Ordering a pizza or checking on the UV rays before this Sunday’s beach outing is just a few spoken words away. It used to be a click and swipe but with the emergence of voice technology, your search is more audible now. From Siri, Amazon’s Echo to Google Home, you don’t need your fingers to do the clicking and swiping.
Voice search technology has taken off and it is soaring. It is the most significant gamechanger in marketing technology in recent times. The growth potential is immense. One thing is clear, it will elevate personalization to a different level altogether as brand-customer engagement is poised for a major change.
The benefits of voice search technology are wide and varied. Even if you are unlikely to implement it in the coming year, voice search technology deserves a spot on your marketing agenda. Why? We believe the implementation of voice search technology will keep you ahead of the social and digital marketing race. Incorporating it into your web app development initiatives is imperative to stay relevant in the next decade.
1. Screenless browsing is history!
Well, not quite yet. But Gartner has predicted that by 2020, 30% of browsing will be done without the use of the screen. That’s just a few months away. To underscore this likelihood, Google has improved its word recognition accuracy to over 90%. Both technologists, as well as consumers, have begun embracing voice technology. Unless unforeseen circumstances get in the way, voice technology will embed itself in our lives the way smartphones have.
With increased demand, it will grow more affordable, versatile and precise. They are catalysts for rapid growth. Brands that do not incorporate voice technology into their game plan may be confronting obsolescence soon. Brands that are hard of hearing will struggle to remain salient.
2. Improved customer experience
Can voice technology improve customer experience?
Existing voice technology can differentiate voices. They empower brands to gain valuable insights into customers. These can be used to craft unique messages and content. To this end, it can foster closer brand-consumer relationships and nurture brand loyalty. Brand-consumer interaction becomes more seamless and natural.
In contrast to letting the fingers do the search, voice is less time-consuming. Imagine it to be search hacks that everyone can apply. When convenience reigns, expect use to increase.
Indeed, voice search will take customer experience to a whole new level. It will make conversational marketing the focal point of customer experience management. Greater customer intimacy follows.
3. It is changing the SEO playbook
With its growing influence in social and digital media marketing, voice technology will re-write the SEO playbook. New best practices will be in place, if not already.
There is a difference in the way people search using text versus voice. In the latter, it is inevitably longer. After all, it’s almost like a conversation. It can be more precise or vague. As a result, you have room to incorporate longer keyword phrases, perhaps three words or more.
In addition, because voice searches are likely to be more conversational, the form of queries tends to be a complete question. For example, we will voice “Will my flight land early?”, rather than the words “Flight schedule”. To this end, your keywords should mirror as closely as possible what the target audience will ask.
Another change voice technology will bring to the SEO playbook is the dominance of local searches. Because of the ease and speed of voice search, we can expect more searches such as “direct me to the nearest ABC gas station.” If relevant, local searches will be a major chapter in your SEO playbook.
Perhaps the most notable change in the playbook is the need to be on the first page is irrelevant. People will no longer be presented with results. Instead, they can expect an outcome for their search. In response to a query that says “What’s the most popular fried chicken that most people order”, the response is most likely to be KFC. On this note, the importance of being a unique proposition is vital. With voice search, you’ve got to be the number one!
4. It will drive more web traffic, faster
Voice technology is still evolving. Its full potential is not anywhere near yet. However, it is increasingly clear it can generate more web traffic, and possibly faster too. How?
When a voice assistant provides an answer to a query, it will also enable people to go to the associated website. Without the distraction of other possible websites to go to, if you are the featured answer, chances are people will visit your website. So it makes marketing sense to ensure your SEO is voice-optimized.
5. Getting to voice technology
Given the early stages of voice search technology, as a small business, it may be more prudent to adopt it gradually over time. In fact, bigger companies are adopting this graduated approach. Creating a Google action or Alexa skill is a step in this direction. For example, PayPal allows customers to use SIRI to perform transactions, Campbell helps customers choose and cook recipes and Nestle offers cooking instructions as one cooks. They are nascent steps you can implement. But the impact it will have on your brand is profound. It’s all about getting into the act early.
If you don’t, competitors will adopt it
With the likely pervasiveness of voice technology in marketing, if you don’t implement it, another company will, and will become a real threat. When competitors adopt voice technology, be prepared for your customers to migrate to them.
In the current competitive business environment, to be found first is crucial. When a brand has been found, it opens many windows for people to discover more about them. If it’s all good, chances are they will be converted or retained. At present, not many businesses and brands have jumped on the voice technology bandwagon yet. Hence, the early adopter will have a significant competitive advantage.
To learn more about this fast-rising technology, connect with us here.