The new world of voice-based search presents a steep learning curve for marketers, but will provide deep brand-building opportunities for those who can get it right. In fact, according to Douglas Nicol, Partner at Sydney-based CX agency The Works, voice search optimisation will soon be the new face – or voice – of SEO.

Nicol, who took to the stage at Mumbrella360 (Sydney, June 2019), said the nature of voice means marketers must start optimising for far more action-orientated queries sooner rather than later. On a traditional browser search engine, users typically input two or three words. In the world of voice search, users input long conversational paragraphs. Consequently, a search query on an assistant is 40 times more likely to be an action, 200 times more conversational, and 20 times longer than its typed equivalent.

“It’s a very different setup,” said Nicol. “The world that we’re moving into for search is not like the old world. The old world was typing in ‘who’s the cheapest credit card’, with five or six hyperlinks all bidding against each other, paying lots of money. In the world of voice, you’re much more likely just to get one result. You can forget that five hyperlink model – we’re talking about a model where you will often get a singular answer.”