Nowadays, voice search is commonplace. People are using home-based devices like Amazon Alexa & Google Home, and they’re using cell phones. That’s right, our phones are armed with options for Voice Search apps‘. And so the question business owners should be asking is, “are we prepared for Voice Search?” Admittedly old school about search, even I have given in to that Google Voice Search mic’ set up on my cell phone. Note: in doing so, I allow Google to identify my location so that it can better answer questions with localized search results.
So what does a business do? We’ll cover what’s necessary as well as Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Home or Google Voice Search for you below!
Preparing 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, 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, in terms of content, are the answers to their questions available on your website? Do you reinforce in your listings and/ or your social media where possible?
Preparing With Local SEO!
Let’s look at locally-driven priorities with our websites, our content, our listings, and citations. Note: search engines cross-reference information on directory listings & citations (that they trust) with your website in order to determine 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
A) Google Home or Google Voice Search: the answer is all of the above. Google draws directly from its vast 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 it’s Apple Maps to find local businesses so it is important to get your business on Apple Maps. 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 and you must have an Apple ID#, you can also go to Apple Maps Connect here: https://mapsconnect.apple.com and begin their registration process. Optimization for Siri also requires other local directories, for instance, Yelp can be influential with Siri local search. 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 mostly draws upon its own and then Yelp listings, which can comprise the searcher based upon Yelp’s own interests (i.e. they structure their results to who pays for advertising). Good reviews are going to matter! And being competitive, it’s not likely Alexa will draw Google listings. Ultimately, Alexa is believed to trail in terms of its’ local search results, but it does offer them.
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.