Digital Marketing Trends

2018: The Year of Voice Search

Like it or not- voice search is no longer the way of the future. It’s here, and becoming more mainstream than most people are willing to accept. While at a recent technology conference, Gartner reported “by 2020, 85% of searches will be made without a screen.”

So, what does this mean for marketers and technologists? The digital game is now even more competitive than ever before. 60.5 million people in the US currently use digital assistants, and there are hundreds of websites fighting for their content to be shared via Alexa, Siri, or Google voice.

Important Areas to Focus:

Search Engine Optimization: Voice search should be a critical component to your SEO
Like you would expect, voice search is conversation so it’s important to think about how people speak when writing content for your website.

Voice Search Best Practices

  • Use questions as headers – If your content is answering questions such as “What is..?”, “How much…?”, “What are the difference between…?” be sure to use those questions as headers.
  • Add long-form content – Long-form blog posts and introductory guides are great formats for targeting related queries.
  • Claim your Google Business Listing – Many voice searches are locally focused so it is important to make sure your Google Business Listing is claimed and up to date.

eCommerce: Voice ordering through Amazon Alexa and Google Home
By taking advantage of the ability to build “skills” in Alexa and “apps” in Google Home, brands now have a direct method for consumers to order via voice. “Skills” are Alexa capabilities that allow users to create a more personalized experience. While Google Home refers to them as apps. If you have yet to begin your brainstorming on how to expand your commerce strategy into voice, consider the following:

Expand Your eCommerce Strategy

  • Update your in-site search – Redesign your on-site search for natural language search queries and site’s content.
  • Focus on local search – Follow SEO best practices and focus on local searches
  • Implement personalization – Use AI to start personalizing and automating your customers’ shopping experience.

Customer Service: Voice assistants will be the future of customer care
Chatbots are becoming a standard for many tech-advanced websites because they provide a cheaper and efficient way to answer most customers’ questions. The website Search Engine People reports, “87% of US B2C marketers think virtual assistants & chat robots will play a key role by 2021.” So how will voice disrupt the market?

Going beyond the basic questions and commands, voice assistants are the future of customer care. By coupling smart, voice activation with chatbot technology, there are endless possibilities for brands to always stay in-front of their customers concerns.

It’s not an overnight change, but when venturing into voice based customer service, consider:

  • Looking for inspiration– Research how market industry leaders are using “skills” to answer customer questions and product inquiries. Is there anything you’d change about their approach? Use your experience to adapt the starting point for your strategy.
  • Optimizing for conversation– Develop a list of the most common questions or concerns users might have and come up with at least 3 variations of how someone might ask it. By developing your skill to ensure your answer will be picked up by a voice assistant no matter how a customer asks it, will only further help their experience with your brand.