2018 has already been the year for voice search and virtual assistants, with tools such as Alexa and Google Home being more widely adopted into our homes and work places.  By 2020, the majority of searches made will be voice search rather than traditional searches; and companies should already have started adapting their search strategy for both SEO and PPC in readiness.

When a visitor arrives on your website etc, using analytics tools such as Google Analytics, it is possible to understand which terms are being used to drive traffic.  In addition what terms are being searched for on your site once they arrive (if you have a search field).  However, with the rise in voice searches, visitors don’t necessarily ever get to your website, rather the virtual assistant gives users the answers directly.

What do consumers want most from voice search and local businesses?

BrightLocal recently carried out a survey where consumers were asked how they used voice assistants and voice search for local businesses.  One of the key findings was that users just want to book restaurants and order food without talking to any humans.

50% of those surveyed would use voice search for Restaurants/Cafes, 41% for Grocery Stores and 35% for food deliveries.  The top 3 are closely followed by clothing, accommodation and medicine, which also follow the trend of  ‘must have’ needs in the modern world.

How is voice search used to fine local businesses?

The Voice Search for Local Business Study also showed that 46% of voice search users use it to find local businesses daily. So nearly half of all people with a voice assistant on their phone asking Alexa, Google, Cortana, Siri and friends for details on local businesses almost every single day.

What can businesses do to make sure they are featured in voice search results?

  • Make sure your website is fully marked up with structured data.
  • Focus on your local SEO terms giving consideration to:
    1. Relevance.
    2. Prominence: review ratings, mentions on social media etc.
    3. Proximity: how close your business is to the searcher.

As more and more of us use voice search while out and about, proximity becomes even more important as we want local businesses results based on where we are at that point in time rather than a static location.

These are things you need to keep in mind when trying to capture voice search users:

  • Create content relevant to their needs
  • Tailor your Google My Business listing details, description, and category to suit what people ‘out and about’ are most likely to search for.
  • Keep an ear out for your competitors in voice search results. If they’re capturing that critical first place in rankings, it’s time to look at what they are up to.

For more information on how to monitor and measure your business success using the data available, please get in touch today and lets start the conversation.

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