Voice Search Week: Voice Search Industry Landscape

This week we're rebroadcasting our conversation about one of the fastest rising technologies that's impacting content marketers: voice search with Courtney Cox Wakefield, who is the co-author of Voice Search: The New Search Engine and the Head of Consumer Digital Marketing at Children's Health Hospital, which is one of the top care facilities in the United States. We start the week with a conversation about the current landscape of the voice search industry.

Show Notes


  • Voice Search: The New Search Engine Book (02:43) A lot of people reached out after the book was published and they wanted to talk about it. We’ve also had some good sales numbers. I've always been the type of marketer who's looking at what's next. I’m a techie at heart and I was an early adopter of the voice first technology. I bought an Amazon Alexa in the first couple of weeks that Amazon launched it and I started creating a smart home. However, even though this technology was useful for me, finding some good answers or good content was really difficult and I started looking more into it. During lunch with my friend, we have spoken about this topic and we decided to write a comprehensive resource on voice search. That’s how the book came to life. The Basics of Voice Search (05:24) The first technology that actually enabled this was created by IBM in their early days. They created some technology that can actually understand human speech, but then it stagnated for years. It got slightly better but it only became possible when we started creating machine learning algorithms. The Relations Between The Old Text-to-Speech Technologies To What We Are Seeing Today (06:50) They are still related and the Dragon software made that speech recognition piece possible. However, understanding what I’m saying is one thing, but understanding what I’m saying and being able to pull information from another source and deliver it back to me is a totally new layer. The Overall Landscape of Voice Search (08:02) There are really two different paths that you can go with voice search. You can go with the direct path or you can go with the organic path. You can optimize your content to rank well and perform well for voice searches or you can build a skill that someone actually has to recall before your content can be read to them and that can be a little more challenging for users.If you have a huge marketing team and a very large tech team that can support the creation of a skill and an action while you are optimizing your content to work well on voice, that's great. However, the small companies with a small marketing and tech team, are barely focusing on their voice search content and I think that’s concerning because they are missing out. Do Marketers Need To Think About Content That’s Fit For The Go Or For The Home (13:20) I’d say both. At home, more local searches are done than any other type of search. People want to know what's the best emergency room near them, what are the good restaurants, what’s the traffic like etc. The way to optimize for that is by making sure that you've optimized your local listings and that can be done manually. Personally, I don’t prefer to do it manually. I use a tool like Yext that pushes all that information out to all the data aggregators and all the different publishers. If you don't have a good local strategy, I wouldn't focus on almost anything else. So I’d say, get that local strategy solid and then you can start focusing on other concepts. 

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