Local voice search

How to Optimize for Local Voice Search on Alexa, Siri, Google, and Cortana

Today, walking down the street, you see people using their smartphones to access information about the weather, the latest sports scores, and local businesses. They want to know the hours of operation, what products are offered, the menu, your location, and more. The variety of questions is endless. Take your business a step further and optimize for local voice search; you could take advantage of opportunities to connect with your customers that could be missed without it. 

According to a study in 2018, 58% of consumers used voice search in the last 12 months, and 46% of local voice search users have accessed it daily. In the last four years, these percentages have only grown. 

Types of Local Voice Searches

Typically, three types of searches come into play when someone does a local voice search. 

The first is a direct search, likely about a business they have already interacted with. They already know about your business but need specific information. 

Discovery searches are when they want to find local businesses with specific offerings. While discovery searches are critical for finding new customers, direct searches mean they already know about your business and want to interact with it. That can translate into critical sales. 

Finally, there are knowledge searches, which involve learning more about a topic. They might find your business because you have the expertise they want or need, but it doesn’t mean they are ready to walk in the door. 

How to Optimize for Local Voice Search

Since local voice search continues to grow in popularity, everyone has their favorite, be it Alexa, Google, Siri, or Cortana. If your business isn’t optimized, these search voice assistants won’t find you in their searches for information. But how can you make sure your business is getting all the benefits?

Start by understanding the local voice search ecosystem and what it offers. Since people use multiple devices, you must optimize your business for all available options, not just Siri or Alexa. After all, the four main local voice search options all have¬†roughly an equal market share. So please don’t make the mistake of only optimizing for one or two.¬†

Local business voice search focuses on three main areas, discovery, brand, and knowledge. How can you guarantee that your business is making all that information available?

  • First, claim your Google My Business listing. It powers all searches made by Google Assistant, so you could turn customers off if the information isn’t accurate. 
  • Second, claim your Apple Maps listing. There are no reviews or photos since Apple gets most of that from Yelp. Like Google uses Google Maps, Siri looks to its Apple Maps Connect for information related to addresses and directions. Not only does this help with local voice searches, but it also makes Apple Maps better. 
  • Third, claim your Bing Places business listing since it powers all of Cortana’s searches. Bing might be less prominent in mobile searches, but it has a significant share of desktop web searches. A big source of its reviews and images comes from Yelp.
  • Fourth, go on Yelp and claim your business listing. Amazon’s Alexa focuses on Yelp to give accurate information for its local voice searches. But other assistants use Yelp as well, so claiming this listing means optimizing for several local voice search assistants. 
  • Yext also offers listings, but if your Yelp listing is claimed and accurate, you don’t necessarily need the Yext listing, which requires a subscription. Companies might try to claim that Alexa will only find you with a Yext listing, but that is not true. 

After you claim all your business listings, you must ensure the information is accurate. Have you changed locations, hours, or products? Then update accordingly. You might be surprised at how often people use a local voice search, only to find the business isn’t open or the products they want are not there because the listing needed to be more accurate. Irritating customers is a great way to guarantee they don’t visit your business in the future. 

Add images of your business to help people find it, primarily if you are located on a busy street. The combination can be helpful to your customers so they know what to look for while driving or walking. 

Why Is Optimizing So Critical?

People want to have the correct information before they even leave the house. The increasing use of local voice search is not limited to those with smartphones but also can be done on desktops, tablets, and other devices. Home assistants have also grown in popularity, making everything from grocery lists to finding out what movies are available in the local theater. 

Optimizing your listings lets them find your business and have the most up-to-date information. While most people think of Alexa when it comes to home speakers, once you start talking about mobile phones, the market share shifts towards Google Assistant and Apple Siri. 

Today, local voice searches are moving from just learning about a place to action, including directions and more. Optimizing your listings increases your business’s benefits every time someone does a local voice search. 

Ready to start claiming your listings but need help figuring out how? Our team at eLocal can help. Contact us today to learn more about optimizing your business listings through our directory plans.

eGlobal Web Solutions specializes in marketing your business via the digital marketplace. We use search engine optimization, social and review promotion, and Email marketing for all types of businesses, from local to global. We utilize various digital marketing techniques to increase your internet presence, optimize your traffic and generate new business.