Nowadays, voice search is commonplace. People are using home-based devices like Amazon Alexa & Google Home, and they’re using iPhones & cell phones too. That’s right, our phones can be set up with an app’ for Voice Search‘. And so the question business owners should be asking is, “are we prepared for Voice Search?”
Admittedly old school about search, I have given in to that Google Voice Search mic’ set up on my cell phone. In doing so, I allow Google to identify my location so that it can answer questions with hyper-localized search results. Note: Regardless of how a person searches (keyboard or voice app), the results are still coming from search index databases. Those results are coming from a search engine like Google or Bing=Microsoft, so beware of those who suggest there’s a shortcut. As a business owner who wants to be prepared, you are still going to have to do Search Optimization!
So what does a business need to know? We’ll cover what’s necessary as well as Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Home (or Google Voice Search) for you in what follows below!
Preparing For Voice & Near Me Search With Content!
If you haven’t optimized your business for voice-driven searches, including locally-driven “near me” searches, it’s time to get into it. In looking at how you optimize for voice & “near me” searches, we need to look at the importance of website content and also at Fundamental Local SEO. Research shows “near me” search growth at over 1,000% in the last 5 years, including for phrases like “contractor near me” or “store open near me now”.
It starts with content: what is your target consumer’s intent and are you ready for them? We recently wrote on the subject here, “DOES YOUR CONTENT MEET YOUR TARGET CONSUMER INTENT ONLINE?” in order to get business owners thinking about their content. Using content to meet target market searches. To use a Google recommended strategy, it’s a matter of anticipating micro-moments and having published content that supports them. Google actually introduced the concept of micro-moments broken down into I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, and I-want-to-buy moments in order to remind, if not warn, business marketers to think about addressing ‘intent’ with their content.
As locally driven business owners, we need to think more specifically: what do they want to learn about my products or services? Under what circumstances do they want to learn about them? What are they doing with our products or services (e.g. Home Inspection, Home Edition, Insurance, MRI, Rehabilitation)? Would education and/or instruction, maybe even ‘how-to’ content support them or entrust us as the right resource for them?
So PLEASE consider, are the answers to their questions available? Do you reinforce this information through your listings and/or your social media vis posts when/where possible?
Preparing For Voice & Near Me Search With Local SEO!
Let’s look at locally-driven priorities with our websites, our content, our listings, and citations. Note: search engines cross-reference the most specific information on directory listings & citations (that they trust) with your website. They do it in order to determine consistent accuracy.
A) Does the website communicate a business location? Search engines look at the location in order to consider a business for hyper-local searches.
B) Does website content leverage opportunities to mention the areas where products or services are offered? This requires experience, tactics & finesse, depending on how broad that geographic target is. For example, have a look at GEO-TARGETING AND LOCAL BUSINESS AUTHORITY!
C) Have we created consistent accurate business listings at the leading directory sites, at least, including each one’s verification process? This can be managed aggressively and efficiently, for instance, by pursuing Local SEO Services.
D) Have you created a Google my business profile, including listing? This is the no. 1 most important listing!
E) Have you created a Facebook business page?
F) Can you clean-up inconsistencies in any existing listing or citation? This can be a headache, Local SEO and/ or Search & Directory Listing services can make managing this more efficient.
G) Prepare to manage these listings, one by one, as is necessary.
H) Find and build niche (e.g. your associations) and/or location-specific citations (e.g. town directories).