How to Make the Most of Voice Search in Your Small Business

Just a few years ago voice search seemed like a consideration for a far off future, with a clumsy Siri being the closest anyone would come to voice activated assistants.

Fast forward to today and voice activation is rapidly on route to being an everyday occurrence.

Over the Christmas period 2017, Amazon sold ‘tens of millions’ of Alexa devices in a gadget-buying craze that doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon.

However, unlike other crazes (think fidget spinners and pocket drones) this is one that will only become bigger and more incorporated into our everyday lives.

Research by Capgemini Digital Transformation Institute revealed that 51% of consumers already use the voice assistant on their smartphone, citing convenience and an ability to multitask as the main reasons.

If you want to keep up-to-date with your customers’ needs, you’ll need to embrace voice search and all the SEO practices that come with it.

Keep on top of your digital strategy

The first way you can get up to speed with voice search is to update your digital marketing strategy. Despite what you might think, this doesn’t involve getting everything specifically ready for voice search.

Instead you should focus on your overall digital marketing strategy by taking a look at your website. Is the content accurate, easy to read and effective? Are there enough website pages for everything your customers need? Is your site mobile-friendly?

Get everything that needs it up to speed before you jump in and try to get ready for voice search, otherwise you’re simply setting yourself up to fail.

Improve your local strategy

Once your website is up to speed and mobile-friendly, you should turn your attentions to localising your SEO strategy.

Often those using voice search will be looking for things in the area, such as a Thai restaurant with availability, or somewhere to buy a computer lead.

In light of this, you should aim to localise your SEO so those in your local area know you’re there. The best way to start this is by ensuring your Google My Business listing is accurate and up-to-date. By doing this, your business will appear in ‘near me’ searches.

Once this is in order, you should update your website’s blog with localised content. While it shouldn’t be keyword heavy, it should add value to local searches and answer questions that people in your area may be asking.

Check out your reviews

For customers the most reliable source of information for any product or service is the reviews. While you can include testimonials and customer reviews in a section on your website, the reviews that people leave on third party websites are out of your hands.

While you may not be able to delete any negative reviews, you can reply to them calmly and respectfully, ensuring you address the key issues they bring up.

Alternatively you may wish to contact them directly if you’re aware of the issue already and attempt to address it and then ask them to remove the review.

Optimise conversational keywords

When using voice search, people are less likely to use the same words they would enter when typing into a search engine bar.

For example, rather than searching ‘Electrical shop in Leeds’ they might say ‘Where can I find a HMDI cable near me?’.

In this example you would also need to rank for the term HDMI cable in your local search, which you should consider when updating your website’s blog.

Step into their shoes

Often the only way you can truly understand something is if you try it out yourself. You can read all the articles and prepare as much as you want, but until you’ve given it a go you really don’t know what your customers are experiencing.

Get your hands on the gadgets so you can see what using it is like for yourself. This will help you understand the consumer’s mind-set and become better prepared for any customers looking for your business through voice search.

What steps is your business taking to get ready for voice search? Join the conversation in the comment section below!