Have you ever tried to search for your business or service by voice or using a virtual assistant? If your competitors are appearing above you at the top of those searches, you probably haven’t optimized your business listings for voice search. Google has already indicated that voice is the fastest growing form of search, and is investing heavily in it. Also, according to this survey, 58% of U.S. consumers have done a local business search by voice on a smartphone. More than half of your customers are already searching for you by voice, so what are you waiting for?

How to rank for voice search?

When it comes to optimizing for voice search, there are many different strategies you can use to boost your ranking. You can focus on long-tail, conversational keywords, or try to organize your content in an easy to read list format to rank for featured snippets. You could also optimize your structured data so that the search engines better understand your content. But, if you are a small business, this may seem a little daunting. One of the most attainable ways to rank for voice searches is to optimize your local listings. 

The chart below shows all of the options for where your results could be pulling in from a voice search. Depending on the device the search is performed on, the results are going to pull from a number of different sources. This goes to show how important it is to ensure your local listings are up to date across all of these platforms. 

So before you go implementing a whole new content strategy, or get too far into the weeds with technical SEO, ensure that all of your listings on Google my Business, Apple Maps, Yelp, and Bing Places for Business are accurate. Haven’t created accounts for those platforms yet? Go ahead and claim your listings so you can take full control of how your business appears online. The most important items to update across platforms are:

  • Business hours
  • Phone numbers 
  • Address
  • Website
  • Photos (keep them fresh!)
  • Respond to reviews (both positive and negative)

You can also get dinged if this information does match up across these platforms, ie. you changed the phone number on your website but Yelp still has your old number, so make sure you are aligned!

voice-search-matrix

*This chart is subject to change