What voice innovation mean for search marketing

Voice-controlled devices introduced a newfound level of convenience with families relying on gadgets, such as Amazon’s virtual assistant – Alexa, to play music, check the weather, turn out the lights, and search for facts. These devices also changed consumers online purchasing behaviour, although it’s usually simple commodities.

Furthermore, Google had some exciting breakthroughs at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco back in May. The search giant demonstrated how close the Google Assistant is to make a call to reserve a restaurant table or book a hair appointment. The restaurant would only need a website and a Google Places account for the reservation to be successful.

So, what do voice-controlled devices mean for search marketing? Digital agencies have been conducting keyword research and suggesting content, rich with SEO potential, for years. Many of these content suggestions are question-led, for example ‘what is the best office laptop?’, because a large proportion of users now type how they speak. Content that is highly targeted towards such search queries, will naturally top the organic results, whether the question has been typed or spoken.

How can companies use voice-controlled devices to their advantage? With the increasing number of households using voice assistants, brands can make product reviews and user feedback more immediate and engaging. For instance, after an online order is delivered, the voice assistant can ask “How would you rate your item?”. As a result of a quick question, the brands capturing customer insights correctly will be able to offer more accurate recommendations as a result.

With the increase in online shopping comes an increased number of returns. Online returns can seem like a hassle and consumers have little tolerance for complicated returns. The option to initiate returns via voice-controlled devices will streamline the process and improve customer perceptions of brands. For instance, three days after customers receive their order, Google Assistant can remind customers to send back any items they don’t want. Brands can also create shopping experiences that integrate voice and visual interfaces, like the Amazon Echo Show or Google Home connected to a TV via Chromecast.

There is no denying that this is an extremely agile and exciting space. Keeping with the times, companies still need to build a strong online presence with the help of Search Optimisation.