Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last three years, you should have noticed the hype around voice search. Although some of the statistics might have been a little overblown, the number of search queries being conducted by voice is increasing year over year. Estimates predict that around 13% of search engine queries are voice-based.
While that may not sound like a huge deal, it equates to almost half a million searches per day—that’s a lot of potential business up for the taking.
Most of these voice queries occur on a mobile phone, with 22% having the intention of finding something locally. So, if you’re a business that people often look for on the go, or you need to generate local footfall, you’re going to want to listen up. Here are four reasons your business needs to optimize for voice search in 2019.
The more of your market you can reach, the higher the number of people you’ll channel into your business. Businesses that aren’t ranking for voice search queries are missing out on potential customers. It’s as simple as that.
If you run a brick-and-mortar enterprise, the issue is all the more urgent, since most people trying to find you when in the area will ask their phones, rather than search with text.
You always want to provide as many options for getting in touch with your business as you can. Whether that’s the social media channels you’re on, the website you maintain, the local signs you put up or print marketing you produce.
Optimizing for voice search is a relatively simple way you can add to that portfolio, so what are you waiting for?
The easier you make it for people to interact with your business, the more they will. In our increasingly busy lives, we all look for shortcuts to make our chores a bit more manageable. This is one of the reasons touted for the success of smart-speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
If we can shout, “What is the weather” into a speaker while putting the kid’s shoes on, rather than put everything down while we type away on our phones, we’ll obviously take the faster, more straightforward option.
The same goes for voice search. The most common form of voice search is direct, simple questions that require a simple response—think questions like “Where is the nearest gas station?” or “Is there a café near me?”.
By offering the option for people to interact with your business in this way, you’re catering to a genuine need and offering a more positive user experience. Doing so, will both increase your website’s traffic and push you up the search rankings.
As we’ve established, a sizable proportion of voice search queries are conducted via mobile phones, usually by people on the go and often with no other option. The thing is, mobile traffic has become more and more prominent in recent years. Now, over half of all internet usage occurs on a phone. With this increase comes a greater likelihood that voice searches will rise as well.
So, not only do you need to make sure the website builder you used is fully responsive for use on a mobile phone, but also that you fill it with the kind of long-tail keyword terms people tend to use when searching with their voice.
If your business’s traffic is largely local, the motivation to optimize for voice search could not be stronger. Companies who do are far more likely to rank near the top of the local search engine results.
It’s one thing to meticulously fill out your Google My Business account and another to optimize Google Places for voice queries. Doing the former will put you in the running for top position when people in your area search for what you do. But, doing both will almost guarantee you the win.
Most local businesses have not yet prepared for voice search, so if you get ahead of the curve now, you can outstrip your competition.
Voice search optimization isn’t always the urgent ‘to-do’ for many business owners, but it does give companies an edge. It’s especially useful for local, brick-and-mortar enterprises who want to take advantage of an increase in footfall and others who appeal to people on the go. Talk to the Post Launch team about optimizing your website content for voice search today.
This guest post was created by Jodie Manners, who is a writer and editor (MSc BA Cantab), passionate marketer, and tech lover. She translates dense material into information everyone can access and explores design, branding and market psychology, and scientific and parenting topics.