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4 Ways AI-Powered Speech Recognition Impacts Small Businesses

Today, 40% of adults in the U.S. use voice search daily and this usage rate is expected to grow. Products like Amazon Echo and Google Home are also being adopted at a faster rate than any other technology in history. 

These statistics indicate that more and more interactions are taking place through voice commands. For businesses, this means that the marketing landscape is shifting. You need to recognize and understand the impact of speech recognition technology, especially its application in voice search.

Voice search has developed from advances in AI, specifically natural language processing and speech recognition. As speech recognition becomes more accurate and widespread, your business will have to grow with the changes it brings.

Voice search is the future.

Speech recognition and its application in voice search will play a large role in how people interact with businesses. Voice-based technology offers several benefits that showcase why its use is only going to grow. 

Voice commands are more convenient as there’s no need to type and enter a query
Advanced integrations allow people to carry out activities ranging from ordering groceries to managing one’s home environment
Voice-enabled devices enable multitasking
Home assistants boost productivity as they require less effort and save time

The future of marketing will be shaped by data science and big data. A report on the future of marketing shows that 26% of marketers believe that AI will drive marketing trends. Another 21.23% recognize that voice search will specifically feature as an important trend. 

You need to ensure that your content creation strategies and SEO planning cover voice search and voice-enabled tasks. Let’s look at key changes that businesses need to consider as a response to AI-driven advances in online business.  

Businesses need to optimize content for voice search.

As more searches take place through voice commands, businesses will need to create content to rank for such searches. Here are ways you can optimize content for voice search.

Add clear business information.

One of the main ways people use voice search is by asking questions to which there are specific answers. For your business, you need to create content on your site that directly answers users’ questions.

When people ask questions like “What time does the electronics store open?” the search engine should be able to find that information. It’s important to update your business listings on social media and other platforms to reflect this data correctly. Also, update your content for days when your business is closed or if timings have changed. It’s helpful to create site information reflecting seasonal changes that affect your customer.

Other information that you need to add is customer care and contact information. In general, think about specific questions users are likely to ask about a business and ensure that content is available for it. 

Answer domain and industry-related questions.

Another key way you can build content is to answer questions related to your domain or industry. Many potential customers are looking for specific products and tech information. These people are looking for solutions and your business can help them.

Create content that answers technology and domain-related questions on your site. Structure your content into clear paragraphs and lists to answer a specific problem. Search engines will crawl your content and provide text-to-speech responses to queries.

Create a FAQs page.

A FAQs page with commonly asked questions and concise answers is a strong content candidate for voice search results. Do research using social listening tools and analytics software to understand what people are looking for. 

When creating answers, make them short and direct. Keep your answers to 30 words or fewer to make it more likely that they are pulled up for search results. 

The ultimate goal is to create content from the perspective of a user searching for information. When you do that you’ll be able to create relevant content that’s picked up for voice search results.

Add the speakable tag.

Schema.org is a useful site that catalogs and explains how to use markups to describe your website content. By adding specific markups you make it clear to search engines what a piece of content is all about. 

For voice search, you can now use the markup ‘Speakable’ to indicate that a piece of text is useful as a text-to-speech result. It’s important to know, however, that there are limitations to whether you can apply it to your content.

At present, this kind of markup is only applicable to eligible news sites. If you have a news publication website or write for one through guest posts, then it’s helpful to be aware of the new speakable tag. 

Mobile-friendly formats are essential.

Voice search often takes place on mobile phones. Users looking for information are likely to click on the web link that comes with a voice search result. You can drive traffic to your blog and boost site conversions by making your site mobile-friendly.

Google has also implemented a mobile-first policy. This means that a company’s mobile site will be indexed first and then the desktop version. Mobile-responsive sites will be prioritized by search engines. 

Along with creating content for voice search, it’s important to ensure that your website platforms are optimized for mobile screens. When users click on the link that accompanies a voice search result, the linked website should continue to deliver positive experiences. 

Speech recognition will be used for work tasks

The impact of speech recognition technology can also be seen more directly in your business processes. Through the use of voice assistants and devices, speech recognition technology is transforming how people work. Here are a few ways that AI technology is being used to manage work tasks:

Documentation: Speech recognition makes it possible to dictate content for documentation purposes. This is currently in use in the medical field

Managing emails: Workers can open, write, and send emails through voice commands

Arranging meetings: Voice-enabled devices and software can be used to set up a meeting, book a room, and notify participants

Joining online conferences: People can issue a voice command to join a webinar or online conference

Such tasks are possible through products and tools that are specially developed for businesses. Amazon’s Alexa for Business is geared towards managing office tasks. It cleans up time-consuming activities and streamlines work processes.

Cortana by Microsoft and other companies also make it possible to connect with work tools using speech recognition. These services make it possible to link voice assistants to Microsoft 365 and Google G Suite. 

Businesses can give their employees digital assistants to use at home to allow them to attend meetings. In this way, you can speech recognition technology helps with work and carries out important tasks with less effort.

Better accessibility

One of the most important ways that speech recognition will impact businesses and society is that it will create greater accessibility. Today, there are over 1 billion people who live with some type of disability, which can make using a website challenging. 

Speech recognition helps businesses accommodate people who have disabilities. It makes it possible for people to interact with a computer, an app or software without needing to use a keyboard. This makes your business more accessible and increases your reach to a larger audience. 

When creating content for voice search, you can boost readability and assist the differently-abled in a few simple ways. 

Structure your content with headings, subheadings and bullet points to make it easy for screen-reading software to read content

Use descriptive words for your anchor links instead of “Click here: or “Read more here.” Such phrases don’t give information about what the link will lead to

Incorporating accessibility will improve the usability of the website overall. You will also get a broader market penetration that benefits your business. Another key benefit is that you will positively build your brand image. 

Speech recognition technology can grow your business

The advances in AI and big data have transformed speech recognition technology. Deep learning and natural language processing have made it possible to increase the accuracy of speech recognition to a high degree.

The future is geared towards the greater use of voice search for online searches. More and more people will interact with businesses using voice assistant devices. 

Your business needs to meet these rising trends. With the information provided here, you’ll be on your way to managing the changes AI brings.

Read more: business.com

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Written by WHS

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