As a small business owner, you are always looking for any advantage available that can help improve your presence in the local market.
Dominating Google Search is an important tactic that helps many small businesses achieve this goal. That’s because 45% of all Google searches are for local businesses and their services.
But attracting leads the traditional way from Google Search is competitive; only three results get featured in the “local snack-pack” plus ten regular results, of which only the top ones get clicks.
So with Google focusing on adding local search features to Google Assistant, local businesses cannot afford to ignore the Google Voice Search market trend that is quickly picking up pace.
As a result, more customers are using voice search; 22% of Google voice-search queries are for local businesses. This highlights the importance of your local business ranking higher.
Let’s look at Google Voice Search in more detail to understand what the buzz is all about and how your small business can benefit from it.
Google Voice Search enables people to search on Google by speaking into their devices. If you own Google Home or an Android, you may already be familiar with this technology.
It is a user-friendly feature added by Google to enable hands-free surfing and allows users to multitask.
Google first introduced Voice Search back in 2012 but only began expanding its functionality in more recent years.
Today, Google Voice Search truly makes life more convenient and has become a key part of the overall Google experience for a growing number of people.
Through your Google Home or on any electronic device where Google is set as the primary search engine, you will see a microphone icon on the right side of the Google search bar.
By saying “Ok Google” to your device, your potential customers can activate the Google Voice Search feature.
For instance, similar to the example from above, they could say “I need a plumber” and Google will initiate a conversation with them that could lead to a call to a nearby plumbing company.
That’s because when users initiate this conversation via Google Voice Search, they could be given a list of local plumbers with the option of calling them based on their plumbing issues.
The same list is also sent to the person’s inbox. In the list, some plumbers will have a green badge next to their company name, which means that they are “Google Guaranteed.”
This badge increases customer confidence in the local business and the potential customer is more likely to try these services.
So how do these lists and badges work, and how can your small business show up on them?
These lists and badges are generated from Google Local Services ads. So if you register for Local Services from Google, your business could start to get leads from Google Voice Search.
We live in a world where smart devices like Google Home, Alexa, Siri and others are widely used.
People increasingly use Google Voice Search to look for local services online, whether those services be for a plumber, a landscaper, an HVAC technician or more.
They no longer use smartphones only for calling and texting but to find local businesses and other details like a company’s location, their customer reviews, their operation hours and more.
In fact, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, about 65% of 25-49 year-olds speak to their voice-enabled devices at least daily. That’s a huge market for a lot of potential revenue!
Google Voice Search offers something for everyone. As a small business owner, you can capitalize on this opportunity to ensure those using Voice Search can find your local business.
Now that we know why your small business should focus on Google Voice Search, let’s look at how you can optimize your business, your website and your digital presence to win more sales!
Optimizing for Google Voice Search differs from optimizing for other types of online searches. This is because Voice Search works off of the natural language that humans use.
When speaking to instead of typing into their computers or devices, people are more likely to search using language that they would normally use in real-life conversation.
For instance, sticking with our plumbing example, a typed query might be “plumber on cordova street” while a similar query via Voice Search might be “who are the best plumbers near me?”
Therefore, it’s crucial to understand the user-intent and optimize your website, its content and your online profiles accordingly.
For example, answer FAQs for your customers, speak rhetorically in Q+As online with natural speech while using headers to organize your content and use keywords without overdoing it.
One of the very first things you should do when you start a business online is to claim or create your Google My Business profile.
Your profile is one of the most critical factors for your website’s local search ranking. By learning how to optimize for Google My Business local SEO, your online lead-gen rate will take off!
Using Google My Business is not only essential for driving traffic to your company website and increasing online engagement with your brand, but it’s necessary to collect Google reviews.
Plus, Google My Business is a prerequisite for leveraging Google Local Services, which we mentioned above since Local Service listings provide info for results on Google Voice Search.
When users use Voice Search, Google provides them with data like name, address, phone number, business category, operational hours and more.
All this key information is pulled from your Google My Business listing.
So after claiming your profile, add keyword-rich content to your listing. This will help your customers get valuable information about your business.
You can also consider adding high-definition pictures and writing posts to drive more engagement through your My Business listing for further exposure to potential customers.
Similar to a Google My Business listing, local directory listings can help your small business reach more customers.
This is because your customers use smart home devices like Alexa, Siri and Cortana for Google Voice Search, and these devices pull information from local directories like Yelp, BBB and more.
For your customers to find your business through these directories, you must ensure that your listings are updated correctly and have customer reviews.
The majority of online marketing strategies revolve around content and voice search is no exception.
That’s because content is what feeds so many algorithms for different types of mediums for potential customers to find your business.
Therefore it’s important to revamp existing content on your website and add information that your leads might look for through Google Voice Search.
To optimize your content, study your customers and their behavior. Then focus on adding conversational, long-tail keywords that provide answers to the questions users might have.
You can also add structured data markup for small businesses to your website. This will provide search engines with context about your services and improve results from Google Voice Search.
When it comes to Google Voice Search, more often than not the business with the most number of high-quality customer reviews shows up at the top of the lists.
The more reviews your business has, the more authority it will have on the search engines. Google reviews and other online reviews are a top ranking factor for Google Voice Search.
And while the number of reviews is important, the quality of your customer reviews matters too. With more five-star ratings, you increase the odds of your business being discovered online.
Make sure you learn how to get more reviews, inclusive of developing strategies for asking for reviews, using automation and providing amazing customer service to scale your business.
Reviews improve the visibility of your Google My Business, your website on Google Search and your Local Services ads, all helping your sales from Google Voice Search skyrocket!
The data and trends all point towards one thing: Google Voice Search is the future of lead generation for local service businesses.
If you’re a small business owner, Google Voice Search can help boost your sales, so make the most of the opportunity to ensure that your website is ready to rank for voice searches.
To help improve your positions from Google Voice Search and get more reviews, consider NiceJob’s reputation marketing software so you can take your business to new heights!