It's hard to deny the growing popularity of voice technology in our everyday lives. Upon rolling out of bed in the morning, consumers are referring to their voice technology assistants like Alexa to make them aware of the weather conditions and what's on their plate for the day. When having a business lunch in an unfamiliar part of town, people can instantly learn the best local eateries by asking their smartphones. And trying to navigate around a traffic jam is easy when you're receiving step-by-step voice instructions from your mobile device.
Today's Consumers Have a Growing Dependence on Voice Technology
Whether we realize it or not, we as consumers have a growing dependence on voice technology. According to the latest data, 35.6 million Americans admit to using a voice-activated assistant device at least once a month. 72 percent of consumers that own voice-activated assistant devices say that this technology plays a role in their daily routines. Of the consumers that own a Google Home or Amazon Echo smart speaker, 65 percent say that they can't imagine living their lives without this technology.
Currently, 32 percent of American households own some type of smart speaker. However, once the 2018 holiday season has come and gone, smart speaker ownership is expected to grow to 48 percent. It's important to note that this growth in smart speaker ownership will be the driving force in the uptick of voice search queries for a variety of products and services. While voice search queries currently comprise of 20 percent of searches on Google, this percentage is expected to increase to 50 percent by 2020.
The Challenges with a Growing Dependence on Voice Search
Search engines like Google strive to deliver the most relevant search results based on the user's intent. The way that consumers are performing searches online has shifted to a more conversational style, which is why marketers must target long-tail keyword phrases. The fact that more consumers are embracing voice search ties into the conversational search queries. However, the challenge has been that voice technology assistants don't always accurately understand the speech or user intention.
Understanding these frustrations, the developers of voice technology are working hard to improve the accuracy of speech recognition. Great strides have been made over the past year, and Google's speech recognition is said to be almost as accurate as humans.
How Can Marketers Prepare for a Voice-First World?
With the widespread adoption of smartphones, we've already made the transition to a mobile-first world. However, are we about to take this transition one step further with a voice-first world? Most digital marketing experts would agree that the answer is yes.
We've talked about how voice activated interfaces in business website design will soon become the norm, not the exception. Ensuring that your website is voice-search friendly needs to be a priority for your business in 2019. Here are some best practices to help you to accomplish this:
The Holidays Will Bring More Voice Technology Assistants to U.S. Households
Considering the budget-friendly price of smart speakers like the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini (both approximately $50), we can expect this technology to be a popular holiday gift this season.
Other new smart speakers that are hitting the market just in time for the holiday season include Amazon Spot and Facebook Aloha. Both of these smart speakers offer a blend of voice and video technologies to consumers to further enhance the experience of interacting with voice-activated assistants.
It's no big strategic secret that companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook want to make voice technology an indispensable part of consumers' lives. We can expect improvements to voice technology assistants to continue to come down the pipe in 2019 and going forward as we transition to a voice-first world.
How New York Ave Can Help
To capitalize on today's consumers that consider Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant to be their constant companions, it's critical that brands optimize their online presence for voice search. Between the growing affordability of this technology and the countless new skills that are being added to voice app development, more consumers will have access to voice assistants in the coming year and feel more comfortable using this type of technology. The businesses that will be the most successful in this new generation of marketing will be the brands that take the steps new to adapt to a base of consumers that depend on voice search.
Our team at New York Ave can help you make the transition to a voice-first world. Contact us and learn how we can help you to optimize your online presence to appeal to consumers that are already making voice technology a part of their everyday lives.