The way we search for information online is changing rapidly. If you are reading this, chances are you have or at some point will use voice search, like Siri on your iPhone, or Alexa on your Amazon Echo device to check the weather, get directions, or even book an Uber. So, what does that mean for local search? Why do marketers need to be thinking about voice search?
First, let’s review the stats and projections:
- “There are over one billion voice searches per month. (January 2018)” 1
- “55% of teens and 40% of adults now use voice search once per day”2
- “50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020” 3
- “About 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020.”4
With this exponential growth in voice search it may be time to rethink your content and SEO strategy. Consider first how voice search differs from text search. Voice search is more conversational in tone and therefore usually a longer query versus typing maybe 3 text keywords in a search engine. Note that voice search technologies are designed to find the most relevant and easily identifiable content. So how do you optimize?
1.) THINK LOCAL
“Hey Siri find the best taco shop near me.” Many voice searches are mobile and local with the GPS of your mobile device using your location to find the most relevant search results. If you’re a local business, you will need to strategize your SEO for local voice search.
2.) CLAIM YOUR GOOGLE BUSINESS PAGE
This is a must! Keeping your Google Business listing up to date and accurate will increase your chances of showing up in a voice search. The category of your business, your address, phone number, hours etc.… are all used by Google to increase your searchability.
3.) KEEP IT CONVERSATIONAL
Think about how you would ask a question or ask for directions. Your keywords should mimic how you would really talk in a conversational voice. One tip is to think about all the common questions a customer would ask you about your business over the phone. Then think about how you would respond. Take note of these questions and answers, and use these conversational phrases to build content pages with these longer keywords. Another tip is to use this data for a FAQs page that focuses on these conversational keywords. Remember to always think in the voice of the searcher.
4.) USE STRUCTURED DATA
Structured data markup can give voice search devices more information about your site and content. It can make it easier for search engines to accurately analyze your content and the context of it.
5.) SMART SPEAKERS
When you do a voice search on your phone you get a list of results, however, with a smart speaker you get one verbal response. So now instead of getting a list of the best taco shops near you, your smart speaker is going to determine one answer that it believes is the correct one. Again, this is where your long tail keywords come into play. Think again of how your customers would search for you if they used a voice search and make sure these keyword phrases are on your website. Another tip is to check Google Autocomplete by beginning to type your keywords and look at the options Google gives you. Those are the most popular searches, as well as the “searches related to” section.
To learn more about how to adjust your marketing strategies for the new world of search, contact us today.