Voice search is one of the most exciting developments from the digital age. Who would have thought we’d be able to speak to our gadgets and they’d not only talk back to us but give us the information we asked for?
While new technology is often first celebrated by the tech-savvy and then, the rest of the world, voice search has been immediately embraced by people from all walks of life.
What do they use it for? According to a 2018 study by BrightLocal, 46% of voice search users look for a local business on a daily basis.
This provides a great opportunity for entrepreneurs who are looking to attract more local clients.
How Does Voice Search Work?
Voice search is exactly as it sounds – it is a technology that allows users to search for something on the internet, using their voices, rather than typing. When users practice the old search method of typing, they usually do so with short keywords or phrases. On the other hand, voice search allows users to be more conversational in their queries.
“Okay, Google. What time does the local mall close?”
What’s most interesting is that whether you’re typing or using Voice search, Google is more than likely going to give you the same results.
Why do many users opt for it then?
Because of the convenience factor. It’s faster to speak your command than type it and it also allows your hands to be free so that you can take care of other tasks.
What Businesses are Benefiting the Most From Voice Search?
Local business owners need to make voice search a priority in their digital marketing strategies. It’s much more cost effective than traditional advertising and it helps you to connect directly with your ideal customer.
With regards to the specific types of businesses that are benefiting the most from this technology, studies have shown that voice searchers are most likely to look for restaurants, grocery stores, and food delivery.
So, if you own any of these types of businesses, is your site optimized for voice search?
Optimizing Your Local Business for Voice Search
1. Optimize Your Website for Local Searches
Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is one of the key components in helping you be in your target market’s radar. When you have a good SEO strategy, you’ll quickly appear in a potential consumer’s voice search.
Good SEO includes quite a number of factors such as page speed, optimized content, links, and quality content.
When it comes to voice search, in particular, it is important for you to think about what you’d like to be known for.
If you’re the owner of a local coffee shop, you might want to include keywords such as “best coffee”, “single origin beans”, or “classic latte” in your profile.
Additional important information to have in your profile:
- Your business location
- Your operating hours
- The city or town you’re based in
All the above are affordable marketing tactics that will help Google to better locate your business when a relevant local voice search occurs.
2. Have a Mobile-Friendly Website
Your business site needs to be mobile-friendly for the digital age. When people are searching for what time a local restaurant closes, where the nearest pet shop is, or for an electrician, they’re doing so on their smartphones or tablets.
They don’t have the time to reach for their laptops, switch them on, make sure they’re connected to the internet, etc…The modern consumer wants results fast and our smartphones and tablets allow us that.
August Ash highlights that “for the past 3 years, people have consistently accessed the internet from their mobile phone or tablet more than from a desktop or laptop computer”.
Ensuring that your site is mobile-friendly will allow your customer to be able to easily click on your site and find out all you have to offer them.
3. Optimize for Long-tail Keywords
Your digital marketer has probably explained to you the importance of keywords. These are basically the words or phrases that make it possible for your potential customer to find you on Google searches. Having a smart keyword strategy allows you to attract relevant and organic traffic to your site.
Long-tail keywords are longer than your typical shorter keywords that most sites target and they account for around 70% of user searches. This is because consumers are much more specific about what they’re looking for, especially with voice search.
Good keyword placement on your site and all other relevant online content for your business will help you to rank better on Google and to show up on searches relevant to those keywords.
So, think about the type of keywords you would like to rank for and strategically place them in your online content so that when your potential customer is searching, you have a better chance of popping up on their voice search.
4. Don’t Forget your Google My Business Listing
Launched in 2014, Google My Business (GMB) is a platform where business owners can easily create and update information about their businesses. When the information on your GMB listing is current, it will be more relevant and useful to your prospects.
It is always important to put yourself in your prospects’ shoes. Who are they and what are they looking for? For instance, if you’re running a family restaurant, including details such as “parking available” and “kids play area” will be attractive to your prospect who’s looking to bring the family along for lunch.
Traditional advertising is substantially different from how marketing works nowadays. Just a few years ago, all you had to do was put an ad in a newspaper or magazine and that would result in an increase in sales.
But things have changed. Now, people have options. Making sure that all your online content is specifically geared at attracting your prospect will make you see the difference in your bottom line.
Voice search technology is here to stay…well, at least until the next search technology is created. In the meantime though, businesses need to make use of the above tips to ensure that they take advantage of this incredible digital technology.
Can you think of other ways to help businesses appear on local voice searches? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.