Voice is the future of search, but is your business searchable by Alexa, Siri, and Google? If you don’t know, take 10-seconds and ask one of your devices for your service type in your area. Just like this – “Hey, Siri, what ‘business type’ are near me?”
What are the results? Does your business come up, or is it just a list of your competitors? Try this exercise on all voice search options if you can. If you’re coming up, GREAT! If not, some work needs to be done.
Here are a few things that need to be done to come up with relevant voice search results as a local business.
Ensure your website loads information quickly.
4.6 seconds or faster, to be exact. These voice search devices search the web in milliseconds for the most relevant data to a user’s specific request. And your website needs to be able to provide this data at lightning-speed to compete with your competitors who are also vying for that top spot when Alexa or Siri speaks.
This is a concrete rule in the fundamentals of search engine optimization SEO for all businesses. On desktop or mobile devices your load time needs to be even faster. Less than 3 seconds is ideal. Anything longer than that and people will bounce to the next person with a faster website. Even if your service or product is better.
Search terms should match the way people speak.
There is a big difference between a standard keyword search term for SEO like ‘plumber in Hackensack NJ’ and a long-tail keyword ‘who are the best plumbers in Hackensack NJ’.
Remember, you are now speaking to a device, so unless you know how to speak in SEO search terms, which would be robotic and very weird, you’re speaking like the average everyday person. So these voice searches need to match how you talk for voice search optimization to work properly.
When writing these new long-tail keyword phrases, keep them short and in a 9th-grade reading level. Below are a couple of other good examples.
Who makes the best pizza in ‘your city name.’
Give me “a list of the top accountants in ‘your county’”
Who is the top-rated realtor in ‘your city name.’
46% of participants in a voice search for a local business study used voice search to find local businesses daily.
56% of users who used voice search in 2018 did so on their smartphone to find local business information, while 18% did so on a smart speaker. Of the smartphone users that search for local info, more than 75% utilize voice search to run local business search queries at least once a week.
Add Featured Snippets of Content
Featured snippets of content for voice search are the answers to the questions people will be asking Alexa, Siri, or google about your business or service. This can be established by having an FAQ section for each service or product you may offer.
You want to be sure to answer all the questions that start with the following:
- How to
- How does
- What is
- What do I do when
These answers should also be no longer than 40-50 words. Remember, the keyword here is SNIPPET. Answer the questions as fast as possible and be very direct.
Consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 are most likely to perform local searches based on recent voice search stats. (Specifically, that’s 76% of users in the case of this particular report.)
Users aged 35 to 54 come second at 64%. While less than 40% of users over the age of 55 use voice search to find local businesses. Across genders, it turns out that men have used voice search for local queries at 11% more than women.
Stats via Bright Local
Local Business Listings
If you’re not sure what a local business listing is, google your business, and it should come up with all of your information and a map as to where you are located. This listing will also include your reviews.
Now, if you didn’t know, there are hundreds of local business listing sites online. But some major ones stand out. Obviously, Google is the top choice, but did you know that Alexa and Siri don’t pull data from Google first. And if you didn’t know, Alexa is the highest-selling voice device in the US.
Your business also needs to be listed on sites like Yelp, Bing, Apple Maps, and others to come up in basic SEO search as well as Voice search.
Our team is a local business just like yours, and we are going to make these updates for ourselves. We consider you do the same. And if you need some help, visit our local business listing setup service page, and our expert team can get you set up the right way quickly.
The above are very important rules and guidelines to follow with voice search optimization. Your trusted SEO company should already have this in mind when developing your SEO strategy. If you’re looking for a company to improve your current digital marketing strategy with search engine optimization, our team of certified professionals would love to help get you on the right path.