Thursday, March 30, 2017

"Siri, Find me..." The impact of voice search

In this week's article from Marketing Land, "Preparing for Local Reach in a Post Rank World," 3/28/17, the argument is made that voice search in digital marketing could turn search rankings on their head.  The article cites some experts who believe this prediction is a lot of hype, but I don't agree.

The rise of Siri, Alexa and Google Home will help change consumer behavior to emphasize audio interfaces.
  While it may be a bit awkward now, it will improve in time.  The growth of neural network computing and machine learning practically guarantee that our technology will improve through increased interaction and use.  This is great new for consumers, and challenging news for advertisers.

Consumers have long preferred organic search results to paid search.  It is one of the reasons why marketers are spending more time evaluating their content than ever before.
At the start of search there was a perception that savvy marketers could “game the system” or stack the odds in their favor by embedding search terms in the meta data within the website code.  That didn’t last long.  The market adapts and it soon became apparent that the “smoke and mirrors” tactic used by some marketers wouldn’t work long-term.  And in our digital world, long-term is where the greatest benefit for marketing lies.  

Developing real relationships with consumers is worth the effort and it starts with building trust.  Trust is not something you trick people into giving you.  You have to provide value — and be painfully transparent about that value.  I’ve long believed that candid, simple and compelling content will gain a brand better returns than savvy marketing copy.  As our communications becomes increasingly user-generated vs. professionally constructed, this tone and approach will become even more important.

Voice search will help consumers connect more quickly with brands, and the interface with consumers and search will grow more nuanced.  This means more qualified leads, better matched consumers with solutions and overall efficiency gains in our cluttered world.
I say, “Siri, bring it on.”

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