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Voice Search: No Rest for the Wicked

    Voice Search is an easy and necessary tool to use with Content Marketing

    Do you have a personal assistant-like device? An Alexa or a Siri – or a Judi or a Bob, I don’t know. I had the idea of calling one Delilah – but that’s another chapter.

    I was all set to put the last edits on my latest book “Digital Thinking – Websites, Online Marketing and so much more”, and then enjoy the first weeks of vacation since May of 2019 when “ping” there arrived in facebook a message from David.

    What are You Doing, David?

    David Mayerlen and I worked together when I was Technical Lead for RedRhino way back in 2013. We were trying to connect Drupal to an IBM i series AS400 for a very large veterinary supplier. Then I had to leave, and David, Kim, Bart, and the rest of the team decided to do it another way and well, that as they say was that.

    David has sinced moved from Drupal to Angular and is now sitting in Nunavut Canada (most of us know this area to be the Northwest Territories) brewing Typo3 websites with voice content. “I’m looking forward to reading your book – of course you cover Voice Content – right?” I’m just getting into the shower as I read this, and no amount of sudsing is able to cleanse it from my brain. Damn.

    I have written about Alexa, and Iot, and our Digital Culture, and our interaction with devices, but only vaguely skirted about the concept of Voice Content. So, David – this is for you. But first, I need to make a pitstop.

    Pitstop – Context: Where do you get your Blog Ideas from?

    Nothing comes from nothing. Things don’t magically happen. Fire doesn’t spring from the air – first there is heat, smoke, a spark. I saw this week more than one tweet asking where people got ideas from their blog posts from? This is a good example.

    Last week I addressed local, semantic, and contextual search in my Digital Marketing class. I also saw a tweet about the DeBuild Platform ( platform which will program a function for you if you simply verbally describe it. I was thinking about Dragon Software ( – the speech recognition tool from about twenty years ago that lets you create word documents simply by talking. Then there came a Facebook message from Dave about Voice.

    That’s where ideas come from. They fulfill a need. Products, services, ideas – they arise to fill a void. There is no intent – I don’t wake up with intent – it’s not a thing. As we have been told by Google. You are simply inspired. That’s true.

    Voice Content

    Voice-activated content refers to auditory content that’s delivered via smart speakers, smartphone assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Siri, Google Home, and other devices.

    According to Statista were about three billion digital voice assistants being used around the world. By 2023 that number could reach eight billion – so more assistants than people.

    You know me, if you know me, to be ready at the slightest provocation to jump up and go on for thirty minutes on the amazingness of Content Marketing – but I’m feeling quite tired today and you can read everything I have to say on the subject right on this blog by clicking this link, so I will only say three words: Voice Content Marketing. Right? I mean, think about it.

    Voice Search we understand – “Alexa, where can I find the closest florist?” “Siri, what’s playing at the cinema tonight?” Right? this we understand. Voice Content Marketing is that after three espressos. It’s not even very new. Two years ago they were talking about it. Is it yet a thing though? Not so much. But it will be.

    Here – check it out- Alexa Skills. Your company should get in on this. It’s like Dash Buttons used to be before they were 86’d.

    Content Marketing involves the creation and sharing material that while not explicitly promoting a brand, is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services. Comic books, advertorials, cartoons – content marketing has been around for decades. Now it can be delivered at the touch of your fingertips – or in this case, at the tip of your tongue.

    Voice Search

    Voice Search is easy to grasp too and is necessary if you want to get into Content Marketing, and while it may be a bit scary, it fits into our semantic and contextual search patterns nicely, and with much less typing. This is important because we speak far more casually than we type, which means reduced wordiness.

    Instead of typing in “Inexpensive family holidays in Spain with hotel and car rental” in order to get all of Google’s pistons firing, I might just say “Alexa, where can we go in Spain that’s cheap?”

    Voice Search works like this: When you ask your assistant to look for something, it will read out the information found in the rich snippet from your web page which appears in Google search. ** Requirements: So, ok, you need to make sure your website is optimised for local search (sometimes called mobile search), uses the rich-data markup for rich snippets (the yoast seo plugin does), loads fast, and is relevant.

    We can type about 40 words a minute – but we can speak three times as many. We have the mental capactiy to understand four hundred words a minute.

    Wait. What about Social Media?

    It really comes down to the purpose of your content. If you want people to share your content on social media, then the Open Graph/OG markup from facebook. If you want to be found in Google, then that would be the sensible way to go. BOTH formats are part of the yoast SEO plugin for WordPress.

    Google always made it clear that it wanted to move away from microformats and onto a focus in order to build rich-data results for search. If you want to optimize for Google, Bing and other search engines add the markup.

    <div class="schema-faq wp-block-yoast-faq-block">
    <div class="schema-faq-section" id="faq-question-1580541566541">
    What is the Biggest Problem in SEO?
    <p class="schema-faq-answer">The biggest problem in SEO is that 
    websites are built by people, but websites are indexed by machines.

    Facebook OG markup, on the other hand, is to be added if what you want is to benefit from turning your content into a social object – perfect for sharing on twitter and facebook and co.

    <meta property="og:url" content="" />
    <meta property="og:site_name" content="Warren Laine-Naida" />

    The Future

    Think about it. As Alexa learns what we want, and what our family wants based on the previous months’ worth of searches and requests, she will no longer be delivering rich snippets. She will instead be delivering this:

    “Warren, I have found three websites for cheap family holidays in Spain, but based on your current bank account balance and the searches of your family, might I suggest a cheap family holiday in Berlin instead? Your wife googled KaDeWe 16 times last month and your children want to learn more about Penguins, which can be found at the Tiergarten. I am now booking your trip. Have a nice vacation!”

    Voice Content.

    Now I need to unplug. Thanks for getting into my head, Dave. I love you, man. Crazy guy.

    This post is featured in my latest book, Digital Thinking: Websites, Online Marketing, and so much more, available on all Amazon stores.


    Further Reading / Sources

    Conversational User Interfaces, intelligente Assistenten und Voice-Systeme