Whether you’re a fan of smart speakers or you’re yet to adopt, it’s hard to deny the power of the technology.

An incredible 40% of all UK households will own an Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Apple HomePod by the end of 2018, and by 2020, 30% of all searches will be voice-conducted.

As a business owner, you’ll no doubt have invested in search engine optimisation (SEO) to help your business stand out from the competition on Google, but having your name read out by a smart speaker is a whole different ball game.

Below, we’ve put together the ways you can appear on Google Home and Alexa searches, and play a role in the smart speaker craze.


Understand user intent

Unlike search engine optimisation, voice search is all about intent.

The questions we ask via voice search are more structured than when we type, and so understanding what information the user wants to find when they search will help you to create content that will rank and be read out by smart speakers.

Make sure that you’re creating content that answers the questions that searchers will ask, using a conversational and informative tone.

Think about long-tail keywords when creating content, such as ‘the best bank accounts for startup businesses’, as these will have more relevance to the intent of the search, rather than broad keywords such as ‘business banks’.


Use Schema markup

If you want to ensure that your business shows up in voice search results, then structuring your content to make it easy to read and understand is important.

Schema markup can be used to tell search engine robots what your data means, rather than just what it says, allowing Alexa and Google Home to find and deliver more relevant results to users.

You can mark up your content using Schema in a variety of ways.

There are data markup options for content such as articles, restaurants, TV episodes, book reviews, events, products and software applications, and there are hundreds of markup types to further inform search engines.

The best part about Schema is that many small and medium-sized businesses aren’t using it.

Data from Search Engine Watch suggests that just 17% of marketers use Schema markup, so if your business bucks the trend and creates high-quality, informative, marked-up content, you’ll be more likely to become a result in voice search, helping you to get ahead of your competitors.


Sell your products on Amazon

In order for your products to be accessible to Amazon Alexa customers, they must be available on Amazon Prime.

This means using the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) program and letting Amazon handle the distribution of your products – but there are some drawbacks for ecommerce brands that have invested in their own packaging and fulfilment services.

As well as giving Amazon a cut of each sale, you’ll also be charged a storage fee if they handle your fulfilment from their warehouse.

As with any business decision, it’s important to weigh up the opportunity costs and decide whether selling your products on Amazon Prime is the right idea.

Sure, you might generate some additional sales if consumers buy your products from their Alexa device, but if you’re selling at a reduced profit margin, you may be better off focusing on your own ecommerce store.


Design an Alexa Skill

If you want to ensure your brand becomes a part of your users’ voice search experience, then consider designing your own voice interaction using the Alexa Skills Kit.

There are thousands of cloud-based skills from brands including Uber and Universal studios, but designing one for a small or medium-sized business and taking advantage of the Alexa ecosystem doesn’t have to be expensive.

Indeed, Amazon’s Skills Kit offers access to self-service API and tools so that you can quickly and easily add your own ‘skill’ to create new experiences for your customers.

You’ll have to consider the questions that your users might ask, and the way your skill will respond, but the Skills Kit includes a useful checklist of to ensure your interaction feels natural and responds in an accurate manner.

Once you’ve launched a Skill for the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show, you’ll be able to gain insights from user data and make improvements – but you’ll need to take the time to promote it, first.


Wrapping up

Optimising your site, app and products for smart home hubs may take time, but the results will be worth it.

At Zudu, we offer a range of marketing solutions that will increase exposure, grow your market share and help you discover profitable new markets. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team today on 01382 690080 to find out more about how we can help.

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