It's just a fact: voice search is quickly becoming a fixture of online searching for the tens of millions of households that own a voice assistant device like an Echo, a Google Home device, Nest tablet, or even a smartphone with Siri or Cortana.
Some of the advantages of using voice search include ease of use, portability, and the ability to multitask while getting needed information. The drawbacks of voice search include the need to listen instead of see the information and the potential for the voice assistant to misinterpret your query.
But no matter what your opinion of voice search, make no mistake--it is impacting your brand, and it will continue to do so. Here's what you need to know.
Making It More Conversational
One way voice search is impacting your brand is by making your marketing content more conversational. Voice searchers don't just say "protein bar" to a voice assistant like Siri or Alexa; they say "What protein bars are low in fat?" These keyword searches are called conversational long-tail keywords, and your marketing content should use them if you want it to be found by voice searchers.
Localizing Marketing Content
Another impact of voice search is that it tends to be focused on a particular area or location. Many voice searches are about local restaurants, events, or places that the searcher wants to go or to find more information about. In other cases, it is about a product and where the searcher can find it to purchase. The marketing tactic here is to localize your content as much as possible. This can be difficult for some national CPG brands, but if you are a niche brand that is concentrated in a local area, it can drive more traffic to your location if you use specific, location-driven keywords.
Relying on Code
More and more of SEO and search is optimized behind the scenes, where ordinary users and content providers can't see what is there. Microdata or schema markup happens in a page's code, and the tags used are unknown to voice searchers but are used by voice assistants' AI computing to quickly find the information they want so they can provide it to the searchers. This microdata in the background can impact your brand enormously by giving the voice assistants what they need to use your information instead of another brand's.
Until recently, voice searches did not include the ability to order and pay for purchases, but Google Assistant linked Google Pay to its services in 2019. Some banks, PayPal and Venmo quickly followed suit to form the growing payment category of voice payments. If your online presence isn't set up to accept voice payments for your CPG products, you are rapidly falling behind the times as far as optimizing sales and keeping up with other brands that are making these adjustments.