Location Marketing

Voice search: A guide to improve your Local SEO

Voice search is incredibly easy to use; therefore, it is becoming increasingly popular among internet searches.

Any company today should put effort into voice search and standard search. This is to ensure that customers nearby find their business through a quick search online and can easily access business information, whether it's on mobile, desktop, or smart speakers.

What is voice search?

Voice search is an internet search triggered by speech. Voice search allows you to get answers to questions like "What are some good seafood restaurants near me" or "How to cook spaghetti with meatballs," or "Is the city library in Oslo open today?"

When you ask your device a question, it goes through the internet and tries to look for the best and most appropriate and accurate answer for your questions.

The biggest difference between a normal search and a voice search is how keywords appear. Regular searches on Google are usually characterized by short keywords, such as "lunch spot near me," while voice search uses a much more natural way of speaking.

More and more people are today using voice search to get answers to their questions. This makes voice search a marketing trend that you simply cannot ignore if you intend to reach the local customers in your area. Every business should optimize itself, so people find them online. There are four major voice assistants. These are Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana.

The three types of local voice searches

Voice searches can be divided into discovery, direct, and knowledge searches.

A discovery voice search is when someone is looking for a specific type of business, for example, "What are the best restaurants near me" or "Find a car repair shop in South Carolina." A direct search is when someone is looking for specific information about a local business. This is, for example, "What are the opening hours for Tims Cafe in Toronto today." On the other hand, knowledge searches do not have to have local intent. Still, a local business can provide information that can answer the question.

Discovery searches are crucial for finding new customers. However, direct searches are often more important due to the consumer's intent and willingness to interact with the business at that very moment. Knowledge searches can be harder to capture but often result in customers reaching out to you for information on a specific topic.

The most common devices people use to conduct voice search:

  • Mobile phone
  • Tablets
  • Home voice assistants
  • Smartwatches
  • Computer

Claim and optimize your business listings

Currently, the market share for virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant is relatively evenly distributed. This means that you should be optimizing your local business listings for all of the virtual assistants.

Google Business is the number one source for local business results in Google Assistant. On Apple Siri, local business information results from the Apple Maps Connect, while Bing Places are powered by the local search results for Microsoft Cortana.

Optimize voice search for Google Assistant

Google Assistant collects all the local business data from Google Business. This includes reviews and photos. Optimizing for Google Assistant doesn't differ from optimizing for Google Search or Maps.

Download our guide to learn how to optimize your claim and optimize your Google Business Profile

Optimize voice search for Apple Siri

Apple has a significant market share for voice search today. Apple Siri gets all its local business data from Apple Maps Connect, which also provides local business data for Apple Maps. Sign into Apple Maps Connect with your Apple ID, claim your business listing and include all relevant information. Apple pulls all the reviews and photos from Yelp, so make sure to claim and build up your Yelp profile.

Optimize voice search for Cortana

All Microsoft products have Cortana included in their systems. Cortana collects all business information from Bing Places. Claim and update your Bing Places profile to appear in voice search on Microsoft devices. However, Cortana also collects information, such as reviews and photos from Yelp and Tripadvisor, so make sure to claim those profiles too.

Once you've claimed and optimized your local business listings, you'll be in a great position to show up in local voice search queries.

Sign up to Mobal for free and start managing your business listings today!

Get our latest guide

Download our guide to learn how to optimize your Google Business Profile.

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