One of the most immediate ways voice assistants are impacting marketing is via mobile search. Search-originated calls represent the majority of those placed by consumers ringing up U.S. businesses, finds recent research. Here’s how marketers can use that knowledge to their best advantage.
Recent research from Invoca shows what “the increase in conversation, voice assistants and AI mean for your business,” according to yesterday’s announcement.
The announcement about "Enterprise Call Analytics Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide" states:
“We’re entering a new era of customer communication as more people go mobile-only and voice assistant usage surges by an estimated 130% this year. While the benefits of voice for consumers are immediate and obvious, implications for marketers are vast and still emerging. It’s critical to think broadly about how voice will impact the entire customer experience, from discovery through to purchase.”
Optimize Landing Pages for Voice Searches
A Googler warned in 2016 that the dominant search engine would start optimizing rankings for conversational searches, originated by consumers asking questions of their phones, Target Marketing reported. At the time, stilted language dominated results — because typed desktop queries ruled.
Now, Google results not only benefit marketers with mobile-optimized sites, but with landing pages geared toward voice searches. Rankings almost sublimated past the mobile-first stage and now rank desktop-only sites far behind their previous Page One thrones. (Unless consumers still find the sites far more relevant than other options.)
To that end, the Invoca study of consumers found two-thirds of U.S. smartphone owners use voice assistants. And 60% of inbound calls to businesses are via mobile devices.
According to the research:
“BIA/Kelsey estimates that U.S. spending influenced by phone calls may be as high as $1 trillion annually. This figure includes the 25% of offline commerce that BIA/Kelsey believes is influenced by phone calls.
“Search represents the majority of mobile calls to businesses, as “click-to-call” and new technologies such as voice search/commands make it faster and easier to reach businesses over the phone. Google executives report that 20% of search queries on Google’s mobile app and Android devices are now voice searches.”
By 2020, half of all searches will be conducted via voice, reads the report’s citation of comScore findings.
Ensure Phone Numbers and Physical Addresses Are Updated
In addition to the consumers who will hunt through sites for phone numbers and addresses, there are mobile users who will click-to-call companies right off of the search results page. Or they may not even call — they may drive straight to the business using the address listed in the result.
The research shows marketers can do this not only on proprietary sites, but on social media — such as Facebook. Invoca says “business calls from native social ads” will reach 34 billion in 2020. This is part of the overall 170 billion mobile calls that will come into businesses that year, the study says.
Consumers are also using voice assistants to speak to AI tools. While that’s not everyone, it’s a consideration for this research finding:
“Messaging apps and chatbots may also have a positive impact on the volume of mobile calls to businesses, although industry experts are still debating the value of those calls. Observers believe that the ease of placing orders through chatbots and apps will work best for local merchants, such as pizza delivery.”
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: Mobile SEO Is Here — You Were Warned