Have you found yourself talking to your phone or other devices around the home yet? Has “Hey Siri” become an instinctual phrase you find yourself repeating when you’re looking for a piece of information?
Chances are you're not alone. As voice assistant devices and services have been introduced and have become more widespread, they’re quickly becoming one of the go-to methods of any type of web search.
There are specific type of searches that are usually common. The 2017 Internet Trends Report recorded that nearly one quarter of voice search users are searching for local content and businesses. Meaning they are looking results like the best taco truck near them or the nearest car wash to their physical location.
So how can you make sure that you’re correctly positioned for each type of platform? First, let’s take a look at what makes each one tick.
As one of the most recognized voice search services, Apple’s Siri is a great example of how the platform can best be demonstrated.
However, as an Apple product, Siri does have one priority in making their device more functional. Siri is fantastic at assisting you in making a hands-free phone call or finding a specific song on your playlist, but it often prioritizes this over search results.
It can find quick facts from Wikipedia or tell you a charming joke, but without deep integration into a web search engine, results can sometimes be frustrating.
One of the largest differences with Amazon’s Echo are the availability of third party “Skills.” Skills are voice-enabled apps that developers can write and submit through Amazon for availability on Echo-enabled devices.
Chances are that your local TV news station has one available that will read you the local headlines. There’s also one that we’re big fans of that will let you play Jeopardy with your Alexa. Thousands of these Skills are available, and the list of them that make the Echo even smarter and more useful are growing every day.
If you’re a larger company with some sort of entertainment or information aspect, getting in front of your customers with a Skill may be the way to go. If you’re a business that’s more based on getting customers in the door, some of the other mobile-focused voice services are likely more worth your attention.
Google’s voice service comes equipped with the same secret weapon as Siri. If you have an Android device, it’s already installed and ready for you to use.
While Siri does offer a few hoops to jump through, most Android devices comes with Google already ready to talk with. If your device is currently enabled, you can just say “OK Google” within earshot and it’s ready to go. The other part of the secret weapon is that Google Now already has the power of Google behind it, keeping current and accurate with the same data that displays on normal web searches.
With this in mind, Google’s service does serve as one of the most powerful, even if it isn’t as popular as Apple’s Siri. Factoring in what works well for Google’s voice searches also proves valuable in increasing your visibility on traditional Google searches as well.
Optimizing Your Presence on Voice Search Results
So how can you ensure that you’re being listed correctly and have the best shot at one of these voice search tools recommending you? A large part of that is making sure that you own your presence online.
Making sure that you have control of your business listing on Google is a crucial step. Google offers extensive tools within their My Business tools. Claiming and optimizing the information within these tools are critically important to not only voice search results, but all others as well. Factoring in your business to many other hubs of information keeping tabs on businesses is also a big part of making sure that voice services can find the right information that they need.
An optimized keyword strategy is also a huge part of tailoring your results for voice search as well. Since many voice queries and results are conversational in nature, utilizing “long-tail” phrases can be a huge part of this optimization. Mimicking how people actually talk instead of how they type is a great way of making sure that you’re getting the results they need to them.
If it does seem like a lot of work, you’re not entirely wrong. Optimizing for different platforms and search methods does take the right strategy. Thankfully, that’s where our team at WebDetail comes in to help. We’ve been working with many clients optimizing their businesses local presence online. If you’re ready to make sure you’re optimized for all local platforms, we’d love to talk.