The way people search for information online continuously evolves as technology evolves. As a result, the rise of voice search has become a pivotal milestone in this evolution. While some users may still type their search query into their favorite web browser, you may have many potential customers who are now searching for information by speaking to their smartphone, Google Home, or other device.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you map out the next steps for your business:
Tip 1 | Understanding Why, and How, People Use Voice Search
In order to leverage the power of voice search to boost your business, you first need to understand how your customers are using it. While voice search presents a major opportunity for businesses, the technology is still relatively new and users have only recently seemed to embrace its use. However, the rise in popularity has been rapid. According to eMarketer, 35.6 million Americans used a voice-activated assistant device at least once a month in 2017 — a year-over-year increase of nearly 130%.
The speed and convenience of voice search seem to be the primary contributors to its rapid growth, and those factors shape the way users interact with their virtual assistants:
- Many Voice Searches Are Mobile. Many voice searches are made on-the-go, and are made using a mobile device. In fact, 1 in 5 online adults have used voice search on their mobile device within the last month. In situations where a hands-free search is more convenient, users are enlisting the help of their virtual assistants to find what they need.
- Voice Searches Tend To Be Local. According to Search Engine Watch, mobile voice searches are three times more likely to be local-based than text searches. An increasing number of users are turning to their virtual assistants to conduct searches such as “find the best pizza place near me” or “find a roofing contractor in my area.”
- Voice Searches Are Conversational. In some circumstances, a search query may be the same whether it’s typed into a computer or spoken to a mobile device. However, as a more general rule of thumb, most users simply don’t type the same way that they speak. Voice searches tend to be more conversational, and queries are often longer than those used in text searches.
Tip 2 | Simple Ways You Can Optimize for Voice Search
While we are still learning more about the nuances and complexities of voice search, there are some ways you can start optimizing your content and increase the odds that your content will rank for voice search:
- Claim And Optimize Your Google My Business Listing. Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing will make it easier for potential customers to find you online, but it can also increase your chances of showing up in relevant voice searches. Getting started is easy, and can make a huge difference for your business.
- Add Structure To Your Website Data Using Schema Markup. When a search engine is trying to track down an answer to a voice search query, having information that is easy for them to read can help give you a competitive edge. Schema markup adds structure to your data and makes it easier for search engines to “read” the data on your site and match it with user searches.
- Focus On Long-Tail, Conversational Keywords. Voice searches are typically more conversational than typed searches, reflecting the way people normally speak. Targeting long-tail keywords can increase the odds that you will rank for those search queries.
- Make Sure Your Phone Number Is Prominent. After a user has landed on your website via voice search, a likely next step will be for them to call your business. This is especially true for users who are searching on a mobile device. Make sure it’s easy for users (or their virtual assistants) to locate and call your phone number.
Generally speaking, if you’ve established a digital presence for your business and are publishing high-quality, user-friendly content, you’re already taking the steps needed to stand out in voice search results. If you need help establishing a digital presence that drives results for your business, contact us. We’ll provide you with a free Digital Marketing Blueprint that shows you what you can do to grow your business online.