How I Used Voice Search Data To Improve Ad Performance By +35%!

I remember doing a communication exercise with my wife that was guided by a good friend of mine.  First, my wife would share her thoughts and feelings about something.  Then, it was my turn.  Except I wasn’t allowed to share my thoughts and feelings.  Before I could do that, I had to summarize what my wife said.  Once I did that, it was my wife’s turn to give me feedback on my summary.

Did I really hear what she was saying?  Did I understand the point she was trying to make?  If she concluded my summary wasn’t accurate, I had to try again until I nailed it.  If I nailed it (which I never did the first time when we first started the exercise), I could then share my thoughts/feelings in response and she would have to summarize for me.  Literally 100% of the time, we ended this type of conversation understanding each other and on the same page.  No assumptions.  No conflict.

If you ever try this exercise (and you should!), I believe you’ll see just how much communication goes right over our heads, or through our ears, or whatever.  You’ll see how much you assume and how you paint another person’s story with your own perspective.  We just miss the point more often than you think, and it creates unnecessary conflict that just doesn’t need to be there.

There’s no substitute for the voice of the customer

When it comes to relationships (both personal and business-to-customer), there’s no better way to communicate than by listening and using what you hear from the others in your relationships to guide how you interact with them.  Understanding them, speaking their language, getting into their world.  There’s no substitute for the voice of the customer (or significant other).

So how does this relationship mumbo-jumbo connect to voice search and PPC?

When it comes to Search advertising, success really boils down to being the best answer to a person’s query.  Sure, there’s lots of layers when peeling back the onion of that concept – rife with “how’s?” and “it depends.”  But in the end, your success lies in your ability to communicate with your target searcher that you’re the best answer to what they’re searching for.

Be the best answer

Purna Virji wrote a nice post earlier this year about looking for voice search data in your account and observing the intent it reveals to help you “be the best answer” to your target searcher’s queries.   A few things that Purna pointed out is how voice search queries tend to contain more natural language, that natural language tends to reveal intent more clearly and the queries tend to be of the longer variety.  Basically, the searcher is giving you more information on their perspective.

For example, someone typing their search might simply search for guitar lessons and hit enter.  You get the top-level intent, but not much more.  But if someone is speaking their query, they’re much more likely to use natural language (and many times in the form of a question).  They might say where can i find online guitar lessons that let me learn to play from home.

Summarize your audience in your ads

I got this example because it’s a theme I personally found when I dug into one of my accounts to see what I could find.  What I liked about the “learn to play guitar from home” intent that was communicated in my long-tail data by some searchers was I felt it better summarized what they were looking for, giving a better answer to the target market than simply using the phrase online guitar lessons alone (which is heavily used by competitors of course).  And it came from them, the customers.

So, I simply used Learn to Play Guitar From Home as my H1 across my Search campaigns, moving the keyword-matching headline to H2.  Here are the results…

 

Click to enlarge

 

Overall, my Non-Brand Ad 3 (which contained the new headline) saw a +35% improvement for Impressions-to-Conversion, as well as significant drops in Avg. CPC and Cost/Conversion and an overall lift in conversion volume from winning more impressions.

Basically, this voice search data can give you a clearer picture of what your target audience is trying to communicate to you about what they want and need.  My searchers are obviously communicating to me that although they want guitar lessons, they really want guitar lessons that can be done in the comfort of their own home, which typically means at their own pace and at their own time (also good copy ideas to test!).

Get rewarded for your efforts

I could fall into the trap of thinking it should be obvious to my audience that online guitar lessons would be done from home, and therefore not include this language in my ad.  But as you can see, my audience is rewarding me from better hearing their perspective on what they’re looking for and including the detail that’s in their heads even if they don’t type it out.  And since my audience is rewarding me with their clicks, I also get rewarded by the ad platform with cheaper costs.

In Purna’s article, she goes through steps of how to analyze your voice search queries.  I’d give it a read, apply it to your data and see what YOU could find and accomplish with your account.

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About the Author

Mike Fleming

Mike Fleming is a Sr. Manager of Paid Media at Granular, and has been managing PPC accounts of all kinds for over 7 years; with a strong emphasis in Analytics and Conversion Optimization. He’s a respected digital marketing blogger and speaker whose articles can be found on industry blogs like SEMRush.com and SearchEngineGuide.com. He also contributed to a published book called The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. Mike enjoys playing, writing and recording music, playing basketball and investing. He resides in Canton, Ohio with a girl who threw a snowball at him one day…then married him.