Recent technological developments have now paved the way for a whole new breed of search: Voice Search.
With Apple’s Siri appearing as an added function for iPad Models, nowadays all major technology providers are jumping on the voice search bandwagon. This now includes companies that don’t necessarily specialise in search as its main product such as Microsoft and Amazon. In fact, it is now almost impossible to avoid seeing adverts for hardware-based voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa device or Google’s Home Assistant. There is no denying that voice search is an intriguing yet totally unexplored area of search that presents amazing potential.
With many current assistants being able to perform basic tasks such as play your favourite music, create reminders and even tell you what tomorrows weather forecast is, the technology has already started venturing out into slightly more amusing requests such as tell you a joke, recite poetry or reply to silly voice commands. You only have to go on Amazons website to view an entire list of commands that Amazons Echo can perform.
With voice essentially deemed as the next frontier the possibilities for this type of technology is truly endless.
But what does this mean for marketers?
For those of us who are more plugged into search from a marketing perspective, we have already started considering what obstacles voice search might throw at our clients. What impact, for example, might it have on future SEO strategies? How important does “thinking outside the box” truly apply to voice search?
The real question is this:
How can you turn voice search into a tool to better serve the interests of your clients?
With many digital companies already attempted to predict its impact on the world, our own thoughts on this are the following
- Thanks to products such as the Echo and the Google Home, the phase for users beginning to embrace this technology is over. The beginning of the “mainstream” phase is now here.
- 1 in 5 adults uses mobile voice search at least one time a month, according to Global Web Index
- With the current voice search market reaching a total value of $113 Billion, by 2020 it will most likely continue to rise in popularity.
From a marketing perspective, apart from voice assistants initially becoming a gimmick for excited new consumers, understanding why consumers are prepared to move over to use voice search in the first place is a good starting point. For example, many of the reviews it has generally been agreed that while the Echo may have had the early advantage, it is the Google Home that is able to answer many more information related queries. With this in mind, we have provided some tips for voice-related queries:
Optimise for rich snippets
Rich snippets are all about answering questions. By answering relevant questions, websites will stand the chance to encourage Home assistants will use this to read out answers if deemed authoritative enough.
Try to get your website listed in map packs
Voice assistance will place a high emphasis on map packs as this offers prime real estate to websites organic visibility.
Build up your websites domain authority
This is a rather more obvious one, but it is no secret that websites with a higher domain rating will be more likely to rank higher and therefore be used by voice assistants.
Optimise for video
It seems that a big part of how Google answers questions through voice assistants is through video media. Videos footage is generally shown as the third featured result (after text snippets and map packs) and for this reason, Google tends to pick out the subtitles from videos.