The world of SEO moves fast and as a local business owner, you must keep up with the latest trends to stand out in a competitive marketplace like Houston, TX. In this article we will be covering how voice search effects local search optimization.
At ProEngage Local, we love being on top of the latest SEO trends, and one we’re keeping a close track of is voice search. There are three things we’re noticing about voice search: it’s becoming faster and more accurate, more people are buying voice-activated devices, and the number of voice search queries is on the rise. In fact, one out of every 5 mobile search queries is a voice search, while it’s three times more likely that those searches are being used for local-based queries.
For local business websites, a lot of their traffic could be coming from voice search. So, how do you adapt your local search optimization strategy to this new search preference?
There’s a basic difference between how people type to search and talk to search. They aren’t just typing into a Google search bar anymore. They are also interacting with their smartphones and virtual home assistants. As a result, instead of typing keywords like ‘best restaurant in Houston’, people are asking their devices, ‘Where can I find the best steak in Houston?’ They’re adding more detail and nuance into their queries. It’s a lot more like a real human conversation.
That’s why it’s so important to focus on long-tail keywords. The average voice search is typically longer than traditional searches. Therefore, long-tailed keywords are more like questions that your customers could be asking while searching for a product or service. What are those questions? Doing some research on social media and review sites can help you figure that out. Use those questions to create a FAQ page to be put up on your website.
With most voice searches happening on mobile devices, your local search optimization strategy needs to be mobile-friendly too. Optimizing your website for mobile devices will not only improve customer experience but will also help you leverage voice search results. Consequently, without a mobile-friendly website, your SEO efforts will go to waste. If you haven’t already optimized your website to a mobile responsive design, it’s the first thing you need to do.
Consumers using voice search are often looking for a product or service near them. Therefore, it’s beneficial to integrate local keywords related to your area. Relevant Content such as fun-facts about your city or neighborhood can boost user engagement and increase conversion rates.
You can improve your business’s local ranking by adding and verifying your company to local business listings. Simple ways to increase your SEO visibility:
- Verify and update your Google My Business listing
- Have accurate and consistent business name, address, and phone number across the web
- Increase your positive online reviews
For more relevant search engine results, it’s imperative your website content revolves around user intent and contextual relevancy.
Show Up in the Answer Box
What is an Answer Box? It’s a featured snippet that appears at the top of a Google Search. In other words, it’s the new #1 spot on the SERPs.
So, what does it take for a website to get featured in the direct answer box? The overall strategy should include:
- Content that provides useful, accurate, and relevant information
- High quality links from authoritative sites
- Mobile optimization
- Great website user experience
Local Search Optimization Conclusions
These are basically the same things you need for ranking well on SERPs. Fortunately, if your local search optimization strategy is on the right track, it will get you in Google’s answer box too. With more and more users turning to voice search, you need to adapt your SEO plans sooner rather than later. The SEO strategies and best practices discussed above are a great place to start.