Let’s face it: voice search is incredibly over-hyped today.
Any conference, webinar, or article around the future of search marketing will talk about voice search. Many are predicting voice search will account for 50% of all searches by 2020. And kids are even using intelligent agents (IAs) like Google Assistant to help them do their homework. But what nobody is talking about is what impact will voice searches have on businesses, and what do marketers need to do about it.
So, we decided to dig in for ourselves and conduct a piece of research on the impact searches on Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana, and other intelligent agents will have on the future of search marketing. In our most recent report, we found:
- Voice search is immature today. Customers use IAs in a very command oriented way. That is, people are largely not asking them questions or searching for things — instead they’re telling them to look up traffic, play music, or turn off their living room lights. And when they are asking questions, they are likely not searching for items or topics relevant to most brands.
- IAs will get much more sophisticated. The major tech companies that own IAs know that the customer experience for searching on their assistants isn’t optimal today — which contributes to why most customers aren’t using their IAs like search engines. In fact, during Google’s Q1 earnings call, the search giant admitted they would have to focus on creating “experiences that work at scale” before even considering ad formats for voice search.
- Marketers should begin preparations for voice search today. With voice search in its infancy, now is the time for marketers to get ahead. Start to think about the questions customers ask across all channels today. Identify the channels, websites, and apps that your customers find information in and look to create visibility for your brand in those places.
You can read the full report here for more detailed information and advice. And please reach out with questions or comments. The topic of voice search is constantly evolving (just look at how Walmart and Google Assistant recently teamed up), and it will be fascinating to see where it goes and how quickly customer searching behavior will begin to shift to voice.