Time to Take Voice Search Seriously

Google’s Home device was launched on 6th April in the UK. It is the first real attempt from “The Big G” to rival Amazon Echo and gain market share in the digital assistant marketplace.  Despite the Echo having a 2-year lead, stats suggest that home is catching up quickly and may now have a third of the user base of it’s more established stablemate

Google has increased the number of actions available via Home, and third parties are encouraged to get involved. The company has already set up a node.js client library to help with building logic that conforms to the conventions of the conversation.api, as well as a web simulator to allow you to test a new action using the real voice recordings used by Google in their app.

Google Home is powered by Google Assistant, which has recently been rolled out across all Android devices. Assistant responds to voice commands and can perform an increasing number of actions. There may be only a small number of actions available at the moment (around 130 as opposed to more than 10,000 on Amazon) but Google is adding many new options.


Google Home Now Working with IFTTT

Encouragingly, the Google devices are now supporting the popular IFTTT wizard that is able to extend the functionality into areas that few have yet thought of, such as posting to Facebook and using the assistant to send messages on Skype. IFTTT offers access to around 100 online services. There are also a number of integrations with Google-owned services such as Chromecast and YouTube, as well as stalwarts such as Spotify and Uber.

As system become more ubiquitous and competitive, then a range of new uses will come to pass. For instance, the Airbnb Concierge Action serves as an information repository that is unique to each property. The host can leave tips or prompts with the Assistant. Guests can also leave recommendations on local restaurants. This is a perfect tie into the Airbnb brand and gives and brings hotel-like services to the guest booking service.  Although it is not added now, it also brings the opportunity to offer kickbacks and commissions to those making the recommendation, in an equivalent way to the profit shares offered to real life concierges.


Google Home in TV Ads

In the US, Burger King’s latest advert broke the fourth wall by encouraging the Google home system to answer a question spoken by the advert. The 15-second TV ad featured the words “OK Google, What is the Whopper Burger? As often happens, the system read out text from the non-profit Wikipedia. The page has now been returned to its state before the airing of the TV ad and the question has been barred from Google Home.


Tips for Voice Search Marketing

  1. Use keyword and intent analysis to optimise for voice search. Discover what your users expect when they voice search, then tailor the content to meet the need.
  2. Remember to consider alternate phrasing of the query, such as “How do I get to the shop?” or “Give me directions to the store.”
  3. Incorporate important location landmarks that could impact voice search. Incorporating these terms into your content will boost your hyperlocal presence.
  4. Use mark up to ensure that your content is ready to be displayed. Making sure your content is marked up with schema will help ensure that your content is ready to be shown.
  5. Optimise each location for the context and desires of their specific targeted audience.
  6. PPC and organic search can work together to maximize the brand’s presence.
  7. Do not neglect your apps. Remember, an estimated 90% of mobile internet time is spent on apps.