Apr 03

Should B2B Marketers Optimize for Voice Search in 2018?

The hands-free convenience of voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri makes voice search a tool of choice for tech-savvy multitaskers. According to master marketer, Gary Vaynerchuk, voice AI is “going to be one of the core pillars of our interaction. I would say in a decade it’s going to rival the cell phone as we know it today.”

The B2C benefits of voice search are clear, such as reordering household products by voice command, and its popularity is slowly growing in the B2B world as well. A common statistic in voice AI research is ComScore’s estimate that over half of all searches will be performed with voice by 2020. Search Engine Lands explains the improved user experience of voice search on mobile, noting that 90 percent of executives use mobile devices to conduct research before making a purchase. Surprisingly, recent research points out that nearly 50 percent of survey respondents already use voice search at the office, and the respondents with the highest incomes are the least inhibited about using voice search in front of others. If your business targets high-income decision-makers at companies known as early adopters of new technology, take note.

How can your company carefully optimize its marketing efforts for the voice search revolution?

  1. Featured snippets are a voice search goldmine. These “position 0” spots on search engine results pages are where your business needs to be if you want voice assistants to speak your name. Moz reports that up to 90 percent of featured snippets are included in the voice AI’s research. How do you attain this coveted position? Use FAQ pages on your website and research the questions your customers are asking, using tools such as Answer the Public and Google Suggest.
  2. Don’t put all your eggs in one platform basket. Google Home, Siri by Apple, Cortana by Microsoft, Amazon’s Alexa … the list of voice assistants grows every year, so don’t optimize your marketing for only one of them. Note that many assistants (including Siri and Alexa) use Bing for their results, not Google.
  3. Implement long-tail keywords into your content marketing. Create long-tail keywords by thinking of very specific questions, using a conversational voice as if someone is actually speaking the question. Then answer that question in the same piece of content.
  4. Keep an eye out for new voice opportunities arising. Will sponsored snippets and other paid results in voice search arrive this year? According to MarTech Advisor, your business may soon receive an invitation from Google to turn your existing content into “Actions” (things people can ask Google assistants) if your website has a structured data markup and AMP. “This makes your content more visible and easier to discover – all you have to do is claim and refine your listing in Google directory.”

For companies trying to reach executives in industries full of technology early adopters, using some (not all) of your resources to develop a voice search marketing plan makes sense … especially since the strategies listed above will increase your mobile and desktop SEO as well!

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