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UnGagged Las Vegas 2018 - Is Voice Search Really Such A Big Deal?


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50% of ALL search queries will be by voice by 2020!

We've all heard a lot about voice search optimization, but what does it really mean? Does it matter? And should we be doing better than just peddling easy answers about a trend that has very little actual business impact?

Read on to find out!

Published in: Marketing
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UnGagged Las Vegas 2018 - Is Voice Search Really Such A Big Deal?

  1. 1. 1 VOICE SEARCH: Is it really such a big deal?
  2. 2. Hi! I am Clark Boyd You can find me at @ClarkBoyd Search ‘Clark Boyd’ on LinkedIn (There aren't many of us) - Ex-iProspect (Dentsu Aegis Network) - Course Leader for Emeritus (Columbia Business School/MIT) - Google Squared subject matter expert - Research lead for ClickZ 2
  3. 3. TODAY: VOICE SEARCH ▹ The Voice Search Pitch ▹ What They Don’t Tell You ▹ The Real Future of Search ■ Brand-driven ■ Sensory ■ Accurate ■ And yes, mobile 3
  4. 4. 1. VOICE SEARCH The Pitch (I read every voice search article, so you don’t have to)
  5. 5. 6 The classic three-act structure. It applies rather readily to all the voice search pitches I’ve read and seen.
  6. 6. 6/10 Adults say they couldn’t live without their voice-activated device. 50% Of ALL searches will be voice searches by 2020. 50% Of US consumers use voice search to research products. 7 EXPOSITION
  8. 8. RISING TENSION you have a strategy for this??? Your competitor does.
  10. 10. YOU :-) (If you work with us) DÉNOUEMENT
  11. 11. YOU :’-( (If you don’t) DÉNOUEMENT
  12. 12. DÉNOUEMENT Here’s how you can get involved! If you weren’t already doing these things, you should be doing them anyway. Except number 4 - do not “do LSI”. It matters that people are misled by “voice search strategy”, even if most of these points would benefit their overall SEO. These are basic best practices, not advanced strategies. Distracting people from the real future of the industry is never in their best interests. We need to do better! 1. Think and write like a human being. 2. Optimize for mobile. 3. Go for snippets. 4. Use “LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords.” 5. Answer questions. 6. Look at Search Console for longer queries. 7. Focus on speed (???) 8. Use markup.
  13. 13. 2. VOICE SEARCH What They Don’t Tell You
  14. 14. People who do shop through their smart speakers tend to buy paper towels, detergent and other home staples. - The Information 15
  15. 15. 17
  16. 16. People are speaking to their voice- activated devices in growing quantities. That is true. There is an opportunity for brands to sell products/services through these interactions, as in this Google example. But this is not ‘voice search’. It’s not even search. In the Amazon example from the last slide, the device infers an underlying intent state and preemptively makes a recommendation. This is much more likely to be the future of commerce through Alexa/Google/Siri/Cortana.
  17. 17. It won’t.
  18. 18. Text Search
  19. 19. Voice Search
  20. 20. What does ‘voice’ really change? It’s great to know the question, but only if it affects the answer.
  21. 21. Input Output Use Cases Voice Voice One answer Actions Voice Text Multiple answers Device with screen Voice Image Shopping Directions (local listings) Image Image Shopping Ideas Historical user data (‘searcher’ not directly active) Suggestions (Voice/image/text) The search engine knows enough to preempt and answer the query
  22. 22. 3. VOICE SEARCH What To Do Instead. (Or at Least, As Well.)
  23. 23. 1 2 3 4 THE FUTURE OF SEARCH IS: Brand-driven Sensory Accurate And yes, mobile 25
  24. 24. THE FUTURE OF SEARCH IS: 1. Brand-driven 26
  25. 25. Sneaky Amazon results Shopping (Expect to see a lot more of this) Paid search Lots of other options(Good luck) “SEO”
  26. 26. ● Standard ● Taller Organic Cards ● Local 3-Pack ● Quick Answers ● Shopping/PLA ● Rich Snippets ● Site Carousel ● Site Links ● Site Image Carousel ● Top Stories / News ● AMP ● Google Flights ● People also ask ● Category ● Images ● Videos / Trailers ● Live ● Top sights ● Reviews ● Blogs ● Knowledge Panel ● Carousel ● Apps ● Google for Jobs ● Recipes ● Scholarly Research ● Weather ● Game Scores ● Twitter Tweets ● Discover more places ● Send to Google Home ● People also search for ● See results about ● Widgets ● Found in related search ● Quotes ● Events (AT LEAST) 37 SERP FEATURES AVAILABLE
  27. 27. 82% of people will click on an SEO result because they know the brand. This far outweighs any other factor and as screen space decreases, this will grow in importance. search/
  28. 28. Branding needs to influence every digital asset. Having a ‘brand voice’ will become a quite literal requirement and forward-thinking companies are experimenting in this area already. 31
  29. 29. 32 YouTube Display TV
  30. 30. 33 Home
  31. 31. We can safely term this ‘SEO content’. It has none of the brand’s character and, while the information is important, could be written by any insurance company with a keyword list and a keyboard. These are the pages that digital assistants will pull information from, so they need to be more than keywords stitched together with prepositions. SEO
  32. 32. Traditional ‘SEO content’ does not respond to the modern consumer’s needs. If a digital assistant can’t find anything suitable, it reverts to a traditional SERP. On mobile, that means SEO is even less likely to get the click. If SEO doesn’t take control of this content space, another team will.
  33. 33. 61% of consumers aged 18-34 discover new products through social media. Google and Amazon both want to encourage discovery beyond the search bar - they know this shift has happened.
  34. 34. THE FUTURE OF SEARCH IS: 2. Sensory 37
  35. 35. 38
  36. 36. Most voice actions require the consumer to have a prior (and positive) interaction with the brand. This is not a broad, exploratory channel where optimizing for the right question will get you to the head of the pack. It is a combination of branding to create demand, and conversational interfaces to convert the demand.
  37. 37. “Shopping has always been visual - we’ve just been taught to do the opposite online. Amy Vener, Pinterest 40
  38. 38. capitalizing-on-the-new-customer-journey/
  39. 39. Intent state Input Output Open to ideas Looking for a style Looking for a specific type of product “Which sneakers should I buy?” Ready to buy “Adidas originals white”
  40. 40. THE FUTURE OF SEARCH IS: 3. Accurate 44
  41. 41. These are the spaces we need to influence - even if they do not result in a click.
  42. 42. THE FUTURE OF SEARCH IS: 4. And yes, mobile 48
  43. 43. People are asking questions in a way that implies an expectation that the search engine ‘knows’ them. This isn’t just about going on Answer the Public and picking out a few questions for a new FAQ page. Your audience is asking what they, as an individual, should buy or do or visit.
  44. 44. LOCAL LISTINGS Google Posts is a tentative foray into social media-lite, but Google does have an advantage on the local front. It’s not just about NAP optimization - it’s about content and branding too. Place your screenshot here 52
  45. 45. Search: The New Customer Journey 53
  46. 46. Informational queries Video search Image search Vertical search engines Position Zero Ratings and reviews Social media Product comparison Product questions Assistant Search for store Subscribe and save
  47. 47. THANKS! You can find me at: @ClarkBoyd 55