With the rise of smart home devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo, people are increasingly relying on voice search for answers to questions. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, voice search refers to speaking into a computer, smartphone, or other voice-enabled device to search for a topic. For example, if you’re driving and need to stop for lunch, then you can speak right into your smartphone and ask Siri or Google, “Where is the closest sandwich shop?”
This type of search changes everything, and voice search optimization has become more important than ever for small businesses. Read on to learn more about why, and get tips for how you can start preparing your business for the voice-search future.
Why Voice Search Optimization Matters
So, why is voice search optimization important? Think about the last time you typed a search into your phone or computer. If you’re like many people, you probably typed in a simple phrase. RevLocal explains it as the difference between using a computer to input a short phrase like “pizza recipe” into a search engine and asking your smartphone, “What’s the best pizza dough recipe?” See the difference? Voice searches are typically more conversational. They sound like something that you would actually say. And it changes how businesses need to use SEO.
Challenges Local Businesses Might Face
As voice search becomes increasingly popular, it will present some challenges.
For local businesses, three main factors play into how big or small their digital presence may be in the voice-first future: geography, engagement, and quality.
First, your local reach depends on the physical proximity of the searcher to your business, according to Moz. Second, the quality of your business and level of engagement with your customers also affects your reach, according to Tidings. The third thing that impacts your reach is how well your business serves the needs of the searcher. Search Engine Land points out that voice search engines will very soon be able to narrow results by the operating hours, expertise, and customer service ratings of each business.
Tips for Optimizing for Voice Search
Although it’s not without its challenges, this new technology presents a huge opportunity to local businesses that capitalize on voice search optimization now. If you’re wondering where to start, then consider the following:
Update Your Listings: Make sure your business information is correct and updated on all of your online listings, including your own website, Google Maps, and review sites such as Yelp.
Optimize Your Website: Make sure your business location is front and center, and design your website to be mobile friendly.
Revamp Your SEO: You don’t have to abandon head keywords, but make sure you’re using long-tail keywords, too. Customers looking for your business are likely to ask specific questions in voice search. Use this insight to determine which long-tail keywords you should use.
Have you started preparing for a future dominated by voice search? Do you need to revise your SEO strategy? Need to improve your online marketing? That's why we are here. Contact us today for a completely free assessment and quote.