Voice search has quickly become one aspect of online business that cannot be ignored. Over half of US consumers reported using voice search to look for a local business in the past year, with numbers rising as technology grows more popular. The rise of voice devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home has led to voice search becoming a mainstream activity. To appeal to this consumer base it is important that businesses understand what voice search is and how it can impact them.
What Is Voice Search?
Voice search lets people use voice commands to enter queries into websites, apps, and other search fields. Connected devices with a microphone can be used to conduct searches, often simplifying the process for users. While tests show that accuracy is not perfect, technology continues to move forward and the user experience has drastically improved. Some popular examples of the technology include Amazon Echo, Google Voice Search, and Siri.
How Does Voice Search Impact Businesses
Many businesses rely on search traffic for leads. While SEO still remains vital for this process, it has changed as a result of voice search. To tap into this new style of query, businesses need to consider how searchers speak when they are using the technology. People are more likely to ask questions, with the top result usually being delivered by the voice assistant. Developing content focused on answering questions in your industry can then lead to a consistent flow of traffic. For most businesses, developing content around natural queries instead of broad keywords can be an effective approach for the future.
How to Optimize Local Listings
Local businesses can benefit considerably from focusing on voice search. Many users are conducting searches while in the local area, using voice commands on their mobile device. If your business is nearby, the search engines can offer detailed information about you, increasing the likelihood that a searcher visits your premises. Businesses often find their information is crawled by data aggregators, but it is important to check that the details are accurate.
Google My Business is an important listing, providing business information on the Google results pages for local terms. Different voice search products take their information from different services, though, making it vital that you do a complete audit. You can submit accurate information like name, address, phone number, and opening hours, using data aggregators like Localeze and Yext.
Target Relevant Featured Snippets
Search engines increasingly provide a featured snippet for queries. This snippet could be a direct answer to a question, a list, a guide, and more. When you can become the featured snippet for relevant queries, your business gains both branding and traffic advantages. You can find appropriate questions using a tool like AnswerThePublic, searching with your main keyword. Next, develop content based around the question, ensuring you optimize the page and promote the content on social media. If you can reach the first page of Google for the term, there is a good chance you will be promoted to the featured snippet position.
As voice devices become a more common part of daily life, voice search will only continue to grow. Voice search is a natural fit for mobile devices, while home assistants are becoming more common. This growth offers huge potential for businesses able to capitalize on it. Adjusting the traditional search marketing plan to cater to voice search is vitally important, allowing businesses to become the go-to source for popular queries. As with many trends before it, the businesses that are proactive will be the ones best positioned to profit.