Digital Marketing gets a new VOICE
Let’s start this article with 3 ads addressing the most interactive search phenomenon, voice search.
Voice search is taking over. Voice recognition is currently a $500 billion-dollar industry with a mammoth 1 billion voice searches per month in 2018. To add to the numbers and severity in penetration, 65% of people who own an Amazon Echo or Google Home can’t imagine to going back to the days before they had a smart speaker.
The emergence of voice-based search assistants, have become a huge success. People are openly welcoming the ‘Alexas’, ‘Cortanas’ and ‘Siris’ into their households as an (unusually) important member of the family. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Soon, you will be vocally instructing your fridge and microwaves.
Each voice search is powered by a host. For eg, in terms of local geographical search in America, Amazon Alexa is partnered up with Yelp, while Google is driven by Google Maps, Siri gets its information from Apple Maps and Cortana designed by Microsoft is powered by Bing.
With the advancement in artificial intelligence and machine learning, brands ought to capitalize on this, thus staying one step ahead of their respective competitors.
This brings us to the more strategized approach towards voice search, voice-engine optimization.
Voice-based search optimization, a derivation of search engine optimization helps optimizing content, location, and brand information to increase a brand’s chance to be on the top voice search results. Unlike search engine optimization, a voice result has only top 3 recommendations. So, brands fight for supremacy to be on this search result.
Below are some of the ways to create an ideal voice engine optimization strategy.
- Optimize your brand information:
On the same principles of search engine optimization, voice search optimization insists that your brand’s listings and information are accurate consistent throughout different channels. The key here is consistency. Having different addresses or contact details could affect the search and recommendation algorithm for a business that’s trying to make an impact online.
- Pace up your website:
This has a direct bearing on voice based search queries as over 20% of voice searches happen over the phone and that they happen on-the-go. The time it takes to load the average mobile landing page is 15 seconds. The best time should be under 3 seconds. A website that is seamlessly optimized for phone and computer, that is quick to load and that provides the accurate information, has already an advantage over the others.
- Ask the right questions that only your brand can answer effectively:
Brand communication today has become all about conversations. There are seldom to no chance of any business hard selling a product. Everything is cleverly packaged into conversations, aimed at engaging the audience and stimulating their desire for a product or service based on several factors like behavioural patterns, pop culture trends, current affairs etc. By having your brand offer its product and service by means of answering a key problem statement, you would have a distinctive standing in terms of voice search results. By creating compelling questions about your products and services and incorporating answers onto your brand’s FAQ section you can drive conversion through google algorithm identification. If there is a question which your brand answers and addresses effectively, then you have made an impression on a prospective customer.
- Nothing wrong with testing for accuracy
Artificial intelligence still doesn’t have all the answers. Similarly, Voice search is not developed to its full potential yet. Every marketer must take it upon themselves and try testing voice search function across devices and platforms.
- Try testing Alexa on TV as well as Alexa on a dedicated device.
- Try voice searching the same query across platforms like Cortana, Siri, Alexa etc.
- In terms of a particular search query, research how your brand ranks vs competition.
All these play an integral role in making the most out of voice based search optimization.
As we break in to the 3rd month of 2019, the voice search phenomenon now has a voice of its own (pun intended). It is predicted that by 2020, 50% of searches would be voice driven. We’ll just wait and watch this voice search to unfold more.
We conclude with one line that is a universal by-product of technology and innovation; either adapt to the change or get left behind.