Rob Ousbey will be speaking on Mobile Search at the Engage Conference, which will take place March 9, 2017 in Portland. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please click here.
1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.
As VP Operations at Distilled, I get to spend most of my time running our Seattle office. My team is mostly SEO & marketing experts, delivering work for clients across a range of industries and types of business.
As far as my background: like most of the speakers and attendees at Engage, I never planned to work in marketing. I’d studied engineering and management, work in an industrial laboratory for a few years, then became a radio producer, and eventually a presenter. Each job taught me things that I still find useful every day!
2) Does the concept “optimizing for voice search” even exist yet? If yes, how might somebody do this?
At the moment, it seems to be more of a subset of doing ‘traditional’ optimization. For example: existing local ranking factors and benefits from certain on-page markups still apply. We’ll be talking more about this at Engage!
One area of significant change will be the new phrasing that people use when voice searching. While we wait for more reliable keyword data around this stuff, marketers can start by using tried-and-tested tactics: ask your customers or potential clients about how & when they use voice search, and try building this into your audience research.
3) I know we’re in the early stages of people being able to say “Buy…” into their Alexa / Home device and having the item show up at their house. Are the mechanisms in place for a merchant to break into the consumers “direct” relationship with Amazon in these type of voice searches or will merchant choice be kept out of the sales equation?
The most direct way is through designing a custom Alexa ‘skill’. For instance, existing integrations can let you ask things like “Alexa tell 1-800-Flowers that I want to send flowers to Todd on March 9th.” or “Alexa, ask Pizza Hut to deliver a large pepperoni.”
The technology still seems largely nascent – but it’s all an indicator of the emergence of a new app-like platform, on which an increasing amount of engagement could soon be happening.