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Voice SEO is optimizing keywords and phrases for voice searches using voice assistive devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Today, voice search is everywhere. And it’s quickly becoming a preferred search method for many consumers as it’s more natural to speak than type. It’s quick, intuitive, and tells people what they really want to know.
One-third of the United States population uses voice search features (Emarketer, 2019) and it is on track to become a $40 billion channel by 2022. The rise of voice search is defining the digital marketing landscape and changing the way marketers approach SEO. The way we type queries is very different from the way we would speak. For instance, let’s say you’re looking for a local coffee shop. Your searches are different depending on the method you choose to use.
- Typed: you may search something like “coffee shops near me.”
- Voice: you may say something like, “what are the best coffee shops near me?”
However, voice searches are more than just convenient. They are changing the way Google handles search queries and how users search for what they need. Searches are becoming more conversational and specific. These changes bring a whole new set of considerations to marketers.
What Are Consumers Using It For?
Voice search will one day dominate the search space. Trends suggest that it is more integrated into people’s daily lives and shopping routines than ever before. The most common use of smart speakers is for playing music.
It’s important to know what consumers are using it for so your business can show up at the right time for the right consumer. Here are some of the most common ways consumers use voice search for search queries:
- 90% of smart speaker owners have used it for general questions.
People tend to use questions in voice searches. Questions mainly include “how” or “what” questions and adjectives like “best” or “easy.” Matching searcher intent with conversational yet concise information is the best way to address these queries.
- Purchases are typically for lower-value product items. These purchases can include repeat purchases like groceries.
- Three most shopped categories: grocery (20%), entertainment (19%), and electronics (17%)
- Consumers who know what they want to buy make up 70% of purchases.
- Online shoppers use voice assistance to research products they are already interested in. They use it to research products in the pre-checkout stages rather than checkout itself.
Power of Amazon in Voice Shopping
Amazon is the most established eCommerce platform with 70-80% of the smart speaker market share. Amazon is a dominant force in the market, accounting for 90% of all voice shopping spend. Experts believe that Google Home has the best AI capabilities and eventually will hold more market share.
Voice shopping is a non-visual experience that makes algorithms more important because users do not select the information they consume. Amazon’s Choice makes product recommendations based on a customer’s order history. Consumers view it as more of a sales channel and are hesitant to trust the platform’s personalized recommendations. As a result, consumers usually stick to lower price point items.
Voice Commerce Recommendations for Consumer Goods Businesses
The rise of voice shipping has implications for retailers and eCommerce businesses. You may be wondering how you can leverage these ongoing trends and emerging changes in your SEO strategy. Here’s our advice on how to adapt quickly and gain a first-mover advantage in the voice search space:
1. Focus on Specific Products
Voice search optimization works best for products that are most likely to be searched via voice.
- Low price-point
- Repeat purchases
- Non-repeat simple products
2. Define Voice Objectives
Voice objectives define what you want voice commerce to achieve for your business. Voice search is a powerful tool for capturing customers in spontaneous purchases and providing inspiration to encourage spending. Voice commerce is also an effective tool to provide easily accessible and relevant information to improve the customer experience. It’s also an excellent way to offer deals and collect customer research. These objectives fit into four categories:
- Transaction: purchase capabilities (add to cart)
- Information: basic business operation information
- Customer Care: assistance with customer needs
- Inspiration: lifestyle or transaction-related
Voice search is a fundamental part of modern SEO. If you want to drive organic traffic to your site, voice search optimization is a crucial strategy. Search engines have updated their algorithms to reflect the way people search for information. It’s important to address people’s pain points and create an enjoyable experience. Your business needs to respond to the changing search landscape.
By Erin Geoghan