Voice search is big in marketing now.
Retail is the big winner among marketing verticals benefiting from the rise in voice assistant-fueled Internet searches, but one study of retail and restaurant voice search readiness found those studied were “not prepared for voice, at all.” That Chatmeter research suggested three paths to brand improvement, but other studies show brands had better change quickly to keep up with demand.
Voice search isn't following the rules search marketers expect, such as searchers using brand names. (Chatmeter finds they don't.) So here's the state of voice search and a few suggestions for what to do about it.
What Marketers Can Do to Improve Voice Search Results
Chatmeter found few brands meeting the voice search challenge:
"In order to see how prepared brands are for search, we took 12 of America’s biggest restaurant and retail brands and put them head-to-head, over a 3-month span, to see which companies are most prepared for voice. What we found was astonishing. Not only are these brands not prepared for voice at all, but they are failing to maintain a positive and interactive online reputation among their customers."
In order to meet the demand, the study recommends marketers:
- Respond to Reviews: Not responding to customers can lead to a bad brand reputation.
- Post to Local Social Pages
- Develop an Unbranded Keyword Strategy: "In order to reach new customers, bring more visitors to a business, and rank higher in more searches, brands need to be optimizing for unbranded keywords."
Brands that are likely to be used in voice searches, though, may have trouble if they're common-word brands, like Apple, or alphanumeric brands, finds Kantar U.S. Insights.
“Brands with these issues might need to work directly with the voice device/software manufacturers to find solutions.”
Voice Search Is Becoming Mainstream
Microsoft said in April 2019 that voice search was going to come of age and Chatmeter said the marketing skill should be a priority in 2019.
According to Microsoft:
“72% of surveyed [consumers] reported using a digital assistant in the past 6 months.”
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: 3 Steps Retailers Can Take to Optimize Voice Search Results