“Hey Siri, Alexa, Google why is voice search important for my business?” It isn’t too hard to believe anymore that this is an actual question we could ask our phones or our Internet of Things home devices. That’s because voice search is taking over an increasingly large online search real estate. In 2016, 20 percent of online searches were conducted through voice search. By 2020, that number is expected to increase to 50 percent! So, what does it mean for your business? First, since voice search is easier to perform than typing a search, searches tend to bring up more long-tailed content. For example, you might ask your phone assistant, “Siri, what’s the closest credit union near me?” Siri will then pull up a map link, with phone number, address, and direction. If you ask Siri “what’s the best credit union in town?” she’ll pull up a list of credit unions sorted based on distance, number of positive reviews, and optimized content.
Take note of the above. The list your phone or home assistant pulls up is determined by factors like if you’ve claimed your online business listing, if people have left reviews of your business on sites like Yelp, if your business listing has a description, photos, and videos. A search engine is a search engine whether powered by text or voice and wants to serve you the very best results for every instance you type/ask.
What else is changing with the advent of voice search? Keyword searching. Voice search shifts the context for typing in phrases to asking full sentences in natural language i.e. like you were asking another persona a question. The use of search queries starting with “who,” “what,” “where,” and “how” has increased by 61 percent. Adjust your keyword strategy accordingly so your business’ content appears as a good match: transitioning from keywords and meta descriptions to full sentences and conversational copy. The goal is to be as helpful as possible.
How else can you take advantage of voice search for your business?
- Add a Q&A section to your website to collect and answer common questions
- Use voice search to search the questions you come up with and determine how the current answers are written
- Create content that answers those questions in simple clear sentences
- Consider local voice search
Your customers are increasingly using mobile devices to access your business’ information and now more than ever voice and home assistants. Follow the above simple steps to ensure your brand is everywhere your customers want to find you.