Voice Engine Optimization’s Growing Importance

While VEO — voice engine optimization — isn’t critical yet for most B2B businesses, it’s importance is clearly growing, even for those firms that
aren’t currently feeling its impact.

To date, VEO is directly mostly on location-based or time-dependent products and services. For example, local movie theaters, where a search query might be, “What time is The Angry Birds Movie 2 playing near me?” Plumbers, locksmiths, pizzerias … you get the picture.

And even though comscore.com predicts that 50% of search queries will be voice queries by 2020, it’s hard to imagine that the vast majority of those searches won’t still be for B2C retail businesses.

VEO Stakes are High

However, VEO will spread — all technology does — and the stakes are high enough that it’s worthwhile for B2B marketers to at least familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of VEO. One reason the stakes are so high: unlike browser-based search results page, there’s really only one winner in voice search.

How to Recognize the VEO Tipping Point

One thing you might consider is keeping a close watch on your mobile vs. desktop usage patterns. Monitor traffic, engagement, and traffic sources. If you see a sharp rise in traffic to your website from mobile devices, that could be an indicator that VEO is worth paying attention to. (VEO is largely driven by mobile devices and smart speakers.)

Adapting Your Site for VEO

Some of the same SEO rules you’re used to apply for VEO. Topping the list is site performance. The faster your site loads, the better, so be sure you’re optimizing image files and all coding.

Featured Snippets, like the example shown below, may also be an important factor. This Moz.com article is a great place to start on optimizing for Featured Snippets.

And if there are areas of your site where you can adopt a more conversational tone do so. (I’d argue that a more conversational tone is better for B2B marketing, regardless. Make your marketing more human!)

I hesitate to say that VEO will be an important part of the marketing equation for B2B businesses 18 months from now, but technology moves fast, being prepared for VEO could prove to be an enormous advantage, and nobody likes surprises.

Andrew Schulkind

Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured? A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms find a more strategic and productive mix of tools that genuinely support online brand goals over time. With a passion for true collaboration and meaningful consensus, his work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components. He views is primary goal as encouraging engagement. Getting an audience involved in your story requires solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either. Andrew has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events, on content marketing and web-development topics. His technology writing appears on the Andigo blog, in a monthly column on Biznology.com, and for print and online publications like The New York Enterprise Report, Social Media Today, and GSG Worldwide’s publications LinkedIn & Business, Facebook & Business, and Tweeting & Business. Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")

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