Voice search: how can businesses monetize voice search results
Voice search is one of the most controversial and talked about issues confronting businesses today.
Although nearly 72% of smartphone owners are using digital assistants, according to Microsoft, very few companies understand what it is to become “voice search-prepared” and whether there is any actual cost-effectiveness in this regard to begin with.
Recognizing the potential of smart assistants, especially when it comes to sales, companies should respond quickly to any news of this communication “channel” in order to optimize their online presence.
However, as practice shows, many consumer-focused businesses are not ready not only for the voice “revolution”, but are not even optimized for local search.
What does voice search readiness mean?
According to Uberall’s “Voice Search Readiness Report” where 73,000 locations of various businesses were analyzed, only 4% of locations are voice search ready.
About half of all the locations studied contain inaccuracies in the company’s information – and this is one of the biggest problems for users who are searching locally today and perhaps going to visit the office or store thereafter.
By the way, 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information within the last year. Moreover, local business search is one of the three most popular voice queries (accounting for 47%, according to Microsoft).
However, voice engagement presents a challenge for online marketers.
Today, when a user says a command like, “OK Google/Hey Siri/”, the search engine returns only one result at a time. Thus, unlike local and organic search results, only one business can win.
So, if you want to be at the top, get ready for the voice “revolution” today: optimize the site for queries “near me” and work with your company’s locations on the web.
How to optimize business locations for voice search?
Brick-and-mortar organizations can get improbable benefits just by submitting business information to the maps, company directories and other sources working with local search. It is extremely important today when a search engine can interpret queries like “the nearest laptop repair” and provide the results on the map according to the user’s location.
So, here’s a checklist of recommendations:
1. Check the accuracy of your company’s information on the maps and other relevant sources.
A thorough brand audit will help benchmark your brand’s online visibility so that you can examine whether there are inconsistencies or missing information and make any improvements if required.
If a company has numerous branches (like retail, banks, HoReCa, police and post offices, etc.) it can be very laborious and time-consuming to go through each source manually to look for data discrepancies. Professional services offer free brand audits to help businesses get a better understanding of how their locations are performing online to answer users’ voice requests.
2. Integrate all of your locations on online maps and other sources working with local search. And optimize them.
– Fill in NAPWCHD information about each branch/point of sale of the company (addresses, phone numbers, business hours, other attributes). In brief, provide maximum information, photos, additional attributes, and answers to FAQ.
– Select the correct business category (main and additional).
– Work with reviews: if there are a lot of unanswered questions and negative comments without feedback in the company’s listing, the business can lose potential clients. Stimulate customers to write comments, answer their questions and show an interest in solving conflicts and disputes. This will help you not only encourage users to click but will also rank you higher.
– Create Google Posts, as they can help you rank higher on generic local searches: this happens by means of behavioral “signals”, improving the click-through rate.
3. Claim your listings by submitting data to the business directories, company catalogs, social networks, review sites, etc.
Citation signals are perceived by the search engine positively. Moreover, it is one of the most important local search ranking factors.
The company’s information should be detailed and accurate with no mistakes.
Also, location management refers to the updating of the listings, monitoring if the information is correct, rejecting attempts to change it, and using local SEO to rank higher on local searches.
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If your business aim is to be the first responding to thousands of users’ voice requests and to convert search traffic into foot traffic, take into account the insights above. This will help you lead customers directly “from the search”.
By creating and maintaining accurate data across maps, social networks and other directories, Google and other search engines will be able to understand how well-known and reliable your business is and therefore rank it higher in voice search.
The surest way to optimize all of your business locations is by turning to a listing management service that helps to create location-based business accounts and make them stand out. Tools and opportunities provided by professional software will make local marketing simple, and your digital presence in the era of voice search – efficient.
Bio: Alena Selivanova – an expert of online-presence management in RocketData.io