Voice-enabled search is a big deal in the world of SEO—in fact, it might be the biggest topic these days. However, many local businesses haven’t yet embraced the power of this approach, leaving a lot of missed opportunities on the table (and potentially losing a significant share of visibility in search engine results). It’s never too early to pay attention to the need to create voice-friendly searches, but it can be too late if you wait even longer than you already have. It’s vital for business owners and marketers to understand the importance of voice searches and prepare their content accordingly. We are, after all, in the middle of a voice revolution.
Voice Search: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?
Have you ever asked Siri or Alexa a question or told them to do something? If so, you’ve used voice search. Voice search enables your prospective customers to use voice commands to get information or help from their electronic devices rather than typing requests into their keyboards. It’s a fast, hands-free option that allows you to gather the information you need when you’re busy doing other things, like cooking or driving.
Latest Trends and Statistics in Voice Search
Voice searches have really made their way into the SEO landscape. Here are a few interesting stats you should know:
- 72% of consumers who own voice-activated devices state that using these tools is generally part of their daily routines.
- As of 2020, voice searches are expected to total half of all searches performed on the internet.
- In the past year, the number of consumers who own two or more smart speakers has increased from 38% to 52%.
What Factors Influence Your Voice-Search Readiness?
In order to be voice-search ready, you’ll need to advocate voice search optimization within your company. Despite efforts by industry experts to teach people how to optimize content for voice search, there aren’t any widely accepted parameters around voice search. There’s no instruction manual. However, with that said, there are some best practices you can implement that’ll help ensure your business is being seen by voice searchers.
Always Start with Google
Begin your voice-search readiness by properly preparing your Google My Business account for each of your locations. Google My Business is incredibly important for local voice searches.
Don’t Ignore Bing and Yahoo
Google may be the king of searches, but Bing and Yahoo are major players in the space. Make sure your listings on these platforms are correct so you’ll improve your odds for hitting the high spots on voice searches.
Make Sure You’re Presenting Accurate Facts
Your listings should be consistent across the entire search ecosystem and apps. This means you’ll need to ensure your location, phone number, business name, and contact information is all correct. Don’t be surprised if you find listings you’re not even aware of; if this happens, make sure those are correct, too.
Voice Search 101: Creating Content
Content has been an essential part of the search puzzle for a long time, but honing your content in a way that works for voice searches is different than what you need for keyboard-based searches.
How Your Content Influences Your Voice Search Rankings
How does your content influence your voice search ranking? Well, this is a big question with lots of answers. Let’s dive into some of the most influential ones:
- Messaging. Voice search forces you to write messages that would make sense as if people were speaking their questions or inquiries out loud. This means, the content you’re creating and sharing across your online presence needs to be altered in such a way that makes it more natural to normal speech patterns. If content isn’t presented in a fluid manner like this, the search engines aren’t likely to recognize it as valuable to voice searchers.
- Keyword research. Not too long ago, you could just plug in a bunch of keywords and Google would love you, no matter how awkward they were. Nowadays, keyword research is essential. You need to incorporate long-tail keyword phrases that match the inquiries voice searchers are asking for.
- FAQs page. Your frequently-asked-questions page is a great place to toss in some awesome keywords and voice-search oriented phrases that’ll help boost your rankings on the search engines.
- Featured snippet content. Featured snippets provide easy-to-read answers that showcase brands as authority figures in their industries. Snippets appear differently for different types of inquiries. Today’s snippets are far longer than they used to be, in terms of the number of words used. That’s because they’re relating to voice searches that lean into regular speech patterns people use when they’re asking questions or looking for information.
- Long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are where it’s at these days. The key is to build out long-tail keywords in ways that sound natural and flow easily into the rest of the content you’re providing.
Voice Search 101: Writing Style
Like you’ve probably heard since you were young: it’s not just about what you say but how you say it. The writing style that’s needed for voice search is typically something you’d talk to a friend about when you’re asking questions or trying to get more information. It’s:
- Conversational. Content that’s written for voice typically uses “you” or “I”. For example, “How do you bake cookies using yogurt?” or “How do I find a hardware store near me?” The intent of the content should be to speak directly to your audience, sometimes talking as though the business is literally speaking to the person who’s asking the question.
- Written as if you were speaking to someone directly in front of you. This goes back to the point above. It’s all about being conversational and speaking directly to your audience as though they’re right in front of you. You’re engaging them and pulling them into your conversation, not just talking at them like traditional marketing tends to do.
- Not robotic. People are turned off by robotic content, and they can smell it from a mile away. Be good to your brand by avoiding the pitfalls of sounding robotic and turn on your charm by personalizing content in ways that make you sound like real humans talking to real humans.
Why Choose Surefire Local?
For starters, we’re experts in helping local businesses with local online marketing and growing their presence within their local markets. Part of our goal is to help you optimize your content in ways that speak to your local audiences so you can get your business in front of the people who will really pay attention to the products and services you offer. But that’s only one piece of the pie.
We invite you to request a demo of our all-in-one local marketing platform. When we talk, you’ll gain insights into the ways voice search can work for your business, what you need to do to curate appropriate content, and how you can incorporate key phrases in ways that speak to your searchers’ needs when they talk to their smartphones or speakers. All made easy through our software that provides one centralized place to run your marketing, with one secure login for you and your team.
With our team by your side, you’ll be able to:
- Create content with ease. You’ll have a team of folks who know how to speak to the search engines and will do everything they can to bolster your online presence to the next level. We understand voice-search needs and will empower you to post content that literally speaks to your audiences.
- Manage your entire workflow from new ideas to publication and distribution in one place. Our goal is to be your one-stop-shop for all things local marketing. We’ll help you hone in on your ideas so you can tell your customers who you are, what you do, and why they need you. We want to be your go-to place when it comes to engaging with your consumers and touting your business’s special attributes, and we’ll help you get everything done with a few clicks of your mouse.
- Optimize your content to rank in voice search results. Although we’re marketing people, we’re also numbers people. Analytics and creative outlets go hand-in-hand these days. When you run your business on the Surefire Local Marketing Platform, you gain complete visibility and transparency into performance. And backed by your dedicated digital marketing strategist who understands what it takes to rank well on search engines and help guide you through all the necessary steps, there’s nothing that’ll stand in your way of profitable growth.. With us by your side, you’ll soon have voice-optimized content that’s bound to rank well on search engine results pages (SERPs). The content we create is specifically designed to engage your audience and rank well with the search engines.
Surefire Local has everything you need to enhance your business and get on track with the search engines. We invite you to learn more about what we do, and we look forward to being your go-to agency when you’re ready to get your voice optimization going!