In the fast-moving, increasingly demanding world of digital marketing, it seems there are always new technologies for brands to learn about and groundbreaking trends to keep up with. One area of search that has been attracting more attention in recent years and looks set to grow in significance for the foreseeable future is voice commerce. With smart speaker sales reaching 147 million units globally in 2019 – an increase of 70% from 2018 and growing rapidly in 2020 – it’s never been easier for people to find information or products they’re looking for and possibly even commit to a purchase, using just their voice.
In the fast-moving, increasingly demanding world of digital marketing, it seems there are always new technologies for brands to learn about and groundbreaking trends to keep up with.
One area of search that has been attracting more attention in recent years and looks set to grow in significance for the foreseeable future is voice commerce. With smart speaker sales reaching 147 million units globally in 2019 – an increase of 70% from 2018 and growing rapidly in 2020 – it’s never been easier for people to find information or products they’re looking for and possibly even commit to a purchase, using just their voice.
With enormous potential for ongoing growth in this segment of the ecommerce sector, brands need to ensure they’re positioned to take advantage of it by committing to voice search optimisation and incorporating this in their wider search localisation strategy. Whereas reaching Position Zero in traditional SEO has long been the end goal, this becomes critical in voice search where only the top spot will do.
As smart speakers and voice assistants become increasingly common features of households around the world, businesses have an exciting new area in which to test out ways of building brand recognition and developing relationships with their customers.
This channel certainly appears to offer good potential for companies to connect with their audiences, with a recent study by Adobe showing that 36% of consumers own a smart speaker. Three-quarters (75%) of this group use their device at least once a day.
It seems the significance of this trend isn’t lost on businesses. Adobe Analytics surveyed more than 400 business leaders last year and found that 91% were already making significant investments in voice, while 94% planned to increase their presence in this space in the next 12 months. Two-thirds of respondents (66%) strongly agreed that voice technology had the potential to help drive conversions and increase revenue, while 71% acknowledged how it could improve the user experience.
This is still a developing area and many brands are at the stage of exploring the technology and coming up with plans to use it. Adobe’s findings showed that only 22% of companies have got as far as creating a voice app to be launched on a major platform, like Amazon’s Alexa or Baidu’s DuerOS, one of the leading voice assistants in China.
As far as search marketing is concerned, research has suggested that less than a fifth (17%) of marketing decision-makers have already launched a strategy to optimise for voice search, or plan to do so in the coming year.
With more than seven out of ten (72%) survey respondents saying they had no plans in place for voice search optimisation, this could be an area where early adopters can get ahead of the pack.
Voice search optimisation
So, what can you do to optimise your content for voice search and bring in more traffic from this channel?
One of the most important factors to bear in mind is the conversational nature of voice search, which means it’s a good idea to incorporate long-tail keywords into your content to improve your rankings.
Do some research into the types of questions your customers are likely to ask and make sure your content is properly planned, created and optimised not only to feature prominently in search results but also to give satisfactory answers to these queries.
Furthermore, it’s important to use language in a natural, conversational way, to ensure your content is well-matched to verbal questions. Knowing how your target audience is likely to search using voice becomes increasingly important.
Research has also shown the importance of technical factors in voice search optimisation. Backlinko analysed 10,000 Google Home search results and its key findings included:
- The average voice search result page loads in 4.6 seconds – 52% faster than the average page – suggesting page speed is a key factor in voice SEO.
- More than 70% of Google Home result pages are HTTPS-secured.
- The typical voice search result is only 29 words long.
- Content with high levels of social engagement tends to perform well in voice search
The global picture – voice search localisation
Online giants like Google and Amazon might be the biggest names in voice search in the Western world, but in other regions, the likes of Yandex’s Alice (Russia) and Naver’s Clova (Japan and South Korea) have considerable influence.
If your business has ambitions to make voice search a key element of your international growth plans, it’s vital to be aware of regional trends and preferences and to consider which platforms give you the best chance of reaching your target audience.
It’s also important to be aware that voice search currently has a strong local focus. More than three-quarters (76%) of smart speaker users perform local voice searches at least weekly, while 46% use voice to find information on nearby businesses on a daily basis.
Targeting buyers by location could be one of the best ways to start benefiting from the potential of voice search and should be an integral part of onward search optimisation planning.
Businesses optimising for this channel need to ensure that all of their content is not just effectively translated, but also properly localised and tailored to have maximum relevance for regional audiences. Traditional verbatim translation from one language to can only be achieved with a deeper level of language expertise and true understanding of the digital marketing space.
Locaria offers a range of services that can help you get better results from your international marketing and deliver a consistent, high-quality experience to customers across all channels.
Get in touch today to hear how we can help you prepare for and optimise an effective voice search localisation strategy.