Voice & “Near Me” Searches: Are You Prepared?
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).
Preparing For Alexa, Siri and Google Home or Google Voice Search
Then there’s the question, “How Does My Business Get Into Alexa, Siri and Google Home or Google Voice Search Search Results?” If you have ever thought about how then this should help you.
A) Google Home, Google Assistant or Google Voice Search: the answer is all of the above. Google draws directly from its vast & current index of web pages, including those in its locally-specific organized indexes. This can be managed aggressively and efficiently, for instance, by pursuing SEO Services!
B) Apple’s Siri: how do we prepare for when people ask their Apple devices & iPhones for local services like contractors, legal and/or medical help? First off, Siri draws on a few databases including its own Apple Maps, also Google for the lion’s share of its responses and it uses Bing for image-related search data. If you are not an Apple user and do not want to get into their process, our Local SEO and/or Search & Directory Listing services cover Apple Maps. If you are up to it, you must have an Apple ID# or you can also go to Apple Maps Connect here: https://mapsconnect.apple.com and begin their registration process. Optimization for Siri also requires that other local directory listings be consistent. Good reviews are going to matter! And, being that they are competitive, it’s likely Siri will not draw upon Google listings.
C) Amazon’s Alexa: how do we prepare for when people ask their Amazon Alexa devices for local services and search “near me”? As with the above, our Local SEO and/ or Search & Directory Listing services cover Amazon Alexa. The belief is that Alexa draws upon its own and also Bing search results. Good reviews are going to matter! And feeling competitive with them, it’s not likely Alexa will draw on Google listings. Ultimately, Alexa is believed to trail in terms of its’ local search results.
And so we’re hoping this post answers any questions you might have had about being prepared for Voice Search via Google Home/ Google Voice Search, Siri and Alexa. If not, please do not hesitate to get in touch with questions. Our Local SEO and/ or Search & Directory Listing services can make managing it affordable and simple.