Many smartphone users have discovered the convenience of their built-in assistants while on the go, such as Siri, Google, and Bixby. Now, with the growth of devices such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and the new Apple HomePod, more users are utilizing their voice-activated assistants at home. Currently, 43% of people use voice-activated search at home and 36% are using it in their vehicle. This trend does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon as, by 2020, it is estimated that 50% of all searches will be through voice-activated assistants. As a business, you may be wondering how to ensure your business information is the one provided during such inquiries. Fortunately, if you are currently utilizing SEO best practices, you won’t need to make many changes, but reviewing your information can help your business be a top result.

In giving your business an online presence, you most likely thought about what keywords users would search that would be great to have on your site, allowing you to be found easily. Voice-activated assistant searches use this same idea, but rather than brief keyword searches, these are most likely done in a longer fashion using natural spoken language. Users are requesting to make phone calls, ask for directions, play a song, dictate text messages, add to their shopping list, and so much more. In order for your business to be found in a voice-activated search, it’s important to keep in mind a user’s intent when structuring your website and content. Would they be asking for your location, or maybe your store hours? Perhaps a user may be curious if you carry a specific brand or do a specific type of work. They may even be asking to simply call your business. Ultimately, your goal is to think about popular questions and preemptively provide the answers. If you aren’t sure what your customers may be looking for online to find you, our team can help provide research and data so any changes you may need to make to your site are as valuable as possible.

Another boost you can provide for your website to get ahead of the curve is utilizing schema markup. Basically, schema is known as markup language allowing webmasters and site owners to provide search engines with additional information about the information on the site, or, more simply, data about data. This allows you to better “describe” the data on your website, making it easier for Google to “understand”, resulting in a boost to your visibility in relevant searches. Even though this is one of the most powerful SEO practices, it is currently one of the most underutilized.

Fortunately, there are also several simple optimizations you can make to help users find you easier. Targeting and bidding on long-tail keywords will help match your site to the conversational phrases and questions users are providing. Approximately 70% of all search queries are via long-tail keywords, which are often significantly cheaper, yet provide better click-through rates than the shorter keyword counterparts. You will also want to ensure your Google My Business listing is up-to-date; your business is on Bing Places for Business and Apple Maps; and you are utilizing the Google AdWords’ Location Extensions and Google Maps Local Search Ads. Of course, you always want to be sure your website is mobile friendly and responsive to provide the best user experience.

Being prepared for the voice-activated searches is vital in staying ahead of your competition. As users continue to grow, the choices you make regarding the content of your website as well as the targeting you purchase become even more important. We understand that running your business takes a lot, and sometimes, keeping up with the ever-changing digital environment takes a backseat to other priorities. That’s why we continually research and watch for new trends, letting you know when we find a valuable resource that will work for you, not just running with a bandwagon idea. If you have more questions regarding voice-activated assistant searches, or are ready to take the next step in making it work for your business, contact us today!