“Alexa, order paper towels.”

“Hey Google, what’s the best Mexican restaurant near me?”

“Siri, who can do an emergency AC unit repair?!”

Once a technology only imagined in sci-fi, voice activated assistants are quickly growing in popularity. Companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple are continually developing the capabilities of the AI software behind them as people increasingly make them a part of their daily lives.

Voice assistant technology as we know it has been around since the early 2010’s. It started as a feature on smartphones and shortly after that in-home smart speakers were introduced. Smart speaker ownership has grown from 7% of the US population in 2017 to 33% in 2021. Consumers are using them for more than just listening to music these days. According to eMarketer, an estimated 73% of smart speaker owners used their devices for inquiries and 40% used it to shop.

Although the technology is fairly new and not exactly widely used yet, it is rapidly evolving. Innovative businesses will stay in front of this trend allowing them to capitalize on a solid foundation in the future. Here we will take a look at what voice search is, strategies for appearing in the results, and what industries will benefit from voice search optimization.

Hey Siri, what is voice search?

Voice search is when a user speaks a command or question to a smartphone or smart speaker, rather than typing it out. To put it simply, the device transcribes the speech into text, analyzes it, searches for relevant information on the internet, and then translates it to fulfill the request.

Both Google and Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, pull their information from Google searches. Alexa, Amazon’s version, pulls search results from Bing as well as other sources like Wikipedia and IMBD.

How can my business appear in the results?

There isn’t a one-size-fits all implementation that automatically ensures a business will be in the results of a voice search. Just like with regular search engine optimization, many strategies need to be executed. However there are a few key things a business can do to give themselves a better chance of appearing.

Up-To-Date Directory and Review Listings

The first, which is a best practice for an effective online presence, is to make sure accurate business information is synced to relevant review and directory sites.

Search Engine Optimization

It is also necessary to implement traditional SEO tactics so that the business appears high on a search results page regardless of how the search is done. People speak differently than they type so long-tail keywords will need to be used in addition to one-word keywords.

Website Optimization

Finally, the business’s website needs to be optimized for voice search. This is done through content that is simple and succinctly answers the question posed. A website will also need a unique backend code that enables the voice assistant to easily translate the information on its pages.

What industries need to optimize for voice search?

Any business that has ecommerce on their site can benefit from being easily found using voice search. The number of people shopping with voice commands may be limited now but it is steadily rising.

Quick service restaurants and/or businesses that offer a specific service or product such as bars, pet services, home repair, chiropractors, retailers, and the like who are found in high competitive geographies, are all examples of brands that could be searched for using a voice command.

Any business that has significant competition in their local area will do well to get in front of this trend in order to stand out.

Ready to make voice search optimizations? Or maybe you’re just now realizing the importance of review and directory listings. Either way our experienced team of experts at Amplified Digital is ready to guide you on next steps. Reach out today!