While I have seen varying statistics on current voice searches, the projections are that voice search will be at 50% by the year 2020. Considering that it is 2019, you have less than a year to make sure that your website is fully optimized for voice search. The introduction of Siri in 2011 was more of a novelty than technology. While there have been some stumbles in the capabilities of voice search, especially in speech recognition, During the Google I/O keynote speech, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that 20% of all mobile searches through Google are now voice. By next year, the projections are that 50% of all searches will be voice searches.
Are you surprised? Don’t be. How many times do you say, “hey Siri,” or “hey, Google?” All sci-fi movies fiction depict characters speaking to computers. So you ever see them looking for a keyboard to type their search? While art imitates life, technology tends to imitate sci-fi. (Remember flip phones? On the original Star Trek, how much did they look like communicators?)
Some providers estimate these searches will mostly happen on devices without a screen. Think Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Smart speakers are all the rage and likely to be to become more popular as time goes on and continue to increase home automation. 52% of homes that have smart speakers have them in a common area, such as the living room. Remember the Jetsons? We’re almost there. Therefore, it is crucial that your website is fully optimized for voice search. Currently, only 4% of all websites are voice search optimized. Now is the time to attack. Get your website noticed before your competitors learn what you already know. By the time they optimize, you will have left them in the dust!
Your SEO provider becomes even more crucial. Local SEO becomes even more vital. Your provider needs to be well versed in local SEO. Optimization of long-tailed keywords is critical. The selection of long-tailed keywords is different than the long-tailed keywords you would use when you type. It’s only natural. If you’re doing a Google search, you are likely to type in “best local restaurants.” But, if you are doing a voice search, you are more likely to say, “what is the best local restaurant that has quiche?”
How many times do I have to tell you blogging is essential? It becomes even more critical in voice searches, as it gives you many more opportunities to have your keywords fit the user’s search. An SEO copywriter becomes even more essential. You want an absolute minimum of one original SEO blog post per month. But, the more, the better. Also, beware of companies that tell you to focus on 3 or 5 keywords. You should be focusing on 3 to 5 keywords, but those should be long-tailed keywords targeted on a single topic. Make sure you keep your blog conversational and make sure it answers questions that someone might naturally speak with trying to find you. What would you ask a friend? Hey, where can we go for the best pizza? (Ok, yes, I’m hungry.)
Local SEO and Local Reviews are Increasingly Important
So, how do you make sure you have plenty of positive reviews? I do always emphasize to my clients that the best way to build their business is to have excellent customer service. You can have signs posted in your restaurant and on your website and social media to leave a review, please. But if you haven’t given excellent customer service, that review isn’t likely to be positive. Many try to use “reputation management” software that allows the company to see the review before your customer posts it. I think I once saw one work correctly. However, the reality is you can’t beat sound business tactics. Word of mouth referrals has always been important. Now, your word of mouth is the internet and review sites. Customers post reviews for all to see. It’s more important than ever to take care of your customers. Don’t get upset by one or two bad reviews. Everyone has clients that are impossible to satisfy. The important part is that the vast majority of your reviews are positive and that you positively respond to negative reviews so future potential customers can see that you care.
What can I do to ensure I am voice search ready?
Make sure you are using an SEO provider that keeps up to date on all trends. Algorithms change constantly, and you want to use an agency that knows the current algorithms. Make sure you are using blogs. An SEO copywriter becomes even more critical. Don’t skimp. At a very minimum you should have a website optimized for voice search and a blog no less than once a month. The more frequent you have an SEO blog, the more searches you where you will show up. Also, make sure you claim your on Google, Yelp, and other local sites
It’s essential you use a digital marketing agency continues their education and follows the latest trends. Here at Christy’s Marketing Solutions, we realize digital marketing is ever changing. All our experts have years of experience, and all continue their education to make sure to keep current on best marketing practices. Don’t get left behind. Call Christy’s Marketing Solutions, today!