So, you’re a small business looking to optimize voice search strategy. While we think this is a smart move, there is an overwhelming amount of information out there. Voice search itself is a technology that allows users to conduct an Internet search by simply asking a question out loud to a device and then instantly hearing an answer. The global market for voice search is continuously growing and has a projected worth of $30 billion by 2024. It is important to know that, while probably the most popular, Alexa is not the most powerful of all the voice search tools. The voice search market is not just the Amazon and Google devices in your home, but rather, it encompasses everything from phones to tablets to gaming consoles to cars to smart televisions and more. Even so, Apple’s Siri actually controls about 50% of the market, with Google’s Assistant around 30%, Amazon’s Alexa at less than 15% and Microsoft’s Cortana trailing behind. Of these brands, the most purchased devices were the Google Home, Amazon Echo, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, iPhone, Android Phone, Microsoft Cortana.
One of the biggest things to know is where each of these devices is pulling their information from.
- Apple pulls things like business data, reviews and photos from Apple Maps, Yelp, TripAdvisor and a few others.
- Google gets everything like basic business information, reviews, photos, etc. from Google My Business. A recent study showed that Google Home is the most accurate of all devices, answering 81% of queries correctly.
- Amazon pulls a lot of business data from Yelp and recently signed a deal with Yext, a business listings platform, that states that Yext will now submit business data directly to Amazon. If you are not yet listed on Yext, it is important that you do so.
- Microsoft collects business information from Bing but gets reviews and photos from Yelp and other sources.
But what does all this really mean in terms of optimizing voice search for your local business? The best way to optimize voice search for your local business is to enhance your normal desktop or mobile search strategy. You do this by optimizing your listings in Google My Business, Apple Maps, Yelp, Bing, Yext, etc., especially if you are not even listed on one of these. Take control of how your business is being displayed in the sources that these devices are constantly pulling information from. Optimizing through all of these is what impacts Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant and Cortana and how they respond to prompts based on your geographic location to the user. For example, if a user asks about plant nurseries in Houston, TX, the voice device will answer with a list of the top-rated ones within that user’s zip code or current address, the same as if that user were to physically type this into a search engine. How do you get your local nursery on that list? By monitoring your ratings and reviews online, keeping your business address and description up-to-date and making sure you have a listing in each platform that information is being collected from.
All in all, the first step to take when trying to optimize your voice search is to make sure you are currently being seen by those conducting a desktop or mobile search. From there, you can make efforts to claim and optimize how your business is being seen by the sources that voice devices pull information from. Contact Vista14 today to get started on a voice search strategy for your local business!