Amazon Echo

Did you know that 40% of US adults use voice search per day? According to Search Engine Watch, people now perform 35 times more voice searches on Google than in 2008. Nowadays, speech recognition technology is more precise—with only an 8% error rate! How voice search will impact travel marketing

Have you also noticed that many consumers have recently bought devices that use voice searches? In fact, 2017 was the year that voice recognition truly took off, thanks to the popularity and adoption of home devices, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo.

Using our voices is indeed the most natural way to communicate. By talking to a smart phone or other device, without the need to use a keyboard or screen, we can carry out more tasks at the same time and access content more quickly and easily. Google even revealed that 38% of people talk on the phone while watching television and 23% of adults use voice search while cooking. These technological innovations and new ways of communicating and searching for content nevertheless impact companies and how they market their products and services.

Devices used for voice searches

According eMarketer, there are over 45 million voice-assisted devices currently being used in the United States. This number is likely to climb to 67 million by 2019. Some of the more widely recognized voice AI systems are Google Home, with its Google Assistant, Amazon Echo with Alexa, and Apple HomePod with Siri. There are also assistants on smartphones, including Cortana for Microsoft and Bixby for Samsung.

Above all, voice search is a safer, simpler and faster way to access information when users are on the smartphones and on the go. What’s more:  voice-recognition features of devices and search results continuously improve. The reason? The more data devices gather on their users, the more the machines learn, adapt, customize and optimize their results.

Three consequences of voice search

According ComScore, by 2020, 50% of all searches will be by voice! How will that impact your marketing? You must immediately understand these new technologies and begin optimizing your marketing strategies to address these new challenges. Voice recognition will mainly affect your search engine marketing and content creation—both of which will have to be quickly optimized to factor in voice searches.

The importance of long-tail keywords

Because people are increasingly using voice searches, it is important for you to review your search engine optimization strategies. When users decide to conduct voice searches, they have a tendency of using several words or even complete sentences. In fact, the way people search for content using voice is completely different; they actually have discussions with their connected devices. Long-tail keywords (more than three words) are therefore more important than generic keywords.

Optimising content for questions

In addition to optimizing content using more than two or three keywords, marketers must also take into account that voice searches are conducting with complete sentences, often in the form of questions.

For example, instead of using written search terms such as “best restaurant Toronto,” people will ask the question: “What is the best restaurant in Toronto?” Users can ask a series of questions and communicate directly with their connected devices. This is the future of searching for information on the web! Searches will be addressed directly to devices by voice, as though two people were talking to each other.

In order to improve your SEO and ranking for voice searches, you must identify questions that people could potentially ask regarding your business. Once you have completed this step, you can include these questions in the FAQ section on your website or create content, such as blog posts, that answer these questions.

Why local and adapted content matters

Companies are slowly starting to adapt to this new consumer reality.  Think of moments when users need the most information on your products and services. Anticipate what questions potential customers are likely to ask their devices and provide quality information to help choose your business.

A great example of this type of forward-thinking marketing is Air Canada, which recently announced that it has invested in developing a skill for Amazon’s intelligent voice service. How does it work? In order to personalize the customer experience, users can download Alexa skills to meet their travel needs. All users have to do is ask questions to Alexa and they will receive Air Canada travel information. Expedia also developed a skill for Alexa, as you can see in the video example below.