localize & vocalize: voice search for small businesses

amazon had it’s “best christmas ever” thanks to “tens of millions” of alexa-enabled devices, from the firestick to the dot, sold.  beyond the fun of “hey alexa”-ing (or “OK Google”-ing), voice search has significant implications for small businesses, in particular.

the mass adoption of voice search devices across family homes means that desktop has been effectively shoved even further down the chain of preference and use for the average american family.  for small businesses, it means that mobile optimization and voice optimization need to go hand in hand.  simply ranking for terms on desktop and then a few on mobile just won’t cut it anymore.

the good news is twofold. first, put simply: no one is optimizing for this yet, not even many of the the big guys.  if you start now, you can be one of the early adopters, and reap all the benefits that you may have missed during the desktop and mobile days.  second: voice searches are local searches in detail.  people are asking what time a hardware store opens, or what’s the closest dry cleaner, or whether or not a restaurant has gluten free options.  the big guys, who sit cheek-by-jowl with you in the mobile SERP, don’t have these answers.  you do.  key best practices to take advantage of this include:

  • know what your customers are searching for: mining yelp, foursquare, facebook, instagram, and google can help you understand what your customers are asking for from you – and businesses that look like you.
  • think about how your customers speak: what kinds of questions do you get on the phone?  voice searches are conversational queries, mimicking how you customers talk more than how they type into a search bar.
  • create content that speaks to your consumers needs: once you’ve understood where your customers queries are, create content that answers that.  offer vegetarian options at your restaurant? put up a page touting that.  are you open earlier than other hardware stores?  yep, time to talk about that. are you the closest delivery place to a new condo development with lots of young families?  get a page up about it.

voice search is primed and ready for small business success. if you’re ready to take advantage of this, contact us and we’ll help you plan how to get ahead of this trend for 2018.


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