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Voice Revolution: A Checklist of What to Actually Do to be Optimized for Voice

Voice Revolution: A Checklist of What to Actually Do to be Optimized for Voice

by Kirsten Cutshall

Forbes predicts that by 2020, a whopping 50% of all searches will be voice.

Is your Brand optimized for voice search? Younger audiences have higher adoption, but it’s not just the kids. A report from Search Engine People cited that 20 percent of mobile searches on Google are made via voice command now, so that will be a steep increase this year. And the number of people using voice is already almost at 50% overall – 55 percent of teens and 41 percent of adults already execute voice searches multiple times per day.

We have all heard that in 2019, possibly the most significant shift for brands is the effect of voice on search and service, but where and how do you optimize for voice?

There is a lot written about users moving to voice.

There are tons of articles about Voice Search, But…..Voice includes all voice-activated or operated devices, apps, and the Internet of Things accessories that you may have in your home, vehicle or office. While it feels relatively new in the marketing context, it’s already so woven into our daily habits, and we may not even notice how much it’s being used. Think about it. As consumers, we have been using voice systems with call centers since the 1990’s. Starting in the 2000s, voice response became more common and cheaper to deploy. Siri was integrated into iPhone 4S at its release in October 2011, and since then, Voice has been oozing into other places until here we are, on the precipice of an explosion.

Now, people are making shopping lists, calling up podcasts, using Alexa as a calculator and adjusting their thermostat without getting up from the couch. And the thing is, it’s not just people that have made a choice to use devices like Alexa or Google Home, but anyone with a mobile phone.

Just what does “being optimized for voice” mean?

Voice is getting pervasive, but it’s hard to find a list of all the things you need to do to be ready. Here’s a start:

  • Are my brand names easily identified by the top voice search assistants?

  • Do you know your SEO keywords for voice?

  • Is there content optimized around those voice keywords?

  • Is your website content optimized for delivery into a voice search – working like question/answer?

  • Is your content ready to deliver “more” if the user wants to keep hearing about the answer?

  • Does your website use a methodology such as Schema to enhance your website’s HTML coding structure to provide thorough information to the search engines about what exactly your pages are talking about?

  • Are there calls to action in your content that use voice commands to connect to another voice or phone experience?

  • Does important voice content offer an option to send an email or text of the content to the user for reference?

  • Does your brand make your FAQs especially friendly for voice interaction?

  • Do you have Voice-First content, functions or apps that make you a leader in your category for voice interaction?

  • Can a user purchase my product using only their voice?

  • Can a user find a store for purchase using only their voice?

  • Is my call center ready for both increased volume and lower patience for waiting?

  • Am I using outdated interactive voice response (IVR) technology for customer service or sales lines?

  • Have you mapped the customer experience through voice interactions?

  • Does your content marketing program have a voice strategy?

  • Do you have a voice campaign in your Search Engine Marketing buy?

  • Do your metrics on marketing separate out your performance through voice channels?

I would love to make this a “Living Checklist”, so please email kirsten.cutshall@steelbranding.com with additions. Let’s get this thing wrangled!

Steel brings together data, technology, creative and influence to deliver spectacular growth for brands that are marketing to the American family. Working side-by-side with client marketing teams and in-house agencies, Steel extends your leverage by contributing strategy, creativity, bandwidth and best practices. For healthcare, education, government and CPG clients especially, Steel’s full service, integrated agency capabilities and knowledge of marketing automation makes ideas possible and execution practical. Call Steel with your marketing challenges, and if we are not the right fit, we will point you in the right direction.
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