How voice search can dramatically increase website traffic!

OK Google: Find Poke near me!

Remember back in the day when a cell phone was just a phone? Or even remember the joy of doing a search with your fingers on your phone in Google for the thing or service you are looking for? Now things have changed. Smart phones are well… Getting smarter! Smart phones are so good now that they are basically just like.. No it’s exactly like having a personal computer in your hands! Super exciting right?  Now things are even better as there is a new better way to search then using your fingers and hands and hoping you spell the item you are looking for correctly. What is that you say? YES it’s VOICE SEARCH!

Voice search didn’t start as search it was just a way to ask Google Assistant or Siri questions and see if they would answer them. Siri tell me a joke. Or what is the distance from Honolulu to Waianae? Now it’s a full featured way to find what service or product you are looking for.

The easiest way to explain it is just click a button or say a certain phrase and Google or Siri or Alexa will find it!. Techcrunch reports that 1 in 6 people have a smart speaker in their homes like Amazon’s Echo. Branded3 reports that 40% of all adults use at least one voice search daily! I just did a voice search today looking for help with getting my watch band fixed. I did a search on my Google Pixel and it went something like this: Ok GOOGLE: Find a watch repair place near me? Found one in Waikele and they didn’t even charge me for the fix!  Now I bet your next question is how does this help me and my business?

How Google and Bing work

In the past you used to have to understand the keywords that Google my have stored to find the correct item you are looking for. Try finding Poke Bowls 5 years ago and it would think you were trying to poke someone with a bowl! Now it’s getting much better and SUPER local!

Now you can include normal long tail or long phrase keywords on your website in hopes that someone will be doing a search for that particular thing and or service and Google will recognize it.

Customer First

The super cool thing is that voice search is just like having a conversation. Content that is written not only for Google to find and be relevant but also that makes sense for your clients. But with that in mind make sure that your content matches your client not just Google. Make sure that when talking about technical services that you are speaking in plain English that someone that isn’t experienced will be able to understand.

A few simple examples are what are your store hours and what kinds of services do you provide.

I see this all the time. Someone calls me with a problem on their website and they are not getting found on Google. The number one reason is that they don’t have their website structured correctly. For example the biggest text on your website page should be what the content of that page is about.

Mobile Friendly

Now the important part is making sure that when someone does do a voice search that your website is mobile friendly or also known as mobile responsive. That means that it’s easy to navigate your website on your mobile device.

The next key is that your business name should be easy to understand and even better if its super easy to spell. If you would like to see if your website is mobile-friendly check out the Google mobile friendly tester.  If you pass great! If not please see our page on Responsive Web Design.

Local Optimized Citation Website Review

With local businesses voice search finds those businesses when someone asks a question, so its very important to have all of your local directories optimized which is the key to showing up in the Google map pack at the top of a search listing.  Don’t forget to think like any of your customers and what questions the may ask. For example questions like where is the best Korean BBQ restaurant near me will be asked, so the voice search will act like its own search engine to find what they are looking for. If you are a roofing contractor you may want to prioritize doing SEO on insurance mitigation. Or if you are a poke stop you might want to focus on Ahi Poke?

Another thing to keep in mind is review sites like Yelp! and or Alexa. Now I know that some people are deathly afraid of getting a bad review and I get it but having that listing on either of those sites can be a game changer. For example if you are in a very competitive market it may be easier to rank high on Google then try and compete with the big boys on Google Search.  Yelp is also a very important citation website to consider.

Wow! Voice search is only getting started and I estimate that by 2020 it will be the normal way that people will be doing most of their searches. Making sure that your website is first mobile ready and then also voice search compatible will make all the difference to compete with your competitors in Honolulu Hawaii and all of the outer islands.

If you are looking to see where you stack up on your local citation and or voice search please see our Local SEO Audit Tool.