieve comprehensive paid search strategies.

In this blog, I’d like to list some of the latest additions to the platform which have contributed to making it a more robust platform than it already was before. I will also mention some of the features that may not be used as regularly, and that should be a must. All this with the aim of encouraging you to explore Bing Ads a bit further in your search paid strategy.

Trademark Keyword Policies

Bing changed its Trademark Keywords Policy last week by removing the restriction on the use of trademarks as keywords. While Bing Ads’ protection of trademarks in ad copy still remains unchanged, we are now able to expand our Bing Ads campaigns by bidding on competitor’s keywords. According to Bing, the user will benefit from it as “we often see consumers searching for trademarked terms with the expectation of receiving broader results”.

Website URL (Publisher) report

This is a really helpful feature and guess what – it isn’t currently available in AdWords! It allows us to see which syndicated partners our ads are appearing on and how they are performing. After analysing the data you can then make adjustments to improve campaign efficiency by excluding poorly performing partner URLs at a campaign level.

Negative Keyword Conflict report

We all know how important extensive negative keyword lists are to the health of a PPC account, regardless of which engine you are using. The Negative Keyword Conflict report is a great way to keep an eye on any negative keyword conflict that might crop up. It basically tells you the negative keywords you currently have in your account that are preventing your ads showing for keywords that you currently have live. You can then remove these manually in Bing and make sure you’re not blocking your ads from showing to a relevant searcher.

Share of Voice report

Unlike Google, the Share of Voice is not available as a column in the Bing platform. However, we can still access this data through this report. It helps you visualise areas for potential campaign growth and yet it is often unused. You can confirm you’re maximising reach across Bing by using this report in your top-performing areas. Take a look at data for the last six months and make sure your top converting areas are hitting their maximum share of voice. You can do this by adjusting bids and targeting higher ad positions, as well as improving overall ad relevancy.

Expanded Text Ads

bing expanded text ads

Expanded Text Ads were released in August last year on Bing. As in Google AdWords, the aim was to standardise ad formats to work across mobile, tablet and desktop devices. Similarly to Google, title character limits increased from 25 to 60 characters (30 + 30) and for descriptions from 71 to 80. This extra space enables users to create more compelling messages while increasing the ad’s clickable space.

Age and Gender report

Bing allows you to make bid adjustments based on the performance of certain age segments or gender, all the way down to ad group level. Implementing positive or negative bid adjustments for the age/gender segments that work best, or that you know do not work well for your account, will help optimise and capitalise on the traffic you are bringing in.  In order to set these up, download an Age and Gender report and pivot the data in Excel to use calculated fields for conversion rate by age/gender segment.

Shared Budgets

PPCers know the pain of manually updating individual campaign budgets, which most of the time result in underutilised budgets. How wonderful would it be to distribute a single daily budget across all campaigns or a specific set of campaigns automatically? That’s what Shared Budgets were conceived for and announced back in October. We can now savour further streamlined budgeting without the hassle of constantly having to alter and to manually adjust.

Bid Modifiers

Recently, Bing expanded their device targeting capabilities to allow advertisers to completely stop appearing on tablet and mobile devices, should they choose:

  • Desktop 0% to +900%
  • Tablet -100% to +900%
  • Mobile – 100% to + 900%

In addition to expanding device targeting capabilities, Bing also allows for targeting of location, time of day and device, and demographic (gender and age):

Demo-based bids modifiers:

bing ads Demo-based bids modifiers

Comprehensive Campaign Planner

Bing has made specific enhancements to their campaign planner to help assist in research efforts for both setting up new campaigns and expanding existing ones. With the Comprehensive Campaign Planner, you can research what your competitors are doing, what keywords you should (or should not) be using, and of course what search trends you should be looking out for.

Using the new campaign manager, you can:

  • View insights by vertical product or keywords
  • Check performance data
  • Identify search traffic trends

More than just seeing average monthly searches you can see search volume and see distribution by device and location, plus the average cost per click.

bing ads Vertical Insights

If you are beyond the research phase and you are looking to verify how you are faring vs your competitors in the search space, you can pull industry benchmarks by vertical or industry. Also, using the top 10 competitors in your space, you can view ad coverage and where they rank versus how your ads are performing.

bing ads Vertical Insights - Competition

Bing Shopping Campaigns in Editor

Before this update, managing Bing Shopping Campaigns directly from the UI was, let’s be honest, a pain in the neck. Bing Ads released Bing Shopping Campaigns integration into Bing Ads Editor in September 2016. This update allows users to create, update or delete Shopping Campaigns directly in the editor. And just to make thing a bit easier, it also provided a Google import option.

Bing UET Codes

Bing UET tracking is nothing new. We all know that the Bing UET tracking codes allow you to track multiple goals, including:

  • Visit duration
  • Custom events
  • Mobile app downloads
  • Pages per visit
  • Destination URLs

This is more of a reminder of what it can do, including enhanced attribution. Using Bing UET tracking, you can implement one tag and share that tag across ad accounts too. Then you can re-engage past visitors, engage new visitors, and broaden your audience with different remarketing strategies.

While the world of PPC is ever-changing and new features are being released constantly (sometimes on a daily basis!) it is always beneficial to be reminded of what is already currently at your fingertips and how you can better use the tools available to you. I hope this blog helped you get a better idea of the potential of using Bing Ads in your future strategies and I encourage you heartily to give it a go!

Want to explore how Bing Ads could help you drive more conversions? Drop us a line at info@harvestdigital.com and see how we can help you.

Related posts:

The post Bing Ads: The Most Must-Use Features appeared first on Harvest Digital.

Snapchat innovates, Facebook commodifies

They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. And over the course of history many businesses have stolen the best bits from their competitors and improved upon them in some way. That’s progress right, Vorpsrung durch Technik and all that.


Facebook is seemingly taking that to it’s logical conclusion, copying the best bits from Snapchat, known for it’s popularity amongst teens and millennials (who it unsuccessfully tried to buy in 2013).


We take a look below at all the features that have been imitated either by Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp, all of which have a strong focus around video.


This was probably the first instance in which most observers, thought “hang on a minute”.


Taking inspiration from Snapchat’ Stories (they didn’t even bother changing the name), it allows users to create images or short videos that only remain for 24 hours after being posted. Users are given access to a number of editing tools to make their content more interesting, including paint type features, text and emojis.



It also made the most of every pixel of a user’s screen in portrait orientation, something brands have been fairly slow to adapt to.


Previously Instagram content was slave to the “fast swipe” down, meaning your content could easily be passed over, especially if it was in anything less than square 1:1 format



Whereas other social media is all about what you have done (and show off about it), Messenger Day centres around making plans and having fun with friends.



Using frames, filters, stickers and painting features, it allows users to create fun content to entice your friends to engage with you



Whereas all of the previous Snapchat imitations have been tested on Facebook’s sister platforms, this is the first rollout that will be visible to Facebook’s huge user base; and could be the one that deals Snapchat a huge blow.


Much like Instagram and Snapchat Stories, it allows users to upload and edit fun images and content using the aforementioned editing features.



And, something that has been expected since Facebook bought camera app MSQRD, new enhanced filters, often seen as Snapchat’s killer feature.



Like Snapchat, Facebook is expected to partner with businesses to create branded filters around product launches and seasonal events. This could be a crucial battle not only for users, but brands too, as Facebook’s ad platform is much more developed and accessible than Snapchat’s.





Undoubtedly, Snapchat will continue to innovate and Facebook will soon follow in its footsteps. For some early adopters this is reason enough to stay with Snapchat, but for the majority they want access to features in their most used product, and that is Facebook 99 times out of 100.



Snapchat may remain a place for brands to talk to their young fan base, and be seen as innovators in advertising formats. However,I believe Facebook will continue to dominate the marketplace, opening up features to the masses and hoovering up advertising spend.


If you would like to discuss your advertising needs please call us on 0330 995 0212 or click below



The post Snapchat innovates, Facebook commodifies appeared first on Magnafi.

Why We Can’t Wait for Apple Clips

Snapchat have got competition ahead this April as Apple are upsetting the status quo in social video with their latest introduction of Clips  – an app to make snappy video creation seamless.


The most revolutionary thing about Clips is that they show just how much SnapChat is limiting users. The fact that you are unable to easily find other members in search and the lack of analytics available are two of the biggest weaknesses of the network that could well be its tombstone.


What made these social networks and their versions of the “stories” functionality so novel has now been superseded by this latest IOS release.


Clips is channel agnostic and allows for sharing of video to any social platform including YouTube and Vimeo.


This is one element that we think would be perfect for use by vloggers already active on YouTube who are looking to stand out from the crowd. Another is that video can be up to an hour long. This is a breath of fresh air if you are long tired of 60 second time restrictions.


When you create content for a single social network you limit your reach – if Clips works as well as promised it will make utilising all possible video assets far less of a difficult task.


In the example below you can see how the finished content looks and how it could be perfect for creating explainer content for a product or accessory.


The demo also highlights the use of Apple’s voice to text feature called Live Titles. Tediously transcribing your video to create titles is now a thing of the past. This is yet another highlight which was created in mind with Facebook’s standard muting of video within the timeline.


apple clips example


Advertising Considerations


One of the most interesting elements that has potential for marketing professionals has got to be, what are our options depending on customisation and the use of their version of filters?


Will branded filters be an option? (and will they be at a higher premium than SnapChat’s already astronomical costs?)


As we haven’t been able to test the tool out we can’t know yet, but we really hope that Clips have found a way to encapsulate the community spirit that SnapChat did so well in the use of filters.


We can’t wait to find out – in the meantime we’re on the edge of our seats waiting for its release.


If you’re looking for an agency on the cutting edge of video production and digital strategy for your campaigns, contact us today.

The post Why We Can’t Wait for Apple Clips appeared first on Magnafi.