The rise of voice technology has occurred with incredible speed. Amazon introduced Echo and Alexa in 2014. Four years later, over 43 million people in the US own a smart speaker device of some sort. And according to Google, Google Assistant is available on over 400 million devices. (Google.) In 2017, over 35 million people in the US used a voice-activated assistant at least once per month. (eMarketer, 2017.) So the question is: Is your organization ready for voice?
Here are four principles to consider when integrating voice technology into your marketing strategy:
- Think local. Considering that mobile voice searches are three times more likely to be local than text-based searches, optimizing your local date and content is key. Two-thirds of voice searches are looking for business phone numbers or directions and almost as many are looking for hours of operation. Make sure your local information (location addresses, phone numbers and other contact information, etc.) are current and correct. Also, for voice search, it is important to consider rich snippets to improve voice search results.
- Use your users. Engaged audiences will often provide user-generated content. From a local perspective, this means ratings and reviews. Be sure to request feedback from your customers across all channels, but you also must have appropriate processes in place to monitor and respond to customer input.
- Voice search is different from text search. What people type into a search bar on Google or Bing is different from what they say when doing a voice search. Voice search brings a more conversational style. This affects SEO and means that content should be adapted to a conversational style. Consider an FAQ content style.
- If you build it, they will come. Just as your native app(s) connect your brand to mobile devices, Alexa Skills and Actions for Google can be used to integrate these voice platforms with your brand.
Is voice technology/search a part of your digital marketing strategy?