By 2020, there will be 200 billion voice search queries per month, and more than half of searches will come from voice and image search. Sixty percent of people surveyed say they used a voice assistant or voice search within the past 12 months. If you want to stay ahead of the curve and reach people on the devices they use, you have to learn about VEO (voice engine optimization).
Leveraging this technology can help you get found by more potential customers searching for your type of product or service. Brands are beginning to take advantage of the voice search trend. You can order an iced grande caramel macchiato from Starbucks and book a ride from Uber via Alexa. Help potential customers find your business on voice search with the following four strategies.
CREATE ALEXA SKILLS
AND FLASH BRIEFINGS
Alexa Skills can allow potential customers to connect with your business. You can create an Alexa Skill to help others book an appointment, request a consultation, order your product or service or call your business. Flash Briefings are updates about your company. Examples of these include the introduction of a new employee, product or service, specials, promotions, partnerships and event announcements among other options. Promote your Alexa Skill or Flash Briefing in your newsletters, social media posts and in your physical location if you have one.
MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS MOBILE-FRIENDLY
If someone is using Alexa to search for your type of product or service, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Customers are usually near their mobile devices throughout the day. Run your website through Google’s mobile-friendly test to determine if you’re making a positive first impression on mobile visitors. In 2018, 52.2 percent of global internet traffic to websites happens on mobile phones. Therefore, your website’s mobile-friendliness will impact every person who researches your brand and visits your site.
COMPLETE AND OPTIMIZE YOUR ONLINE LISTINGS
Alexa often pulls information from online listings like Facebook, Google My Business and Yelp to answer its users’ questions. Fill out your business hours and company description in those listings. Encouraging customers to leave a review of your business if they had a positive experience can also help as recent reviews improve the credibility of your listing. Updating your work hours to reflect the changes in season and holidays can keep your customers informed.
Here’s a tip for people with a Google My Business listing. Post to your listing twice per day. In the same way you post to your social media accounts, publish content to your Google My Business account. It’s an underutilized feature that can get you found more on Google, as the search engine states “businesses with recent photos (aka posts) receive more clicks to their websites.”
HAVE A FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS PAGE
USING STRUCTURED DATA FOR VOICE SEARCH ON YOUR WEBSITE
Structured data is information that is easily understood by the robots or algorithms inside Alexa, Facebook, Google and other software. Publish your frequently asked questions on your website using structured data so Alexa can comprehend and read your answers back to others. For example, if someone asks “does this orthodontist offer Invisalign?” Alexa can respond, “Yes, [the business] offers Invisalign.” Other questions you can answer if they apply to your business include: where is the business located?; and does the business offer a free consultation? Since most people use voice assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Home to answer quick questions, anticipate what those inquiries will be and answer them.
The world’s largest tech companies, Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook, have made it their mission to get voice assistants into your home. They’re succeeding, with more people becoming comfortable by seeking guidance from voice assistants. When customers go to their voice assistants with questions about your business, make sure you have the answers.
Michael Guberti is the founder of Michael Guberti’s Digital Marketing Services, a full-service digital marketing agency. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.