By Marcel Gemme
Just a few short years ago, voice search was a bit of a novelty. But similar to other technologies, voice search has matured to the point where marketers can no longer ignore it. To be competitive, it’s become necessary to include voice as an essential component of your marketing strategy. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Voice search is highly accurate
In the past, if you wanted relevant answers from a voice recognition technology, well—good luck with that. But today, machine learning systems can compete with people in terms of accuracy. Google’s voice recognition, for example, boasts a 95% word accuracy rate for English.
These improvements mean that, while you can trust good voice systems to match customers with the right products, services, or information with increasing degrees of nuance, leading businesses already have set customer expectations for delivery. Translation: buyers aren’t going to tolerate subpar systems.
2. The interest in voice is only going to grow
Because voice search systems are at a point where they actually can perform reliably and meet customer expectations just as well (if not better) than traditional query options, customer trust in them is growing:
Yet, only 4% of businesses are properly optimized for voice search. What’s with the disconnect?
In other words, business leaders are at an ideal intersection where reliable systems are available and there are still many customers who haven’t been reached or who might want more out of the systems they currently use. Bringing those systems and customers together will help companies avoid being left behind.
3. People are after convenience and all types of information
When people use voice search, they don’t just want to locate a great pair of shoes or a TV. Chaitanya Chandrasekar, CEO of QuanticMind, writes that they want all kinds of other information, too, such as your store hours, how to connect to support specialists, and when you’re having your next sale. This is partly why some experts have predicted a “totally different internet” within the next five to 10 years, one where voice-activated chatbots have all but replaced the e-commerce channels we’re used to using.
Shoppers are also after general tips that can take some of the friction out of everyday life—think life hacks and how-tos. In fact, words like “how,” “what,” “best,” and “easy” are among the top voice search queries, according to seoClarity.
This means that when it comes to online marketing, you probably need to change your entire optimization approach, taking elements like grammar and semantics, the structure of your site, and structured data markup that influences Google’s ability to find your content. Of course, optimizing from the start, not as an afterthought, is ideal.
Originally published at All Business