Voice Search Marketing

Why Starting Today Means Future Market Domination

Voice Search / May 30th 2019

If you’re a business with high localised brand equity and you’re not already on the Voice Search Marketing bandwagon. Drop what you’re doing and start now (initially, by reading this).

Otherwise, you could soon be overtaken by local competitors. And, by that point… it’ll be too late to do anything about it. This isn’t scare-mongering, it’s good advice so settle down and get your reading hat on.

In this article, we’re going to look at the importance of voice search in the present and near future. Why starting today will be beneficial. And, how to go about optimising your business, brand and website for voice search.

Voice Search Today

The first time I engaged with anything even remotely resembling a ‘voice activated assistant’ was Siri way-back-when on an iPhone 4S – a good few generations ago now, back in 2011.

It was terrible.

Siri couldn’t tell if I was asking for ‘a slice of pizza’ or ‘flights to Ibiza’. And, the answer to pretty much everything was basically ‘I can’t help with that – here are some search results related to…’.

On top of this, it felt weird and uncomfortable to speak to your phone like a person. As a result; Siri didn’t get used… unless one of those novelty joke question/answers was circulating.

But as Bob Dylan aptly put it, the times they are a changin’. Since then, voice search has become much more normalised. SiriGoogle Assistant and Alexa have not only gotten better at understanding us but become a part of our lives.

It’s perfectly normal to hear ‘Hey Google, play a dance mix’ or ‘Hey Siri, call Dave’ these days and it’s not restricted to app demands. It’s very much leaking into search too.

By next year 50% of all online searches will be made with voice. According to people in the know (at Google, Apple and Amazon). Whilst some of these searches will be to find out how tall Pierce Brosnan is (1.86 metres – I just asked my Google Home). Others will be asking questions relevant to local businesses. ‘Hey Google, where can I get my teeth whitened near me?’

In some (most) cases, Google (or Alexa or Siri) will offer up one answer to this kind of question. So, imagine the potential for market domination if that answer is ‘your business’.

Why Start Now?

You might be thinking, this is all well and good. However, voice search isn’t huge right now (not HUGE huge) and I’d surely be better off spending that money on something like Advertising or traditional SEO to get results that will actually produce some ROI sometime soon.  

The answer to that is simple. If you’re a business that thrives on local customers, then this is comfortably going to give you the best results long-term.

There are obvious overlaps with SEO but your site and content structure are going to have to change a little more to tailor for voice (we’ll come onto that). So choosing SEO over VSM (let’s call it that: Voice Search Marketing) means you’re missing out on a good old two for one deal.

Ads are great and will get you results quickly but to keep the traffic you have to keep paying the top money. Not so with a longer-term strategy like this.

Finally and most crucially, starting now will give you a head start. As I’ve mentioned there’s often only one spot at the top of voice search marketing and establishing yourself as number one now – while there’s less competition, will definitely be beneficial going forward.

Look at SEO, early adopters are still top and haven’t had to spend half as much as the chasing pack. Getting on a trend early is and always has been extremely lucrative.

How Do I Optimise for Voice Search Marketing

VSM optimisation can currently be split into four main goals. These four can then be split again and ultimatley there are millions of factors. So to keep this manageable we’ll stick to the headline four points.

Which are: Site Speed, Local SEO, Research and most importantly; aiming to become the featured snippet (the holy grail for voice search marketing).

Site Speed

Two of these four points are definite SEO overlaps and it comes as no surprise. Voice results are being served by the same engines as text results after all.

SEO staple, site speed is important because it heavily affects bounce rate – an important ranking factor. With most voice searches being made on mobile, this only adds to the importance of speed as bounce rates for slow sites are even higher on mobile devices.

The Featured Snippet is the holy grail for Voice Search Marketing.

Local SEO

A large majority of voice searches are being done to find things locally. Terms like ‘near me’ and ‘where’s my nearest’ being the most common. So, it’s vital that your local SEO is on point. A spick and span Google My Business page and a wealth of great customer reviews will go some way to helping this.

Research, Research, Research

Finding out what your potential customers are actually searching/asking for is obviously going to be crucial. Think long tail SEO research but on acid. Terms are naturally longer when spoken (it’s just our nature) and you can sensibly assume that in most cases they’ll take the form of a question. Once you have this information, you can optimise for it.

Featured Snippet

The featured snippet has become known as ‘Position Zero’ because it appears above the search results. For those not in the know, it’s simply the box of information Google gives you for most queries these days.

It’s therefore great for SEO but as it’s also the result that Google Home or Google Assistant read out when asked by voice, it’s incredibly important for voice search marketing.

The general rule for getting ‘Featured’ is have concise, engaging content that ranks well and answers a question within the copy. Yes, that can be difficult but nothing good comes easy and getting into Position Zero is just about the most valuable thing in search these days.

Summary

Voice search marketing is the next big thing for your business (for business in general) and starting today will give you a valuable jump on the competition. If you need help optimising your site and its content for voice search marketing. Get in touch with Keyk. today and one of our experts will talk you through how to get started.

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