You hear that?
That’s your newest customer asking a voice assistant about your local business. When are you open? When are you closed? Are you open on Sunday? What’s your address? What’s your number?
These are the types of questions your customers are asking their voice assistants and so much more.
Are you ready for voice search in 2018? If not, we’ve got you covered with a quick guide to everything you need to know and tips get your voice search strategy started.
What is Voice Search?
Voice search is a search query given to a voice device using—you guessed it—voice! These voice devices include Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri. Users simply provide a verbal query, and these devices answer using their algorithms to provide responses.
So you know what voice search is, but what does it mean to your local business?
Why is Voice Search Important?
1. It provides quick access to the answers your customers need.
When using a voice search assistant, your customers want quick and accurate answers to the most important questions about your business. They especially want to know your hours and where you’re located, as well as relevant details about the services or products you provide.
2. It’s a fresh way to connect with your customers.
Your customers want to know the basic information about your business, but voice search can provide a whole new approach to interacting with your customers. Take for instance: Google’s featured snippets allow your business to answer the questions your customers want to understand about your product or service.
3. It’s the future of search.
The way we are searching for things is completely changing due to voice search. The days of typing a query into the computer, mobile device, or tablet will be replaced by voice search.
Why? It’s all about time.
Customers can simply ask their voice search assistants for any information they desire without having to retrieve a computer, tablet, or phone. A simple “OK Google…” provides the answer they need, no other action required!
So what does the future of voice search look like? Check out these stats:
Voice Search: Quick Stats
- “50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020” (comscore)
- “About 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020.” (Mediapost)
- “We estimate there will be 21.4 million smart speakers in the US by 2020” (Activate)
- “By 2019, the voice recognition market will be a $601 million industry”, according to a report from Technavio via Skyword.
- “This year (2017), 25 million devices will be shipped, bringing the total number of voice-first devices to 33 million in circulation.” based on a new study by VoiceLabs via Mediapost.
Still not convinced voice search is important? Check out this post that offers an exhaustive list of facts about voice search and its importance.
How Do I Create A Voice Search Strategy?
1. Make sure your Google My Business is correct.
It’s so simple, but it’s the first—and foremost—action you need to complete in order to have a successful voice search strategy.
Your customer is attempting to visit your business on a Sunday. Your customer turns to his or her voice assistant and asks what your business hours are. The voice assistant returns an answer that says your business is open from 11 am to 7 pm.
But there’s a problem: Your business isn’t open on Sundays.
Your customer trusted your Google My Business and the voice assistant to provide accurate information, which resulted in a bad customer experience. Chances are, you lost that customer because you provided incorrect information about your business.
So—first things first—make sure your Google My Business information is accurate.
2. Add schema markup to your site.
Schema is a simple way to alert search engines about the most important aspects of your website or content on your website. Schema is special HTML code that is utilized to help describe your website, so Google and other search engines to better understand it.
By adding schema markup to your website, you put yourself way ahead of your competition—simply because Google can understand your website.
So get your website marked up, especially your name, address, and phone number.
3. Create Q&A Style Content
By creating question and answer type content, you can help your business show up as the featured answer in Google search.
Why is that important? It’s all about brand awareness.
The featured answer is a great way to assist your customer in finding the answer he or she is searching for while in the market for the product or service they need. If your business is able to answer questions regarding the product or service they are looking for, your business will be top-of-mind when it comes to making a purchasing decision.
Voice Search: The Future Of Search Is Now
Voice search is changing the way we find information, and it’s time to get your local business ready for one of the biggest transitions in the way we find information. Follow the above steps to get your local business ready for voice search!