“Dont worry about your voice search strategy,” says e-commerce SEO director

Brands shouldn’t worry about their voice search strategy because there’s no way to measure any success with voice and most consumers prefer to shop via other channels at present.

That’s Patrick Reinharts view, who is senior director of digital strategies at SEO agency Conductor, and believes the current hype of voice search in e-commerce is overblown and that brands should focus on the more established marketing strategies at their disposal.

According to comScore, 50 per cent of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.

He said, “There’s no way to confirm with your bosses that your voice search strategy is actually working and I think we’re all getting a little lost along the way.

“I would rather focus on things that are more easily measurable. I’ve been in SEO for 15 years and I’ve seen many a shiny object come around in that time and voice search is probably the shiniest object that’s come about in the last few years.’

His talk, entitled ‘Forget Alexa, The Voice Search Devices Of the Future’ was given at the Brighton SEO conference in April 2019.

He said that most voices searches aren’t searches at all, they’re commands like ‘turn off lights’, ‘call Mum,’ or ‘play Ed Sheeran’ while over half of searches are made in cars.

Reinhart said that the voice search devices that are currently on the market, Google Home and Amazon Echo, are the starting point for people having more and more connected devices.

He predicts that more connected and voice-enabled devices will come onto the market such as earrings, rings, glasses and contact lenses (Samsung filed a patent for contact lenses with a built-in camera in 2016) which means marketers will have to think about marketing to a device rather than a person.

He said, “We’re all here sitting on the verge of voice search and it’s not something we should ignore… we should be aware of it.”

He said that the retention rate on Alexa skills was low. “I was working with a huge insurance company (who shall remain nameless) who spent months and months of research and tens of thousands of dollars developing and building an Alexa skill. Six months later they told me they were really happy with it because 110 people had used it in April.

“I thought, that is not good! I checked in a few months later and it was down to 60. The average retention rate for Alexa Skills is three per cent.

According to VoiceBotAI, the Alexa Skills retention rate has doubled to 6 per cent, showing more people are returning to use the tech.

Watch the below video on voice search