Voice Search: It’s Not Just for eCommerce
If you’re like me, you enjoy the convenience of your voice assistant. It’s great to tell Alexa, “order cat food”, and it arrives in two days. This is a convenience that is spoiling me. Alexa is training me to rely on her on a daily basis.
Clearly, this is the future for companies that sell products. Is this something a B2B company should consider? Could a company that provides services use voice search to gain more leads?
While Alexa trains me to buy more products, eventually this convenience will train me to search for services, as well. Even services for my business.
Google Voice Leads The Way for B2B Lead Generation
Let’s say I need help filing my the taxes for my company. I might turn to Google and type, “corporate tax preparer.” If I have a Google voice device, however, it might be easier to simply ask Google a question or two. Here’s an example of how this would work:
Notice a couple of things:
Google answers my question but I need more information
The answer Google gives is just enough to confirm I’m on the right track, but not enough to be actionable. This forces me to either ask another question or go to Google for more information. They’ve got me right in the palm of their hand.
Google can understand my question based upon what I previously asked it
If you follow SEO, you know that this is something Google’s been able to do in desktop searches for a couple of years. Perhaps they made that move anticipating voice search. This encourages me to keep asking Google for more information.
Google can even tell me a little about the options available
Almost everyone is internet-savvy enough to not always trust the #1 listing on Google. They want to vet each of the options and pick the best. Google Home makes this easy, especially for reviews. This way I can decide if I want to pursue one of these companies for help.
I can easily contact companies through my Google Voice device.
This is the best part. I can just call them through my device. I don’t even have to write down a phone number. It’s convenience like this that will make Google Voice a great B2B lead gen platform.
Amazon Echo Devices Aren’t As Good For B2B Lead Generation
Let’s ask Alexa the same questions I asked Google- to find a new corporate tax preparer.
Notice a couple of things here:
Alexa doesn’t have all the answers
In fact, she doesn’t know much. At least she could tell me about people near me who might be able to help.
The one thing Alexa was able to help with were companies “near me.” Notice that the answers were different between the two devices. This is because Amazon doesn’t pull their results from Google. Amazon gets local businesses from Bing.
I can contact companies through Alexa – if I set it up
With Google, I didn’t have to set anything up to make a call. I just called the business. With Alexa, I can call someone if I set up the system. This is a little inconvenient – especially when compared to how easy it is to buy something with Alexa. While this is a technical issue with Alexa, that might never change, once I set this up, it could be very convenient.
Voice Search Is The Future of B2B Lead Generation
This example shows how voice search could generate leads to your B2B company. This is going to be the future. But it’s not quite ready yet.
Amazon devices have a significant market share
Amazon dominates this space. 70% of households who have a voice assistant have an Echo. As consumers are “trained” by these devices at home, these devices will move into offices. Once they do, their potential for B2B lead gen will grow because they don’t want to lose out to Google.
Google is aggressively pursuing this opportunity
Google doesn’t want to lose this battle to Amazon. They are actively promoting their Home devices. Even if you don’t have a Google Home, you already have a Google voice assistant in your pocket! You can do a Google voice search from your phone’s browser.
Competition will make this even better
As Google and Amazon compete for voice search, each of their products will improve. Amazon will get better at answering basic question and promoting services. In the same way, Google will not concede eCommerce to Amazon.
What can your business do about this?
- If your business has an address, you need to double-down on local SEO. Whether Google or Amazon, people are looking for companies “near me”. Your local SEO affects whether voice search will find you.
- If you provide services, answer questions to earn Featured Snippets. You’ve seen these in a text search: Google provides the answer to a question in the search results. This is where Google is getting voice search answers. Bing also has featured snippets. I predict that Alexa will start using Bing Featured Snippets for their answers soon.
But what if I’m wrong?
Here’s the best part: even if people reject voice search and voice assistants, optimizing for it will still help promote your company. The things you need to do to promote your B2B company on voice are the same things you need to do with text searches. In other words: your traditional SEO results will improve as well.
Are you excited about voice search? Have you used Google Voice, Alexa or other voice-driven AI for your business searches? Does this trend excite you? I have so many questions. Do you have any? Whatever your thoughts, please share them below. Thanks!
You may also want to read: Why Voice Search is Making Q&A Pages More Relevant Than Ever
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