These days, it isn’t uncommon to hear someone talking Alexa or Siri. Both of these are virtual assistants that can understand voice commands and answer spoken questions. Since Android and Apple have made good use of this technology, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Google will soon follow suit. Preparing your online presence for Google voice is something that you might think you can get to eventually, but right now is the ideal time to get ready.
The urgency to stay ahead of the pack
As of now, Google says that around 20 percent of searches are voice searches. The expectation is that at least 50 percent of searches will be voice searches by 2020. That is less than three years away!
Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, Apple Siri, and Amazon Alexa are only the tip of the iceberg for voice assistants. Samsung and Facebook are said to have voice assistants in the works. Imagine how many potential clients and customers you could reach if you could harness the power of voice.
Looking past the implementation of new assistants is also necessary. Getting ready for voice now enables your company to grow with technology. Voice recognition is only accurate around 90 percent of the time now. Google is predicting that by 2018, this will increase to 99 percent. Yes, by next year, Google predicts that voice recognition will be almost perfect.
Ways voice can help your business
Teens tend to use voice to call people, reply to texts and play music. This might not help your business much; however, adults use voice in a much different manner. The vast majority of voice assistant usage by adults is to ask for directions and dictate texts. If your company has everything set up for voice, getting someone to your business will take only a spoken command. If you offer text support or customer service, you could use voice assistant technology to handle those needs.
Breaking down what people are using voice online provides an even more interesting picture. There are four ways that people tend to use voice capabilities on the Internet – general information, local information, fun and entertainment, and personal assistants.
Look past Google
When online search engines are mining for information, it is often thought that Google leads the pack. The truth is that Bing might be able to pull more searchers and more information than Google. This is because three out of the four current voice assistants, all of the previously mentioned except Google Assistant, use Bing to find information. Since Facebook is working on a voice assistant, there is a good chance that this will increase to four major voice assistants using Bing.
This presents a conundrum for some companies because many people have gotten so accustomed to optimizing content for Google’s algorithms like Panda and Penguin that they forget about the other search engines. Now, website owners will have to optimize for voice, Google, and Bing if they hope to pull in a piece of the voice search pie.
Searches are usually in question form
Most searches are made in question form – who, what, when, where, and why. In order to get your website ready for voice, you have to answer all of these. Using guides and other informative pieces on your website can help you here. But, this isn’t as easy as what it might seem.
Getting ready for voice will take a team of people as it is too much work for just one person. You need a developer who is familiar with all of the voice search programs. You will need a researcher to who can study the data about voice and come up with a plan for development for you. An SEO magician is next on your list because you need someone who can determine what questions searchers will ask so that the writer on the team can get everything written out to help your website perform well. Lastly, you will need a person who is able to map out responses for voice. This person is known as a voice UX expert and can create a flow chart of sorts to help the voice programs.
The possibilities about what your company can accomplish through this technology are endless. Not only do you have to optimize your website for voice, you will need to employ a comprehensive approach to the technology.
One thing that you might need to do is move to an automated appointment and purchase system. Since voice users likely want to do everything without having to touch the screen of the device, you should have a system that allows the user to make appointments or complete purchases with the help of the voice assistant.
Overall, the sooner you get set up for the upcoming influx of voice searches and assistants, the better your company will likely fare when the time comes. You won’t have to rush to get everything together at the last minute.