First came the internet, courtesy of Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of the World Wide Web in 1989, along with the contributions of others both before and after. In the 2000s, we started talking about the Internet of Things (IoT), as connected devices moved from being a concept to reality. Now, as voice technology becomes more prevalent, we’re talking about the Internet of Voice (IoV).
So, what exactly is the Internet of Voice? In basic terms, it is internet use with voice input rather than text input. “Alexa, what’s the weather?” “Siri, where’s the nearest Mexican restaurant?” “Hey Google, call Susie.”
Millions of voice interactions like these occur every day. But as the technology develops further, more complex voice interactions are just around the corner. It won’t be long until an entire transaction, such as searching travel options then booking all components from departure to arrival back home at one time, are possible.
In the meantime, if you haven’t adapted your SEO strategy to accommodate voice search, you are behind the curve and will only get further behind as voice interactions become more frequent and complex.
Consider an interpersonal interaction such as this:
You: “I’m thinking of going somewhere different to get my hair cut. Do you have any recommendations?”
Your friend: “Well, I’ve been going to Annie’s shop on Main Street for a while now. She does a great job. But my friend has gone to John’s salon on Oak Street for several years and really likes him.”
Now, if you had gone to Google and typed in “hair salons near me,” you would have gotten multiple hits – at least 10 or more. But voice searches yield fewer results because they are responding as real people respond. You wouldn’t give your friend a list of 10-12 or more options, because you probably don’t even know of that many options, let alone have any experience with that many.
The upshot is your organization needs to prepare for the changes that voice search brings to your SEO strategy. Statistics bear this out:
- In 2020, the majority of online searches are done by voice command with no screen involved, according to Gartner.
- Half of all consumers are already using voice assistants.
- Currently, more than 1 billion voice devices are in circulation, with that number expected to increase to 8 billion by 2023. Most of these devices in current use are Android smartphones.
Preparing for the IoV World
If your organization isn’t currently planning for voice search in your digital strategy, you’re already behind. Here are some important considerations about voice search and IoV:
- A primary consideration for voice search is how results are returned. No longer will page 1 of Google search result be the goal. Instead, you want to be one of the 3-4 results returned from a voice search.
- Remember, the early bird gets the worm. The sooner you stake your place in the IoV arena, , the better positioned your organization will be as more organizations begin to compete with voice. Even if you’re not ready to bring an Alexa Skill or Google Action online, planning and developing a model and testing it now will give you a competitive edge. And when voice technology becomes more advanced, you’ll have a leg up on taking advantage of new developments.
- Since one of the primary reasons for developing a voice strategy is to maintain your brand visibility, it’s important to choose a name for your Skill or Action. Once a name is registered and assigned to a Skill or Action, that name cannot registered to another organization. So even if your voice Skill or Action is not ready for prime time, go ahead and name it now.
Does your organization have a voice strategy? If not, are you working on one? If so, making sure that voice is a prime part of all marketing and sales strategies is of utmost importance. Reach out if we can help at firstname.lastname@example.org