Voice Optimization: The SEO of the Future

    Voice Optimization, SEO, Google, Future

    While Google Home has changed how home technologies work, now the change is moving to all kinds of digital communications

    Estimates put the number of Google Home devices purchased globally towards the end of 2018, at 52 million. A large proportion was in the US, and almost a third of all American Internet users moved to voice search for help. In fact, just last year, there was an average of one billion voice searches every month in the U.S.

    The voice revolution is finally here, and ComScore predicts that the tipping point will come in 2020– when 50% of all searches will be done by voice. Going a step further, Gartner predicts that by next year, a third of all website sessions will be voice-led, without any contact with the screen.

    What does this mean for marketers? A lot.

    In 2017, in the US alone, voice-powered commerce accounted for $1.8 billion in retail revenue over the next two years, and the number will reach $40 billion in that period. Undoubtedly voice led marketing communications will have a powerful impact on digital marketing strategies.

    One of the biggest changes this will bring is the emphasis on accuracy. Voice can be leveraged to arrive at search results – and reach one definitive answer.  Voice researches lead to deeper conversations, affording more opportunities for marketing communications.  Since search engines such as Google are increasingly emphasizing more on voice search optimization, and 70% of all searches on the Google Assistant are in natural language, longer-tail keywords will become even more important.

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    This could be the single biggest take away for marketers from this new development in digital communications space.

    Studies are indicating that a voice search that does not identify location is automatically taken to mean businesses in their immediate area. Google reports that over the past two years “near me” mobile searches have seen a 500% increase, especially when combined with “to buy” or “can I buy?” The time sensitivity aspect comes to play as well, and a search for “near me today/tonight” has increased by 900% in the same period.

    Now, what does it mean for enterprise marketers? Just that if their online marketing strategies are not voice searched optimized, they lose market rapidly.

    By 2022, more than half of all Americans will have a smart speaker at home. As voice becomes increasingly the preferred mode of communications in digital space, people will be having more conversations with AI led platforms, bots, and apps, than a real flesh blood salesperson.