Search has a Voice: Are you ready to respond?

The number of voice searches more than doubled last year and the daily frequency of vocal searches is rapidly increasing among Millennials. We’re already glued to our phones and now voice powered search caters to our mobile needs even more.

Although mobile use has increased rapidly over the past few years, mobile search hadn’t enjoyed the corresponding upswing you might expect.  Some 50% of people do zero searches per day on mobile! It’s not that people have suddenly decided they know everything. It’s just that desktop and mobile are used differently. Whereas you might type Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter into the search bar on your desktop, you probably have an individual app for those channels on your phone. No need to search. Just click and go.

Now voice recognition changes search yet again. If you’re driving and want to know where the nearest coffee shop is, you don’t have to click on an app or type into a browser. You can just ask. Thanks to speech recognition technology that allows users to search by saying terms out loud, you can get answers to your questions more quickly than ever –and so can your students. Prospective students considering the programs you offer can now turn their phone into an all-powerful genie that will literally answer all of their questions on command.

In the desktop world, your prospective students needed to log in, open a browser and type a query such as “healthcare programs in my area.” Voice powered search simplifies the process and puts the power in your prospect’s hand. Whenever or wherever your future student happens to be as they contemplate their future, they can just whip out their phone and ask “Ok Google, where can I find a school that has healthcare programs I might like?” This shift towards vocal searches inherently allows for more direct, conversational requests. The question we should be asking ourselves is how we can be a meaningful part of the conversation.

Voice powered search is going to have a significant impact on searching because it is going to change the mobile environment and redefine the dialogue that schools create with prospective students. This means that your school needs to have content that directly answers these more intentionally focused questions. There is an increasing need to map out your student’s path to enrollment from start to finish and a pit stop on that road map is going to be voice powered searches.

From a B2B perspective, only 32% of B2B marketers have a documented strategy for approaching voice recognition searches. Do you? If you don’t, it’s time to contact the HigherEd Geeks at Effective Student Marketing. We have a customizable strategy to help your school successfully take advantage of voice powered searches so you can find more quality prospective students. For more information, contact Effective Student Marketing today.

Search has a voice; be prepared to respond!

-Oliver Schultz