Google now jumps in on Voice Search

It was only a matter of time before Google would branch out from the realm of type-based search and move on to voice search.  Similar to Apple’s Siri voice search app, Google Now is another “virtual personal assistant” that can be downloaded on any iPhone and iPad.

Siri Vs. Google Now

Of course with there now being two voice search giants on the app market, there have to be comparisons made between the two.  Depending on what your needs are, both Siri and Google Now are actually fairly compatible, but there are some differences:

Siri

It’s important to keep in mind that Siri is considered a voice assistant, while Google Now is pretty much just a personalized search application.  Speaking with Siri is a lot different than speaking to Google Now.  This application can actually “converse” with you, being able to recommend services and amenities as well as tell jokes.  It’ll even remember what you’ve said in the past and give you personalized responses based on that.

For example, let’s say you’re out with your friends and would like to find somewhere to eat.  You can ask Siri for recommended restaurants nearby, and she’ll provide you with a list of restaurants.  You can then ask Siri to find you somewhere that has Italian, and this app will recall that you just asked about restaurants so logically you’d then want it to recommend restaurants with Italian food somewhere near you.

Google Now

Though Google Now can’t actually talk with you like Siri can, it knows pretty much everything about you.  From where you’ve been, to prior searches to where your home, work or school are, Google’s got you covered (Google refers to these things as being part of their knowledge graph).  Unlike Siri, Google Now will “think” for you. For example, if you set an appointment in your calendar for your visit to the dentist, Google will actually tell you when you should leave in order to make it to your appointment on time (it even gauges current traffic!).  As Gizmodo’s Sam Biddle said,

“[Google Now] thinks for you, providing information cues even when you haven’t asked for them.  Google Now is supposed to be as smart as you – maybe even smarter.  This isn’t’ search, it’s tell.”

Optimizing Your Business For Mobile Marketing

According to Google, voice searches on mobile phones have increased by 6x over the course of one year – and the growth is only expected to continue (Google, 2012).  This is just another compelling reason why your business needs to be mobile-friendly.

So how can you make your website mobile-friendly apart from creating a mobile-friendly site?  Here are some quick tips:

  1. Have Fast Loading Times

The longer your site takes to load, the less likely users will stay on it.  Aim for a load time of 5 seconds or less (though if you can get it under 2, you’re sure to retain most potential leads and customers)

  1. Implement Features That Are Mobile-Friendly

This means having easy-to-use search functions, little to no scrolling, and large buttons that are easy to see (i.e. “Add To Shopping Cart” and “Buy Now” buttons).

  1. Fast Access To Your Business Information

Make sure that you make it easy for mobile users to find things like your address, contact numbers, and product information.

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