Did you get an Amazon Echo or Google Home as a gift during the holidays? Statistically speaking, you or someone you know probably has one of these smart speakers. A January 2018 report from NPR and Edison Research shows 39 million Americans now own smart speaker devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home. This equates to about 1 in 6 Americans and is a 128% increase from January 2017. Furthermore, according to sales numbers, there are actually about 45 million smart speakers installed in the U.S.—which make sense, considering 20% of Echo users and 13% of Google Home users own multiple devices.
Why You Need to Care About Smart Speakers
Why should you care about these sales numbers? It’s simple: These numbers prove that a major, undeniable change is underway. This change will certainly impact your business, whether you’re ready for it or not. You probably haven’t given much thought, if any, to the idea that Amazon Echo and Google Home could affect your business in any way. At first glance, it seems absurd. However, as smart speakers and voice assistance continue to gain prominence, they’re going to have a tremendous influence on how people engage with technology, the internet, and search engines. These are things you absolutely must care about and pay attention to if you have any hope of thriving in 2018 and beyond. Keep reading to find out why!
The Connection Between Smart Speakers and Voice Search
First, let’s take a look at how smart speakers and voice search relate to the larger online world. As more and more people use their smart speakers to get basic information (“Hey, Alexa. What’s the weather forecast for today?”), the act of voice search is becoming more familiar, even habitual, for many users. This has major implications for how we’ll interact with our technology in the very near future. In fact, as TechCrunch notes, our comfort with smart speakers is already starting to affect how we use other devices, too:
The adoption of the device for in-home voice assistance had a trickle-down effect as well, as 44 percent found they started using the voice assistance on their phone more since getting a smart speaker.
In other words, due to the popularity of smart speakers, voice assistance and voice search on smartphones are seeing an increase in usage, as well. And, as we’ve covered in previous blog posts, the rise in voice searches has led to significant changes in search engine algorithms.
How Voice Search Directly Affects Your Business
So, to recap: Smart speakers like Amazon Echo clearly contribute to the growth of voice search. In turn, the growth of voice search leads to changes in how search engines work… But how does any of this relate to your business? It boils down to the impact voice search has had on search engines. People use their normal speech patterns when they ask questions to their smart speakers and phones. Of course, their natural speech is much different from robotically typed search terms. Therefore, Google and other search engines have adjusted their algorithms to better detect natural language. This way, they can deliver more relevant and accurate results to voice search users.
As a result, all website content must follow suit. Your site must be optimized for voice search by containing more natural language (while still hitting important keywords, of course). If your website doesn’t satisfy this need for natural language, then Google will be less likely to pick it up during routine searches. It’s as simple as that.
Get Ahead of This Sweeping Change Now!
Smart speakers are only the latest advancement in the larger trend of voice search and voice assistance. If you don’t embrace the impending voice search revolution and adapt accordingly, you’ll be left behind in the dust. Don’t let your website become an artifact of the past. Update and improve your content now before it’s too late!