Virtual assistants and smart speakers have moved from a fad to the mainstream. The average American adult spends more than 10 hours a day interacting with digital media. They spend approximately half of that time using a mobile device. An increasing number of people use voice search on their devices to find the products and services they need instead of typing text to search.

As a local business owner, you know that consumers need to be able to find you. This change means you must update your content to match the user intent to appear in the search results. Is your business ready?


What Is Voice Search?

Not too long ago, portable computers, wireless telephones and voice activation only lived in a world of science fiction. Today, tablets and smartphones are common. Voice recognition technology enables users to speak into their devices to carry out internet searches and perform a range of other tasks. It is rapidly becoming more sophisticated in its understanding of a user’s intent. The results provided are more accurate than they were a few years ago.


How Do Consumers Use Voice Search?

Verbal searches dramatically alter how consumers interact with businesses. Understanding how people use voice is vital to ensuring new and potential customers can find you using voice technology.

  • More than 25% of consumers call the businesses they find using voice search
  • Verbal queries are typically longer than text searches
  • Question words such as “how” and “when” begin nearly 20% of inquiries
  • More than 40% of consumers who use voice-enabled devices use them when shopping
  • Of the consumers who shop via voice, over half use it to research products before purchasing
  • Shoppers often sign up for promotions, sales and deals from brands they interact with via voice

By being available virtually any time and anywhere, voice assistance shapes consumer behavior. Consumers no longer need a screen to find the information they need.


Why Should Businesses be Voice-Ready?

Voice searches are faster than text and offer “the best” answers for immediate gratification. Integrated artificial intelligence addresses the user’s intent, personalizing the results. Millions of voice and text searches occur daily. Businesses without a marketing strategy are leaving money on the table and giving their competition the sales.

Phone books have gone the way of the dinosaur and manual typewriter. Phones are similar. Consumers use them less to talk on and more for shopping and research. Smartphones are as useful for browsing as desktop computers, and they are convenient. If you want customers to find you, optimizing for mobile is essential. Voice improves the search engine user experience. Therefore, web content optimized for mobile users could help your site be among the first a digital personal assistant suggests.


How Does Voice Change SEO Strategies?

Voice and text searches are very different. Instead of a keyword or phrase, voice uses conversational language. For example, consumers may type “best restaurants NYC.” However, when speaking, they may ask, “What are the best restaurants in New York City?” If your site doesn’t have natural sounding content that matches the search language, consumers won’t find you. Having the answers to the questions people are asking is also critical.

Answering questions accurately and quickly is key for ranking. Google displays the best answer to a searchers query in featured snippets. Achieving this spot typically attracts more traffic and better visibility. When selected for this coveted spot, searchers may see your site as the authority. If Google features snippets from your content enough, it provides increased organic promotional opportunities for your business.


How Can You Optimize for Verbal Searches?

You can leverage the power of voice by taking a few simple steps to update your brand’s presence online. First, start by conducting an online search for your business. Make sure key information is correct:

  • Company name
  • Street, city address
  • Phone number
  • Contact details
  • Open hours


Is Your Website Content Current?

Confirm that all online directories that display your company have the correct information and make changes to those that do not. Next, audit your business website for accuracy:

  • Correct typos
  • Update content regarding the products and services
  • Remove information that is no longer correct
  • Add new material

Voice searchers don’t issue commands. They have conversations with their digital personal assistant device. Add content to your site to reflect natural speech provides a better opportunity for search engines to find it.


Does Your Site Include Long-Tail Keywords?

Long-tail keywords are three- and four-word phrases. They are highly specific to your products and services. Websites that contain these often rank better with the search engines than single or double keywords. Content that uses question phrases and provides concise answers is user-friendly. When using particular phrases, consider why consumers use these terms. This provides clues to their intent, enabling to answer other, similar questions.

Searchers want answers immediately. Optimizing your site for mobile can ensure it delivers content quickly. Boostability has the tools you need to increase visibility and improve the results of your digital marketing efforts. Contact us online for a free website analysis or call (877) 679-5049 to learn more.



Kristine is the Director of Marketing at Boostability. She brings a decade's worth of communications strategy work to the company. Kristine has a Masters Degree in Leadership and Communications from Gonzaga University and graduated from BYU with her undergrad in Broadcast Journalism. She's worked in television news, public relations, communications strategy, and marketing for over 10 years. In addition to being a part of the marketing team, Kristine enjoys traveling, sports, and all things nerdy.