How Not To Get Lost In A Voice Search
Meet George Jetson? More like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana. The future is here, and it’s voice activated. But what seems easier- activating a search solely by managing to utter a few words- actually poses new challenges for your business. So, let’s get you trained to be at the front of Siri’s, Alexa’s and Cortana’s collective minds, so that all your customers need to do to find you is open their mouths.
A New World
Before the rise of voice activated searches, a person could type in the search bar and be met with a host of options best matching their search. This encouraged browsing and surfing, meandering down a list of options, before hopefully finding and deciding on yours. Now, with voice-enabled services, the result often yields a single answer. The search service determines which result best suits the user’s query. If that business isn’t yours, you may never have the opportunity to throw your hat in the ring. Traditional SEO will no longer suffice when playing in the voice-activated arena.
Get The Facts Straight
The human element you provide after your customers find you can be anything you’d like. It can be warm, fuzzy, attentive, personalized. When it comes to charming robots, however, keep it concrete sequential. Make sure that the facts about your business are accurate and timely. If your business has moved, if there are seasonal fluctuations, promotions, closures, anything at all, you must make sure you keep this information updated. Once you organize all the facts that feel relevant, such as products, services, and location, publish them to websites (including your own), voice search tools and apps, and keep them consistent. Use as many keywords, covering as many details as possible.
Think Conversationally, and Beyond
When typing a query into the search bar, we’re used to abbreviating our speech into keywords. With voice searches, however, people tend to keep a conversational approach. They pose their questions like they’re asking an actual person. To adapt to this change, it’s important to think about all of the questions that might lead a customer to your site. What considerations go into your customer’s choice to make a purchase from you? Seek to understand why a consumer would choose your business over another (cheaper prices, more convenient location, specialized materials) and make that information available. What might you want to know if you were searching for information about a business? If we use a movie theatre as an example, the consumer may want to know things beyond the showtimes and location: if there’s surround sound, wheelchair accessibility, real butter on the popcorn, an arcade area…If you can answer every possible question along the customer’s decision making process, your business is more likely to be a part of that process.
Remember the Phone Book
It can be overwhelming adapting to so much change, so quickly. And while certain time-honored fundamentals apply: great customer service, loyalty, quality of work- the digital world shows no signs of slowing down. Remember when the yellow pages, and a full page ad in the Sunday paper were the best tools for marketing? Things change, trends shift, and the more you adapt and keep up, the healthier your business. Preparing your business to be found manually online, and through voice search, is a great investment in your future. When the next wave of technology arrives, and it will, your business will be up to date, and ready to take the next step forward.