Today’s Guest Post on Voice Technology comes to us from Blue Label Labs.
Blue Label Labs is a mobile, tablet, watch, TV, AR/VR, IoT and web design, development and marketing agency based in New York City, Seattle and San Francisco. BLLB helps entrepreneurs and businesses build digital products such as voice skills for their marketing efforts, that solve everyday problems through a creative and conscientious use of technology.
While voice technology is still a developing field, it’s already achieving significant growth, with half of all searches expected to be made using voice technology by 2020. Amazon Home, Google Echo, and a variety of similar devices are experiencing incredibly high sales that are only expected to increase further.
As voice technology becomes prominent in daily life, it will become more important for brands in a range of industries to engage with their audience using voice search marketing tactics. Many companies have already begun utilizing the technology in interesting ways, including using it during on-demand app development. These experiences are lending inspiration to future developments in the field.
Voice Search and SEO
If you’re an experienced digital marketer, one of your first questions about voice search will be its potential impact on SEO strategies. The dynamic of a voice search is radically different, as users generally only receive one answer rather than having the ability to scroll through a list of relevant results.
Current keyword strategies should be taking the prevalence of this technology into account and trying to imitate the ways in which people are likely to voice search. Consider that users are less likely to say something like “weather.” Try to approximate the exact language they’re going to use.
Shopping online, whether with voice search or traditional methods, is focused on convenience and ease of use. The majority of users are less familiar with this technology than they are with the conventional process of searching and looking through results. That’s why it’s important to make the experience as seamless as possible.
In order to make voice search work to its fullest potential, you need to keep its unique opportunities and challenges in mind. One simple way to make your voice functions more accessible to users is to ensure that it is easily understandable in plain language. It can be difficult and frustrating for users to feel forced to guess what a given task requires them to say.
Create Unique Skills Based on Your Brand
Some businesses have started to make skills for the Amazon Alexa in order to help customers find or use their products. There are already thousands of skills available on the platform, which means you need to provide unique value in order to stand out from others in your market.
Purina is a great example of a brand leveraging Amazon’s platform to increase outreach. Their skill “Ask Purina” was created to help potential dog owners find the breed that’s right for them and their family. Using criteria like “good in small apartments”, users are able to find a suitable breed while also connecting with the Purina brand.
Localize Your Results
Many consumers use voice search to look for specific items in their local area, yet businesses have been too slow to take this development into account. Even if you have the best Thai food around, it won’t make a difference if customers are unable to find you through voice search.
One difficulty here is that this requires a significantly altered SEO mentality. Web content has historically been centered around forms like articles and blog posts – yet this isn’t what voice searches are targeting. Luckily, Google itself is catching on to the voice SEO trend by allowing businesses to answer specific questions users are likely to ask their voice assistant.
Experiment with Voice Advertisements
One area that’s still waiting to be fully developed is promotional content through voice search. While Amazon and Google are being cautious with the expansion of this form of advertisement, businesses should continue to prepare as voice search expands to new pieces of hardware.
Get Customer Feedback
You should never roll out anything that isn’t finished, so it’s crucial to thoroughly research the issues associated with voice marketing and work out as many of them as possible. If you’re having trouble implementing voice technology into your marketing approach, it’s worth getting feedback from users – especially in the early stages. This also demonstrates that you’re committed to providing a high-quality experience.
While it can be difficult to understand how exactly to match your marketing practices to the needs of voice search technology, it’s clear that, for the foreseeable future, voice is going to be an important factor in digital marketing. Over 60 million Americans are already using digital assistants, and that number is sure to continue growing. These clients represent a massive opportunity for marketers that successfully leverage this new technology.
Written by Rae Steinbach
Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course.
Chris Walton is an accomplished Senior Executive with nearly 20 years of success within the retail and retail technology industries. He is well-versed in merchandising, store operations, inventory management, product design, forecasting, e-commerce, pricing and promotions, and tech product development.
Chris was most recently a Vice President with Target, where he led the retailer’s Store of the Future project and also ran the Target’s home furnishing division for e-commerce. He previously worked for GAP, Inc., as a Distribution Analyst and Manager.
Chris holds a BA in Economics and History from Stanford University, and a MBA from Harvard Business School.
He likes to dress as Darth Vader for Halloween, and his wife also frequently asks him to ask Alexa, "to turn off the music."