How do marketers optimize content in a world without screens on devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo?
Answer questions directly, according to Andrew Garcia, digital marketing strategist at Recovery Brands, which owns and operates a portfolio of Web properties to help connect consumers with addiction treatment providers.
Garcia said it's important to develop content that provides concise answers to questions, which will give marketers a better chance of getting their content returned as the answer to voice search queries.
Many search queries are semantic based and keyword heavy, but with voice search the focus turns toward conversational search. Queries range from "how tall is the Empire State Building" to "what is the average cost of a black dress at Neiman Marcus" or where can I find a black dress for $100 nearby," which relies on Maps.
This is where Google's Hummingbird algorithm, which Google launched in 2013 comes in, Garcia said.
Google relies heavily on Answer Box or Featured Snippets to return answers through voice search. So Garcia suggests marketers write content in a conversational tone.
When Google voice alone cannot provide answers to a query, it will ask the user to log into a companion smartphone app to view the answer. This is used more often with how-to queries.
"There is strong evidence that behavior metrics are used as a ranking signal," Garcia said. "This means higher-quality conversational content can earn you a higher time on pages, reduce bounce rate and increase the overall engagement with users."
Garcia also called out an important distinction between Google and Amazon to optimize content for voice marketing. He said Amazon uses the A9 algorithm, which is more of a product search engine compared with Google Home, which is a Web-based search engine.
Garcia also suggests working with IFTTT (If This Then That). Wikipedia describes IFTTT as a "Web-based service that allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements called "recipes" that are triggered based on changes to other Web services such as Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
He said adding services to IFTTT -- which Google Home, Google Now and Amazon Echo use -- allows marketers to work with voice technology used by Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple. These "custom recipes" can potentially generate new customers for the business.
Finally, Garcia suggests that marketers work on getting more reviews. Local search results and product search results rely partly on reviews. Having a high-volume of high-quality reviews acts as an authority signal to both Google and Amazon, allowing businesses to have their stores and/or products featured in voice search.