Where is Voice Search Heading?

An Alexa Voice Device - Where is Voice Search Heading

Recently we added Alexa to our home sound system.  Although she sits inconspicuously in a couple different spots in our house, she stands ready to assist to play music, find recipes, adjust sound levels and serve up any little tidbit of information we desire.  What a woman!

I’ve been using Siri on my iPhone for some time now, like the other 1 in 5 Americans who use mobile search every month, but home search surprisingly enough is the number one application.  To illustrate just how big of a deal voice search is, there were one billion of them in January of this year and by 2020, half of all searches will be voice search.

While many people will only think of Alexa as a helpful convenience to have around, as a marketer, I’m thinking about how to turn this powerful artificial intelligence tool into a powerhouse for our clients.

Back in the spring, I was fortunate to participate in a workshop on Voice Search Engine Optimization (SEO) at my semi-annual Agency Management Institute meeting.  What I quickly learned is that we are on the cusp of voice SEO infancy and that Alexa (and the other smart speakers) are essentially the next, great organic search engine.  Think about it.  You ask for information, just like you do when you Google something, and she serves up the answer, just like Google.   The difference is, she usually just gives you one answer, when Google gives you hundreds.

So now think about how important it will be to be number one in your keyword and key phrase space, because if you’re not, your competitor will be.  Starting to make sense?

Now think about how will you get that coveted top spot on Alexa’s search list?  It starts with the answers; Frequently Asked Questions.  Everybody’s got them, right (or at least they should).  They typically answer a question, right?  Keep going with these tips:

  • Following SEO best practices, define the key words and phrases that you most want to be associated with and where you want to be found when your customer searches.
  • Develop FAQ’s that build rich answers that speak to your customer’s intent.
  • Build individual pages on your website that thoroughly but simply answer one question each, written like you talk at a ninth grade reading level.
  • Think about other content that you can build from client keywords and Q & A.
  • Test and transform!

Remember that Search Engine Optimization is a non-stop, ever-evolving process where you are striving to get ahead and stay ahead of your competition.  Voice SEO works exactly the same way, except that it’s way more competitive!  You only have one shot to be the Featured Snippet out of Alexa’s (mouth?) speaker.

Please keep in mind that this article is not intended to teach you everything you need to know to end up in the top spot.  It’s to help you recognize how important Voice Search is, how valuable it can be and to get you thinking about the SEO strategy you’re going to employ to take advantage of it.

Where can Alexa take your business?  Can you be the industry leader?  The number one source for shopping?  The solution to whatever problem your customer has?  Only time will tell, but get started now so you don’t get left behind.