More and more people are buying voice-enabled virtual assistants each day. This means they are turning to Alexa or Google Home to look for help.
If your company wants to provide this help, you need to prepare for how voice search will affect your business.
Not convinced? Give me a moment to dispel some myths about voice search.
What is inside?
- 1 #1. Myth: Voice search is just another fad. I’ve got better things to do.
- 2 #2. Myth: I don’t sell products on Amazon, I don’t need to worry about voice search.
- 3 #3. Myth: I sell to other businesses and they don’t use voice search.
- 4 #4. Myth: The sales funnel for my company is too long. People don’t buy the first product they see.
#1. Myth: Voice search is just another fad. I’ve got better things to do.
This isn’t a fad.
- Amazon and Google are both investing heavily in this technology. People are responding by purchasing these devices.
- If you’re following Google you know that they are focusing on mobile. Google is doing this because that’s where people are moving. When it comes to mobile, voice is much easier than keyboard. Think about it this way: when was the last time you typed-out a text message? If you’re like me you’re more likely to use the voice-to-text feature on your phone. In fact, one in five people use their voice rather than a keyboard.
Even if it’s a fad, what’s the worst that can happen? If you take the steps to optimize for voice search, it will help your normal SEO efforts, too.
#2. Myth: I don’t sell products on Amazon, I don’t need to worry about voice search.
It’s clear that Amazon developed Echo so they can sell more products. That’s not the only thing it can deliver. If you ask Alexa about businesses “near me” it will provide a list of companies. The same thing is true for Google Home.
In both cases, these virtual assistants suggest businesses based on map results. Obviously, Google pulls these from the first three local listings on Google, for a query. Alexa gets these from local listings on Bing.
Google makes this even easier. You can call a business straight from your device. If you’re interested in these customers, you need to consider voice search.
To show up better for these searches, you need to improve your local SEO results.
#3. Myth: I sell to other businesses and they don’t use voice search.
I’ll admit that most people use their virtual assistants from home. I’ll grant that most of these searches are consumer-focused. I’d suggest, however, that voice-search is the future for B2B marketing.
- As people get more comfortable using their virtual assistants from home, more offices will adopt them, too.
- Many companies (not just mine) work from home. That means they search for business products and services from virtual assistants.
- Both Amazon and Google are integrating voice-search in their phone apps. That means people have virtual assistants in their pocket at all times. Don’t underestimate the frequency of B2B leads from kids’ soccer games!
#4. Myth: The sales funnel for my company is too long. People don’t buy the first product they see.
If you’re still suffering from the “I must rank #1” myth, you have bigger marketing problems that I can address in this article.
Most people don’t buy the first product they find in any business! Before people make a purchase, they’ve often done several other searches.
Some of these are to find the kinds of product they need in the first place. Other searches are to learn more about a company before they commit to them.
Not convinced? Look at the multi-channel conversion data in your Google Analytics account.
Voice-enabled assistants are most powerful when it comes to learning about a product or service. This is especially true when it comes to a Google Home.
- Think about questions that a potential customer would ask, before buying from your business. Google Home can answer these questions. In fact, they’ve been preparing this for years. This is why Google has been delivering featured snippets in their search results. It’s from these featured snippets that Google answers voice searches.
- Virtual assistants will announce company websites in response to these featured snippets. That’s great brand exposure! Now, when they’re ready to make a purchase, your brand will be more likely to come to mind.
- A couple years ago, Google improved its ability to understand search queries in succession. For example, ask Google about “garage door repairmen near me.” You will get a list of three (drawn from the local search results). If you then ask Google, “does the second one have any reviews?” it will know that you are asking about the second garage door repairman it just told you about. Google Home can help you review your options when considering a service.
Your customers are moving to voice search. As they do, will they be able to find you?