Thursday, January 17, 2019

Voice Series: What Industries Are Ready for Voice Search?

Each year, tech’s biggest names and coolest inventors showcase their wares at the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, in Vegas. It was hard to miss the prominence of voice assistants at this year’s show–many attendees were clued into the world of voice search through Amazon Echo booths and Google’s smart home presence, where attendees were never more than 3 feet away from a white-clad Google employee dressed as “Google Assistants” . With so much momentum behind voice, and smart assistants being a major part of the typical consumer’s everyday experience, it’s the perfect time to look at putting your own voice strategy into place. Last week, I introduced voice search strategy (go back and read part one if you haven’t!) and the why’s and how’s of the technology trend. In today’s addition to the series, we’ll lock down what that looks like for brands and what industries should be paying attention to voice’s takeover.

Key Industries Poised for Voice
Some industries or segments are better suited for voice search strategies in 2019—Search Engine Journal posted this graphic on the level of penetration that voice search has had for several different segments of the total market. Leaders include the food & beverage industries, health, and sports, followed by news and media and lifestyle.

  • Food and Beverage
    This industry is the number one largest industry that needs a voice search strategy, and it makes total sense that they’re ranked in the number one spot. Voice started out as phone-based assistants–like Siri–and users became familiar with the new tech by asking Siri to find the “best sushi near me” or “fun cafe near me with vegan options”. Local restaurants, bars, and cafes jumped on creating better voice search strategies by including keywords and optimizing their Yelp and Google Review pages. An online survey found that 45% of survey respondents would use voice search to make a reservation for a restaurant if the service was available. Major consumer brands like Denny’s, Dunkin’, and Starbucks are already supporting voice search for mobile ordering in 2019 and we expect to see smaller food & beverage all-stars following suit.
  • News and Media
    News and media companies have certainly changed since I was young. My dad used to get the newspaper each morning and give me the comics, and now I ask my Alexa to read me today’s headlines to kick off my day. Media companies are more focused on digital today, and they’re meeting their voice assistant-equipped “readers” by focusing on creating stories that feature natural-language queries and optimizing other types of media channels, like video.

Ensuring that content is ready and optimized for voice search is something that brands in every industry are preparing for. In the last installment of this series, I will break down exactly what you need to do to get started on your voice strategy, step-by-step. Look out for it next week and in the meantime, follow along on Twitter for more voice-related content.