Search is moving from being at your fingertips to being at the tip of your tongue. How often in the recent past have you said one or the other equivalent?

“Ok Google, where is the best Chinese restaurant close to me?”
 

“Hey Siri, when are applications being issued for College XYZ?”
Voice search is now the next big thing. Already 28% of searches in India are voice searches while in America it is already at 40%. So, is your business voice search ready? Here is what you should be doing, if you are not.

What is Voice Search?

People can type at the most 30 words per minute but can speak more than 100 words a minute. So, no guesses why voice search is getting to be more and more popular. Voice search allows you to search the web using voice rather than typing. Touchscreens are very easy but the small keypad is difficult to use compared to saying “ok, Google” on an Android phone. Siri (iPhone) and Cortana (Windows) are also making their presence felt.

Voice search from phones and computers show the search in the usual web browser search page. However, what is voice search on smart assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home? It gets a bit tricky with these voice-activated devices since there is no screen, which will result in businesses losing out in their organic visits.

Why is Voice Search becoming so important?

How big is voice search? Let us look at thesevoice search statistics to know why businesses cannot ignore this new trend.

How to make your business ready for Voice Search Marketing?

Voice search is in our browsers, on our mobile phones and now even in our homes. Voice search is not a fad and is here to stay. Businesses have got to be ready to adapt their digital strategies quickly to this new trend. After all, the only constant in digital marketing is change.

1. Voice Search SEO

What does it matter if we type or use voice to search? A lot, in fact, Voice Search SEO will be vastly different from the regular keyword optimization that SEO specialists have been using. The Game of Thrones final season started in April, let’s see how you would search using a voice query and a typed query. You might ask Siri “What are the dragons’ names in Game of Thrones?” but if you were typing, you would say “GoT Dragon names”. 9 words in voice search but only 3 words in a typed search.

Voice search is usually a question and is how you would talk in regular speech. While a typed query is always short. Content on websites and blogs must now be optimized for both voice search and typed query-based search. If you don’t implement voice search SEO you could see your organic traffic dipping. The stats back this because, by 2020, voice searches will soon be 50% of all searches.

2. Optimize for Answer Box

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella says “Human language is the new UI layer and digital assistants are meta apps”. These digital assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home Assistant are mega apps that do away with the need for a screen. They reply back to you and their intelligence based on AI and Machine Learning is making them answer you more and more accurately as they learn more about you.

From where do these devices pick up the answers? If you do the same search on a screen-based device you will notice that the replies are coming from Google’s “Answer Box”, also known as “featured snippets”. Brands must start getting themselves featured in this position zero so that they will be picked up in Voice Search. This is only one spot and competition is fierce, so look at queries which have less competition. These usually are the long-tail keywords.

Google Answer Box at Position Zero

3. Google Home Actions and Alexa Skills

Just like the Android apps for mobiles, there are special apps that are built for voice search. Google Assistant Actions and Alexa Skills are voice app platforms similar to a Google Play Store. They provide a platform on which third-party developers can build their “voice apps”. Both Google and Amazon provide templates that help build these voice apps in minutes.
So, how exactly do Google Assistant Actions or Alexa skills help businesses? Businesses can build an experience for their users powered by voice commands. Like apps, they can be added to a User’s voice device and can perform a set of tasks. They could be used from playing a game to provide industry related information.

Physical products can be sold through these voice apps if they are integrated with Amazon Pay. Your business can even make themselves subject experts for example if you are an accounting firm you can record answers to most frequently asked questions. This will help you to up-sell when you want to.
As of now, neither Google nor Amazon has yet started paid advertising on these voice assistants. However, they will soon be here. Prepare your business to take advantage of this new space.