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From text to voice: how our buyer journey is changing

Around a year ago, I wrote about how voice search would start to play a more prominent role in our search behaviour. For those who are still wondering whether voice search is really set to be the ‘next big thing’, here are a few new figures:

  • Google Home has been sold 500,000 times since the launch;
  • In January 2017, 8.2 million Amazon Echo devices were sold;
  • Since March, it has been possible to shop via Google Home;
  • Since February, the Google Assistant has been available for all Android 6 & 7 smartphones;
  • 41% of people who use voice search have done so in the last six months.
  • Google Home is expanding to the UK and is available there from April

If we can believe VoiceLabs, this year 33 million home devices will be sold (there are currently around 10 million).

Verkoop home devices

In this blog, on the basis of a practical example, I will explain how and when you can anticipate and capitalise on the change from text to spoken searches. If you answer the question, you can convert the visitor into a sale or lead.

Finding the right information at any time

As I stated in my first blog, micro-moments are becoming increasingly important. When we use voice search, we want to find information quickly, e.g.

  • I want to know something
  • I want to go somewhere (nearby)
  • I want to do something
  • I want to buy something

28% of people indicate that voice search is a more accurate search method.

Imagine that you have an inspiration page on duvets; you should be thinking in terms of the aforementioned moments and elaborating scenarios for possible questions that could be posed by means of voice search.

    • I want to know something
      • What size duvet cover do I have?
      • Which duvet is suitable for the winter?
      • What material doesn’t itch?
    • I want to go somewhere (nearby)
      • Where can I buy a duvet cover locally?
      • Show me the cheapest offers for duvet covers.
  • I want to do something
    • How do I make my bed?
    • Tips for cleaning your bed.
  • I want to buy something
    • Show me double duvet covers for between 30 and 50 Euro.

You see; our voice searches are usually longer than our text searches. Text searches contain 1 to 3 words, on average.

Voice search


Voice searches contain 3 to 5 words, on average.

Voice search

And did you know? On average, we talk three times faster than we can type. (Source)

Questions in the funnel

Given the fact that masses of questions are possible on an information page, you not only have to elaborate the scenarios above. Possible questions should ideally be plotted in a funnel so that you have an insight into where on the page you must answer questions from the funnel. If we look at the most commonly heard questions, we can use the following funnel:



In order to create an effective, clear and structured overview, phases and funnel steps must be added in a keyword search.

Visual: Example – Semantic search

A frequently heard, logical question regarding the above could be ‘What does that type of page look like?’ Here, we can look at a (almost) fantastic example of a page on fishing rods. What has done so well is that almost all of the possible subjects in relation to fishing, hooks, types of line and other items have been elaborated. It is a great example of a page where a visitor can find almost all of the information that he/she needs. The questions that Bol anticipates are:

  • What is the size of a fixed fishing rod?
  • What can a fishing rod be used for?
  • What is the difference between a reel and a mill?
  • What different fishing lines are there?
  • Which fishing rod is suitable for me?
  • What types of bait are there?

As you perhaps can already see, Bol has effectively anticipated all of the possible questions that could come up during the awareness phase. Questions that could be added include:

  • When is the best time to fish for pike?
  • How can you improve your chances of catching fish in the stream?
  • Where can I buy a fishing rod (nearby)? (not relevant for Bol)

Possible improvements for this page:

  • Exact matching – including the possible questions (literally), preferably as a heading. Imagine that searches frequently involve ‘Which fishing rod is suitable for the stream?’ The heading must be used exactly in the text, with the answer to the questions underneath;
  • Achieving a higher ranking in the search engine by creating questions and answers by means of a Structured Data question mark-up. Structured Data is a piece of code which allows you to provide extra information to search engines so that the content of your page are clearer.

In summary

It is only a question of time before voice search is adopted across Europe and the assistants get better at providing the right answers. Are you currently working on developing a new website or a re-design? Then I recommend that you think about more than just short-tail searches when creating keyword searches. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and try to answer all of the possible questions.


This article is published on Emerce.


More information

Any questions? Or do you want to know more about it? Ask Jason, he can tell you all about it.