Do voice search results affect PPC campaigns?
Recently, I put together a pay per click campaign for a large advertising lead generation company and the results were outstanding. After I sent the client screenshots to show the search placements for various search phrases, they brought up something I didn’t notice and found very interesting. The screenshots had hyphens in the phrases.
I realized that when I did the searches, I did them using voice searches on my phone which are typically longer vs. typing them. And in doing that, Google put hyphens between each word. The client was impressed but the first thing they asked was ‘do people put hyphens in between the words’? It was something that I didn’t even consider. I assumed that Google was placing them there and that it did not affect the search results. After doing the same searches without the hyphens and on desktop, I found the results were basically the same.
More than 20% of searches are now done by speaking to our phones. As more people use Intelligent Personal Assistance (IPAs) devices like Amazon Alexa, Siri, and Google Home, it makes sense. Gartner predicts that over 30% of all searches will be done by voice by 2020. That’s pretty amazing, but again it just makes sense because it’s just as effective and easier. I started using Dragon the voice recognition software many years ago, long before people started talking to their phones which is now very common.
In addition to that, as we use more artificial intelligence as a part of our daily lives, the use of hyphens should not affect search placement results. I imagine as the search engines get smarter and more accurate, the use of hyphens will be phased out altogether but until then you need to make sure to think about how voice searches may affect your paid search results.