“Siri, what is the difference between whiskey and bourbon?”
Voice activated personal assistants are no longer a Tony Stark-esque dream. Currently, 1 in 4 Google searches are done through virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri. Everywhere you look, people are talking to their mobile devices: Android users have Google Now, Windows phone users have Cortana, Samsung users have Viv, and users of Amazon Echo have Alexa.
How does this rapid rise in voice searches mean for SEO? Here are marketer’s best predictions for businesses looking to stay ahead of the growing trend:
Your online listings will become even more important.
When people use voice search to find nearby businesses, virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa pull top business listings automatically from sites like Yelp, Google Maps or Yellow Pages. The more “noise” on your website, like inaccurate information or broken links, the more difficult it will be for an assistant to rapidly find you during a voice search. Make sure your business listings are correct to ensure that people can find your business through voice search. Use a service like citation management to find and claim your business listings across hundreds of online maps, apps, directories, GPS devices, social networks and search engines.
How you prioritize keywords will matter even more.
Conversational phrasing is key to show up in voice searches. Think “Alexa: find boat storage near Table Rock Lake” or “Siri, show me boat storage in Branson, Missouri.” Your website’s keyword prioritization affects how your business shows up in voice searches. Make sure your website’s content uses simple, conversational phrasing to help virtual assistants quickly scan the web for your site.
Pay-per-click ads and broad match (which helps match searches for “self storage” with listings for “self storage”, and so on) will also continue to affect what shows up in voice search. Paid search campaigns allow you to find out how many people are using voice search to find your business, and figure out what they’re searching for. You can use these analytics to figure out which keywords are essential to your business to boost SEO for voice search.
Answering simple questions will boost voice search SEO.
Currently, assistant services like Alexa and Siri can only answer simple questions or inquiries. For example, “Okay, Google, compare self storage prices in Kansas City” is a much more sophisticated voice search than, “Alexa, where is the cheapest self storage in Kansas City?” Eventually virtual assistants will be able to solve these more complex questions, but we’re not there yet.
What can you can do to help virtual assistants find you and boost your SEO? Answer simple questions (like what cities or landmarks you’re located near) on your FAQs or home page using conversational language. Make sure all of your information is up to date around the web. Over time, this technology will continue to get smarter and be able to better distinguish amongst search queries.
About Jana Haecherl
Jana is a marketing content writer living in Kansas City. A graduate of South Dakota State University with a degree in psychology and business, Jana enjoys bringing technology, web marketing and industry news and tips to self storage owners and managers.