Outro: Voice Search, Amazon Echo, Google. Chip Edwards knows a thing or two about all of these topics. And let me tell you what I learned from talking to him: we are all sleeping on Voice Search. Chip, will tell us the importance of being on voice search, especially Amazon Echo and Google, and why the earlier you get in the better. He gives us lots of great advice for how it can improve our ranking, how we can show up in more Google searches, and just in general, be readily available where more and more people are consuming content. Be sure to stay tuned until the end for a special offer just for listeners.
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And now back to the show.
Joe: Hey everybody, and welcome to another episode of How I Built It, the podcast that asks, how did you build that today? My guest is Chip Edwards. He is the owner of Create My Voice. We’re going to be talking about something I like a lot because I like the sound of my own voice. And that is voice SEO and content for voice devices. Chip, how are you doing today?
Chip: I’m doing great. It’s a great bang socially distance right now or actually, it’s physically distance. I’m not sure we’re socially distancing, but we’re definitely physically distancing these days. What about you?
Joe: Yeah, same. I don’t know if you were going to WordCamp Lancaster but that was the first WordCamp that was a casualty of the pandemic for me. I was very bummed about that. But it’s nice. We tend to meet up at similar WordCamps, so we generally get to talk
Chip: Yes, exactly. Was it the first WordCamp that we met? I think it was Lehigh Valley. Was it that? Maybe a year and a little bit ago when you were speaking there?
Joe: Yeah, I think it was. Our talks were at the same time, I think. And I remember because I actually wanted to go to your talk. So luckily, everything’s on WordPress TV nowadays.
Joe: Awesome. Like I said, I’m excited to talk about this. The topics that you generally cover are very interesting to me. But why don’t we start off with who you are and what you do?
Chip: I’m Chip Edwards and I have a company that I started maybe a little over a couple of years ago called Create My Voice. What we do is we build voice apps for brand owners and anybody that’s got content, so that they can leverage voice…not voice technology. Voice technology, but they can leverage devices that use voice to be able to deliver their content.
So the big one that’s really popular right now are smart speakers, like Amazon, Alexa and Google Home. So we build voice apps for those platforms so people can talk to a device and get to your content. And you can have basically a dialogue or deliver your content to your audience through the smart speaker in voice technology. So that’s what we do as a company.
Then I also go around the country speaking about voice technology at conferences, lots and lots of WordCamps and in other conferences like that. Let people know, hey, here’s what’s happening in the industry with voice technology and what are the things that you need to do to get ready for the changes that are happening as people don’t sit down at their computers as much and they they’re not pulling their phones out because they’re just able to ask for what they want, and the shift that’s happening there.
Joe: Yeah, absolutely. First, before we get really into it, a quick warning to listeners, that we might be accidentally activating your whatever voice assistant you have. I try really hard not to say it, but I suspect it’s going to be hard not to during this conversation. So just a quick warning for everybody listening, not in headphones out there. So I think that there’s an important distinction that you made there. It’s leveraging devices that use voice to get content on there not necessarily converting, say written content to audio. Is that right?
Chip: That’s a good distinction. How do I answer that right? It’s a little bit of both. So it’s using devices that hear voice instructions. Lots of times it’s a voice assistant. So smart speakers are the big ones. But your phone has a voice assistant in it. So when you talk to your phone, when you sit in your car and you talk to your car anything, when you start talking to a compute device, now you’re using voice technology.
The way back though, so when we talk about converting your text or your content into audio, like we’re on a podcast right now, so inherently it is audio-based. We’re recording it in audio. But these voice devices will take text content and they will convert it into audio. So if you’re a blogger, now you can use these devices and they can read your blog to somebody. So now we’re converting text into audio, so it all becomes audio from the for the end users’ perspective.
Joe: Got you. Okay, awesome. That’s really good to know. Because there is that aspect of it. Then Amazon has technologies like Polly, which will actually create an mp3 of whatever text you feed it with some AI voice reading it and things like that. So that’s really interesting.
We’re going to Talk about a whole lot of that right now. But let’s set the stage a little bit. Let’s say I am a blogger, not a stretch, because I am, and want my content to show up on voice assistance. Actually, let’s back up. Why is this important? Why are we having this conversation right now? I think you mentioned it a little bit. But why should content creators be thinking about this?
Chip: So there’s a couple of reasons that it’s really important to think about. The first one is as people stop sitting in front of computers, and pulling out their phones and swiping and just asking for what they want. It’s not magic to be able to get your content delivered when somebody asks for it. Right now, Amazon and Google are doing a lot, a lot of work. Matter of fact, I think Amazon reported over a year and a half ago, they said they had 10,000 employees working on their Alexa processes.
Amazon and Google are putting a huge investment into people starting to use voice to interact with computers, instead of using screens and sitting at computers. So it’s important from the perspective of if people start using voice…as people start using voice because it’s not “if” anymore—it’s happening—all of a sudden, your content isn’t on a website. I mean, it is on a website but that’s not how you get to it when you ask for it. You’re not typing in a URL or a search string. All of a sudden, you’re asking for content.
So how do they get to your content? There’s two ways that happens. One of them is you let Google or Amazon decide what piece of your content they might want to deliver to the person talking. Or you can build a voice app, which is like a website or voice. And now you can decide what you want to deliver to the user when he’s talking to you. So that’s the one side of it is it’s not magic for getting your content onto the voice devices. You’ve got to do something to make that happen.
Then the second thing that is absolutely critical, and we should talk about this, is in voice devices, there is a new thing called an “invocation name.” So we’re used to it on the internet. We build a website and we pick a domain name on the internet and we register that domain name. Once you register the domain name, you now own that domain name. And when somebody types in your domain name, your website pops up, and you get to decide what the user sees. In the voice world, it’s called an invocation name.
So when the user uses that invocation name, Amazon and Google know, oh, hey, they use that invocation name, they want to go to your voice app. So you want to own your invocation name on these devices. Matter of fact, Google has made it the same as a domain name. The first person that registers that invocation name owns it. So right now it’s like 1995 in the voice space. You can pick whatever invocation name you want. But it’s not going to be long before people start figuring that out, and they’re like, “Oh, I got to get my invocation name.
So you’ve got a podcast, and it has a name; that’s your brand name. You’ve got a blog, and it’s got a name; that’s your brand name. Those are valuable to you. So let me give an example on this one. I’ve got a friend, Max Ivey. I’m not sure if you know him. He is referred to as the blind blogger. But he started a podcast called What’s Your Excuse? And he calls me maybe a couple of months ago, and there’s a couple of different podcasts that are similar to What’s Your Excuse, and he had his audience call him saying, “Hey, I’m trying to get to What’s Your Excuse, and I’m not getting to your podcast. I’m getting somebody else’s podcast.”
So what we did is we built the voice app, because Google and Amazon were deciding whether they want to play it when you said, “What’s your Excuse?” So we built a voice app with the invocation name of “What’s your excuse?” Now, Google and Amazon both say, “Oh, the user wants “What’s Your Excuse? They want to go to this voice app.” And we connected it up with his podcast. And so now when you ask for “What’s Your Excuse, his podcast plays. It’s not Amazon or Google deciding which podcast gets played.
Joe: That’s so interesting. So right now, and of course, this episode is coming out a little bit later than we’re recording it, so I have a head start on everybody listening. But if Nike hasn’t gotten their invocation name of Nike, I could essentially grab that and squat it. Not that I would recommend that because that’s like a trademark and copyright infringement. But the point still stands, right? Like you said, it’s like 1995 with domain names. I could go and grab an invocation name and it essentially guarantees to Google and Amazon and hopefully other voice assistants as they take on this protocol that they know to serve my content. So it could be Casabona, it could be How I Built It. And whenever I say, “Tincan Assistant, what does Jocabona think about podcasting?” It will know to grab my content.
Chip: Yes. There’s a couple of restrictions around it that Google and Amazon are putting in place to keep people from squatting. You can’t just grab an invocation name. You have to actually do something that is valuable. Basically, you have to build a voice app with that invocation name, you send it to Google, you send it to Amazon, get it certified. And once they certify that it does something, then you get that invocation name.
Then the other thing that Google is doing is—with Google, it’s unique—the first person that gets that name owns it. They’re also in some cases, they’re making you demonstrate some ownership of the name. So Nike would be really, really hard to grab because it would be hard to demonstrate that you have any ownership over that brand name.
Joe: Right. I have a whole website dedicated to the god. The god or something like that.
Chip: Yeah. So you have to have some way of saying, “Hey, that brand, I have some ownership of that brand.” In some cases. Not in all cases, but in some cases. So How I built It. Perfect example. There are some similarly sounding podcasts like that. But you have demonstrated ownership over that brand name. You could register that brand name and get it because you could demonstrate to Google, “Hey, this brand is mine. I want to own what happens when somebody uses it.”
Joe: That’s really interesting. It’s almost like a trademark, right? Like when you apply to get a trademark, you need to demonstrate you’re actually using the trademark. It’s the same and perhaps even more important, right? I’m not saying that trademarks are unimportant. I will link to Rian Kinney’s episode where she talks all about it. But more people are likely to want to have an invocation name, then go off and pay a lawyer to file for a trademark. So yeah, I just learned a lot of new things right now. So I’m really excited.
Chip: Good, good. That’s part of the reason that I’m going around and speaking at conferences because people don’t know this yet. Most ideas is, “Oh, voice app or smart speaker, I don’t want to get in smart speaker and you know, there are more toys. But 90 million people in the US own a smart speaker now. I mean, that’s over a third of the population in the US that has…it’s actually 2.6 smart speakers per person is what it’s at right now.
Joe: Wow. Wow.
Chip: The other thing that just came out is that it used to be the most popular place that people put these voices out or these smart speakers was in either the kitchen or the living room. Most popular place now is the bedroom.
Chip: So like 47%, I think was the last number I saw, put them in the bedroom, and like 44% in the living room, and 43% in the kitchen or something like that. Plus or minus a couple of percentage points in there.
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And now back to the show.
Joe: I can say that we have a kitchen, living room, bedroom, and my office. So the one in the living room has a HomePod, which is more or less useless except for playing really nice music. It really needs some work on the voice assistant part. But as the user, that makes as a user that makes perfect sense. Because you’re in bed and you’re thinking, “Did I turn the lights off downstairs?” Or “did I lock the door?” I can’t wait to do the smart lock? Because I could just be like, “Assistant lock the door” and I don’t have to get up out of bed and down the stairs. So makes perfect sense
Chip: The other one that actually surprised me as far as the new numbers that just came out, were like over 15% put them in their bathrooms now.
Chip: Which is even up from offices as far as where people are putting them. So the thing that I think this kind of demonstrates is the investment that Amazon and Google are putting into these devices. They want to put these devices everywhere. It’s not just smart speakers. It’s your phone. I mean, they’re putting in earbuds now so that anywhere you’re at, your voice assistant can…
Joe: Amazon has a ring.
Chip: Ring, glasses. The idea is we will want these voice assistants everywhere. And Amazon and Google want to be able to respond to you anywhere you are, and help you out.
Joe: You mentioned smart speakers, but that doesn’t even include smartphones, right?
Joe: And I suspect a lot of people interact with the voice assistant on their smartphone. For me, I am iOS everything, but I like, you know, Google has a nice app. And with Siri shortcuts, I can invoke Google from Siri with my voice now. So I can get better results. I can get like the Android level results of Google smart assistant or voice assistant without having to get frustrated that Siri doesn’t even read results back to you. I think that’s super important. That’s super important thing to note. Most people put them in the bathroom. Like Daily News while they shower, I’m guessing?
Joe: We probably shouldn’t think too hard about that.
Chip: Right, exactly.
Chip: For sure.
Joe: Before we move on to how you would build out something like this, I do want to point out something that I think it was Google, Amazon, and Apple and a few other companies announced a little while ago, which was this sort of…I’m going to get the name wrong, but it’s like a ridiculous acronym. This open voice platform where basically, any company can come in and tap into the API of all of these assistants in a more open way than it has been. Because Amazon has tens or hundreds of millions of different devices that can connect. Apple has like five. But they’re trying to change that, right? I didn’t tee you up for this because I just thought of it. But there is a new, more open way that people will be able to get their devices on all platforms. Is that right?
Chip: So, there’s two sides of the technology that is critical. One of them is, I build speakers, Sonos, JBL, Bose. Those guys, they have speakers and they want to be able to make them smart. Originally, they had to work with either Amazon or Google or to be able to say, “Which voice assistant do I want to put in my device?” So they worked with them to be able to come up with a more open platform. So now when you buy a Sonos smart speaker, because they now have put the smarts in, you can kind of say, “Okay, what voice assistant do I want as part of my Sonos smart speaker?
That’s the one side that was really important from a hardware perspective. Right now cars aren’t quite that way. But that’s a side of the technology that’s got to get figured out so that who’s ever voice assistant that you want, you can decide, “This is the voice assistant that is important to me. And I want to be able to interact with this voice assistant.” And you don’t have to buy, you know, oh, I need the Sonos Google smart speaker versus the Sonos Amazon smart speaker. You can decide what you want.
The other side of it, though, still has not been normalized, and that is I build a…let’s go to the internet. If I build a website, I mean, there’s small tweaks I have to do between browsers. But for the most part, I build the website and work on all the browsers. That’s not true on the voice app side. Right now if you are building a voice app, you’ve got to build a Google Voice app, you got to build an Amazon voice app and submit them to their certification boards to have your voice app certified.
Google and Amazon have done a really good job at making it so that people can build voice apps and get their invocation name and interact with their devices to be able to use the brand’s voice apps. Apple not so much. They have a lot more closed platform, so they’re way behind the curve as far as engaging developers to be able to make their speakers smarter right now. So Amazon and Google are the big ones. From a perspective as far as percentages, Apple’s got like just a tiny fragment of the market right now once you get outside of Apple phones.
Joe: Yeah, yeah. I think it’s pretty apparent. I mean, if you search for smart light bulbs or smart whatever on Amazon or Walmart or wherever you choose to shop, you’ll see a lot more work with Alexa, works with Google than you would work with HomeKit. I try to look for all three, because I do have all three smart speakers. But we don’t really use the Google ones that much. But I would love to just have everything working no matter what, who I’m talking to. Okay, great.
So let me go back. Now the stage is set. How hard is it to build a voice app for Amazon or Google?
Chip: Let me see if I answer that question from two perspectives. One of them, Amazon, has made it relatively simple to build a simple voice app using what they refer to as their blueprints process. You can do a few things with it, but you can’t make it do anything fancy. To be able to make it do anything fancy, you’ve actually got to engage a developer to be able to code this stuff. So my voice apps that I build are both built in Node.js. I mean, if you’re technical you know what that is. It’s a programming language that I get to put out. I build it, and it lives on a server. It basically responds to webhooks stuff. Technical guys would understand that.
So it’s more complicated than building a website right now to build the voice app. You’ve got to build an Amazon version, and you’ve got to build the Google version right now. So on this side of it, it’s definitely not standardized, and it’s not simple. But Amazon has got a way of being able to do some really simple stuff that’s kind of cool to play with. But outside of that, it’s pretty complicated.
Joe: Got you. So they have their blueprint. I’ve messed around with their blueprints. But it sounds like what you’re saying—and we’ll get a little technical here, I’m a programmer—is with their blueprints, I can’t say something like, “Watch my website, maybe connected to the REST API on my WordPress site and just grab any new content.” I would need to build a Node.js app for that, right?
Joe: I think if this is purely from memory from like a year ago now, but with the blueprint, it’s like you can feed it a specific set of content. Is that about right? It’s like a finite set of content that you can feed to a blueprint.
Chip: Yeah. So if you just have an answer that you want to be able to respond to, you can put that out there, and it will read back what you put in there. Then if you want to update it, you go in and you change it. Stuff like that. That’s kind of the level that it’s at right now as opposed to doing anything super complicated. But it’s pretty cool to play with. I actually have a couple of instruction videos or PDFs on my website that I use with kids and stuff like that. Say, hey, let’s build a voice app, and walk walking through building one. And we did this blueprint because it’s simple to do.
Joe: Now, would that be good enough, the Amazon version, or say the Google version to, claim an invocation name?
Chip: That’s a good distinction. So let me make sure that I’m real clear on this one. It’s a way of getting an invocation name on Amazon, but not Google. Because you’ve got to build them separate. That’s the distinction. When I mentioned that Google has made their invocation names unique, the flip side of that is Amazon has not made them unique. So multiple people can have the same invocation name on Amazon’s devices, but you can’t on Google’s devices. It causes a problem for the user because if there’s multiple out there with the same invocation name, the users got to say, “This is the one I want.” But once they choose it, it goes there. On Google site, the user doesn’t have to choose. Whoever’s invocation name got certified with that, that’s where it goes. There’s no enabling the skill. It’s automatic.
Joe: Got you. That makes sense. So on Amazon, as you have pointed out, there are a few other podcasts that have very similar sounding names to How I Built It, including a big one. So there could be a little bit of confusion on Amazon, right? Because I know that people will refer to my podcast by the big podcast’s name. And I suspect that the owner of the…I mean, I don’t know why I’m beating around the bush. NPR has been doing a lot of stuff with Amazon, so I suspect that they’re pretty well established over there with their similar-sounding podcast name.
Chip: I would have to go out and look and see how they did. I know NPR has done a lot with the voice apps. Most people right now are working with Amazon. The last numbers I saw, I think it was like less than 10% of businesses are working on the Google side than the Amazon side. So the last numbers were like 100,000 voice apps on Amazon and like 10,000 on Google. So both of them are almost nothing compared to the number of websites and domains out there. But the numbers there just show that a lot more people are working on the Amazon side from a developer’s perspective. And that’s because Amazon’s made it a lot easier for developers that do the Amazon side.
But what I’m letting people know is, yeah, Amazon’s important. You definitely have to have your stuff there. But Google’s the critical one. Because it’s the one that’s unique. So you want to get your invocation name on Google, because if you do, you’re the one.
Joe: Right, right. There’s a lot more canon going on over in Google, because now your invocation name is also associated with the biggest search engine in the world. That’s super interesting. So this has been great. It sounds like with a voice app, you probably need to at least be comfortable doing some code like things. Probably even with the…well maybe not with the blueprints. But definitely, if you want to do anything fancy.
What can small business owners and content creators do right now to…? Maybe they’re subject to what Amazon and Google decide to serve up, but what can they do for the content they currently have on their website to help it in voice searches?
Chip: Voice Search is like a two-edged sword. So let’s say I’m a small business and I want to let Google decide what of my content they want to deliver. So you can do stuff like build out your schema. There’s a lot of talk about making sure that you’ve got your heading tags built like questions. I personally don’t subscribe to that model because Google as a search engine is really good at finding good content and figuring out when a person types in a search bar what they’re actually looking for, and matching those two up. That’s what they do.
So as long as you’ve got good, quality content written in a concise way, it makes it so that your content is more valuable to Google to show to their users when they’re doing a search. The important part on this is…and you can do it on any search, do a search for something. If a featured snippet comes back, which is a new entry that is put at the top of a search result, if it’s featured snippet comes back, that’s the thing that gets read out to smart speakers any voice device.
When you ask a question to Google and Amazon, they’re not going to give you a list of possible answers and let you figure out which one you want. They’re going to give you the best one that they can figure out. So if you’re not that featured snippet, you kind of don’t exist anymore. So the good thing is, okay, if I get my content and I can become that featured snippet, okay, great. My content was read back to the user when he asked for it. Or they’re doing a search on Google, I’m now the top entry, okay, great. I now have even more prominence as far as “Hey, I’m the answer.”
But Google did something when they did that featured snippet. What they did was is instead of looking at your content and giving enough phrases out of your content, so a user could look at it and say, “Okay, that’s the link, I want to click to go find out more,” they actually are taking your content and rephrasing it as an answer. So if you’re the featured snippet, your content has been rephrased as the answer to the question.
So what does that mean for somebody that’s doing a search on Google? It means I have a question. Google now is displaying the answer to my question. What that means is, is that I don’t need to click the link. There’s no reason that I need to go to your website anymore because I got the answer. And Google is like, this is great for Google because what does Google get? They want you to do another search. So they give you the answer to your question, you now put in your next search. You stay on Google, which is great.
For me, the whole voice SEO is kind of a two-edged sword. It’s like, okay, hey, I made it to the featured snippet. I’m now the answer. But they’re not going to my website. And Google just played the answer on the smart speaker. But how did that help me? I’m not sure it did. So I talk about voice search, but really, the real value is not in becoming the featured snippet. The real value is just like a pie. How do people find your podcast? People find your podcast because other people say, “Oh, hey, there was this great podcast, you need to go to Joe’s podcast and listen to Joe’s podcast.”
Now you’ve got another listener, you’ve got another person in your audience. They’re now committed to you because you deliver great content. It’s the same in this world—in the voice world. You need to build a voice app with your invocation name. And now when your audience uses your invocation name, they get to your content, you get to decide what the response is. You’re not relying on Google and Amazon to decide what the response is from your website. Your audience is now asking for your content, and now you get to decide, “Hey, this is what I want to respond to the user.” And you can now ask follow up stuff.
One of the examples I just gave at Conversion Summit this last weekend. If you have a Capital One credit card, they’re big into voice technology. They got a voice app out there. So I give an example if I asked for my credit card balance from Capital One, and then Capital One says, “Hey, here’s your ballots,” but then that voice app goes and says, “Do you want to know when your balance is due?” “Oh, yeah, I do.” So then it says, “Hey, your balance is due on the 15th of this month.” But then it goes on and says, “Hey, do you want to pay your bill?” Because I can do all of that just with my voice. I don’t have to sit at my computer. All of a sudden, I can do a lot of things with voice technology just by asking for it, just by talking to these compute devices. But that’s all around that voice app.
And the Capital One is now deciding what happens when I talk to Capital One’s voice app to be able to help me. Same with you. What content do you have? And how would you help your audience through voice technology with your content with a voice app? You get to decide. So if you want to play the voice SEO game, okay, great. But it’s kind of a two-edged sword. You might not get as much value out of it as you think you will. But if you build the voice app, that’s where you’re able to connect with your audience, use the voice platform to be able to engage your audience, and be able to deliver whatever content you want to deliver and not rely on Google and Amazon to do it for you.
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Now back to the show.
Joe: Playing the voice SEO game, I might get a little shout out, right? Like according to casablanca.org, maybe you don’t script your podcast or whatever. But if I have the casabona.org app or whatever I could say, “I don’t think you should script your podcast. But there are some other resources. Would you like me to email them to you?” And then I like to build my email list, because they’re in my voice app or whatever. There could be some call to action like “would you like to pay your bill?”
Chip: Right, exactly. Once you’ve engaged your audience, now you can work with the audience as far as what you want to do with your voice app Because you now have control over that dialogue that’s happening with your users.
Joe: That’s really fantastic. You’ve given us a lot of great advice. I am going to ask you my favorite question in a minute, which is…I’ll plant it now so that you have time to think. Do you have any trade secrets for us? But I do want to ask you before we get to that and wrap up the show. I think I know the answer, but who do you think has the best voice assistant right now?
Chip: Oh, that’s good. It depends on what you’re doing as to which one is best I think. The Google Assistant is fantastic at being able to answer questions, because that’s what Google does. I mean, Google is excellent at that. And they have scraped everybody in the world’s website to be able to figure out answers for stuff. So Google’s really great at that side of it.
Amazon is better at being able to do a dialogue and make it easier for developers to be able to work with their platform to be able to do stuff, which is why you’ve got a lot more Amazon’s Alexa skills, then you do Google Actions right now. So it kind of depends on what metric you’re ranking on. I know Amazon is working really hard to be able to be better at answering questions. And Google is working really hard at saying, “Hey, we want to integrate with all your home devices and we want to be able to get in your car and everything else.
So they’re really competing a lot with each other to be able to be the voice assistant for people. Because once you kind of commit to one of them, usually that’s the one you use. So Amazon has more of the market right now from smart speakers than Google. But the prediction is that eventually, it’s going to equalize out, and Amazon and Google are going to have about the same market share with smart speakers eventually, in the future, with everybody else having a small piece. But it’s going to be mostly Google and Amazon is what the predictions are.
Joe: Got you. Got you. Do you think that there’s some validity to the Apple approach of opening up shortcuts on iOS so people can build their own voice commands? Or is that really more like a personal level thing, and if you’re a content creator, you definitely want to try to get On like Amazon and Google first?
Chip: I think that I’m expecting Apple to eventually come up with a plan for how they’re going to engage brand owners to be able to leverage their devices. But Apple’s got a good thing, bad thing going. They’ve got a good thing because they’re a really secure environment, because they don’t let anybody mess with it. But it’s a bad thing because they don’t let anybody mess with it, and so it’s either Apple builds it or nobody builds it. So I don’t know. They’ve got to figure that problem out to be able to engage brands.
So Capital One and everybody can build out their leveraging those devices to be able to help the people who use those devices. I don’t know what’s going to happen there yet. So that’s why Amazon and Google are currently running away with it because of how they’ve opened their platform up for brand owners to be able to use those platforms to be able to engage their audience.
Joe: Yeah, it’s tough, right? The walled garden is nice, because nothing’s ever going to get to your garden. Nobody’s ever going to be able to eat from your garden or whatever.
Joe: I feel like that analogy fell apart quickly. But you know, I know you’re saying. Awesome. So let’s wrap up here. Do you have any trade secrets for us? Some pieces of advice that you try to impart upon people when you speak at conferences or when you have a call with a client?
Chip: I think I gave the trade secret piece of way that I presented at conferences, and that is, hey, this invocation name thing, nobody knows about it yet. It’s going to be a big deal. And right now is the time where you can get in and you can get your brand down. There’s going to be a mad scramble once people figure this out. So sooner as opposed to later.
Especially if you have a brand that has multiple people kind of own that brand. You really want to be early. Or if you have a brand that sounds similar to another brand. So it’s not the letters, it’s not the spelling, it’s the sounds that are important. I mentioned Capital One earlier. So how many different ways are that a spell capital? How many different ways are there spell one? So if I own Capital One spelled differently, it doesn’t matter because it sounds the same. The voice device can’t figure out the difference. So I can own a differently spelled domain name that sounds similar to your domain name. And I can go to Google and say, “Hey, this is my invocation name.” Because you now can actually demonstrate ownership of those sounds. That’s a small tweak to the normal thinking about domain names and brand names.
Joe: Yeah, trademarks too. So if I own capital with an “O,” C-A…I can’t spell but you know, T-O-L, and then the digit one, that sounds exactly the same as Capital One, the banking brand, or whatever. Interesting.
Chip: Or W-O-N. I mean, won.
Joe: Yeah, that’s true.
Chip: There’s actually a website. I’ll have to look it up for you. There’s a website that actually does homonyms or words that sound the same. There are a lot more words the sound the same thing than you would believe.
Joe: So interesting.
Chip: So all of a sudden, it’s a whole different ballgame for…I could actually go out and register something that is totally spelled different, but it sounds the same
Joe: Okay, I have one more question. And I know we got the trade secret and we’re supposed to wrap up, but this just made me think of something. Okay. In America, we call tin foil, aluminum foil, in England, they pronounce aluminum “aluminium.” Is that two different invocation names, or is Google smart enough to know that it is the same word, the same thing, just a different pronunciation?
Chip: That’s actually really good. It gets a little bit more tactical. But the high level is when you have your voice app, you actually register it for different areas, as well as different languages. So most of them are built for US English right now. So for Amazon, lots of times, I’ll do it for all of the English speaking areas, I’ll do it for Great Britain and India and Canada and Australia. Seems like a missing one. Anyway.
So in each of those areas, you can say this is the sound or this is the words. Because lots of times so will use different phrasing even to mean the same thing. So that’s the way that you can make your voice app respond differently and/or understand different phrasing. And how does that mean? So you basically have to tailor it for each.
Joe: It’s a different take on localization, right?
Chip: Yes, exactly.
Joe: Man, very complicated stuff, but super cool. Well, Chip, thank you so much for taking the time today. We talked a little longer than normal, but I had a lot of questions and you answered all of them. I know the listeners learned something today. If they want to learn more about you, where can people find you?
Chip: So you can hook up with me there. On my website, right now I’ve got a way of setting up a free 15-minute strategy session with me. So definitely take advantage of that while I’m not so booked that I can’t keep doing that. Right now I’ve got that available for people as well as definitely a way to, you know, shoot me any questions. My contact information is out on the website. So createmyvoice.com is the easiest way to get to me.
Joe: Awesome. I will link to that and everything we talked about in the show notes over at Howibuilt.it. Chip. Thanks so much for joining us today. Really appreciate it.
Chip: Absolutely. Thanks, Joe. This was great. Good talking to you.
Outro: Thanks so much to Chip for joining us today. Get your invocation name now. It’s really important, really important. And that special offer I promise at the top of the show, Chip is offering 10% discount to listeners so head on over to createmyvoice.com, let him know that this show sent to you and he’ll give you a 10% discount. Now to find that link and all of the show notes, head over to howibuilt.it/183.
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