Whether it’s Google Assistant, Cortana, Alexa, or Siri, virtual assistants of many names are enjoying booming popularity. The very way that people look up things online is shifting dramatically.
Things have gotten to a point where people are more likely to ask their voice search a question instead of typing in some keywords. Have you brought your own search strategy up to speed with this? If not, you could be missing out on roughly half of all search traffic and their potential business.
Voice Search Is Not The Same As Traditional Search
- Voice searches have different phrasing because the style is conversational and more natural.
- Voice searches are also usually longer; instead of a handful of keywords, an entire sentence is used.
- Voice searches frequently request listings that are ‘near me’ instead of stating a particular location.
- Voice searches happen when people are “out and about”, as Google reports that 1 in 5 mobile searches are voice-initiated. They predict that 50% of all searches will be voice-based by 2020.
If your website is already optimized well for conventional SEO, you still need a new approach in terms of voice search optimization. Keep reading to learn the steps your business needs to take in order to benefit from voice search traffic:
1) Visit Any ‘Claim Your Business’ Pages You Can Find:
Virtual assistants doing the heavy lifting in voice searches rely on business listings to verify how reputable businesses they might recommend are. As such, they check business listings with Foursquare, Yelp, Facebook, Bing, and of course Google My Business. Your business needs to be listed accurately on every possible site in order to get more recommendations, so you need to visit each of them and look up their ‘Claim Your Business’ section. Search for your business so you can either claim the existing listing or put up a new one.
2) Plant Your Flag On The Right Maps:
Anytime someone is looking for anything ‘near me’ using their smartphone, the software puts map applications to use. Google Maps and Apple Maps are just two of the biggest names among the data sources used. Check both of these to be sure that your business is accurately reflected so you have better odds of showing up in the relevant voice search results.
3) Emphasize Longtail Keywords:
Voice searches tend to be conversational in nature, so you need to optimize for full questions instead of just a few keywords. Instead of optimizing for ‘hair salon RI’, you should optimize for ‘where can I get my hair cut in Rhode Island?’ Just using common sense can help you list longtail keywords. Also talk to any customer-facing staff you have, as well as your current clients, for frequently asked questions.
4) Bulk Up FAQ Lists:
One hurdle in optimizing longtail keywords is actually finding ways to work them into the content of your website while still having it look natural. A FAQ section is a great way to accomplish this. If you think about it, it’s an obvious place to put longtail questions. There’s a sweet bonus here that you might be able to take advantage of too: A clear, concise answer to a frequently asked question might show up as a Google Answer, which shows up before all other search listings, resulting in a lot of traffic.
5) Generate Positive Feedback:
Voice assistants factor online reviews into how they rank results, but some searchers actually take things a step further. Remember the person looking for a hair cut in Rhode Island? If they’re trying to avoid a bad haircut, they might ask for a ‘highly-rated hair salon in Rhode Island’. Do what you can to have your clients leave you great reviews on Yelp, Facebook, and Google. Email and social media campaigns are good at getting people to write or leave these, but you should always be monitoring your company’s reviews and responding politely and quickly to any negative feedback.
6) Take Advantage Of Schema:
Your website can have both structured data and schema markups. These are resources that voice assistants can mine for data like your address, operating hours, and phone number. This is all information that can be provided to voice searchers so they find your business with ease.
Get Found Local designs websites, gets them found in search results, manages social media campaigns and helps shape business reputations. Since 2006, we have worked with companies dependent on local customers, delivering meaningful messaging that moves people to take action that is measurable and bankable.