Marketing Through Voice Searches
"Hey, Alexa, find me coffee shops near me.”
“Hey, Google, find grocery stores near me.”
You’ve probably used voice assistants to inquire where restaurants, gas stations or maybe coffee shops are around you. But, did you ever stop and think that customers might use the tool to find body shops near them?
Smart speaker adoption is growing rapidly and before they know it, businesses could fall behind.
Currently, 20 percent of Google searches are done via voice command, according to research by Taylor & Francis Online.
Marketing Charts predicts this percentage to grow to 50 percent by 2020. As users of devices that allow consumers to voice search—like Google Home or Alexa—become more comfortable with the devices, they will use the function more. According to the Marketing Charts report, 58 percent of people use voice search to accomplish tasks they used to do by typing or swiping and 44 percent will use their phone-based voice assistant more.
“Voice search is unquestionably on the rise,” says Justin McKinney, director of SEO for Wpromote, a digital marketing agency that has worked with brands including Forever 21, proactiv, Samsung, and more.
It all boils down to a body shop understanding the keys to marketing via voice search—with one of the top keys being understanding how your business shows up in voice searches.
The percentage of voice queries is increasing, McKinney says, so he shares his tips for how a business can stay ahead of its competition and keep up on the trend.
As told to Melissa Steinken
Focus on producing key words on your website.
Shops should work to produce “how-to” topics on their website’s blog. That way, they can rank for upper funnel terms that potential customers are searching for before actually committing to a specific business.
By producing “how-to” code on the website, it sets it up for success with voice assistant.
Build a strong local presence.
Make sure you have strong profiles on Google My Business, Bing Places, Apple Maps, Yelp and more. Being prominent on these sites will help the shop turn up in local searches. Smart speakers like Google Home pull in results from the Local 3 pack when customers ask questions, like, “What is the best body shop near me?”
By getting into the Local 3 pack, you’ll be in a prime position to be the result in a voice search. The Local 3 Pack refers to the SERP feature that’s shaped like a map and displays places related to the search, and a three-point list of businesses with data including address, name and phone number.
Google has an internal ranking system, so it’s not enough to just put your business on the map. Factors that influence the ranking include keeping the business information up-to-date and promptly monitoring and responding to reviews.
Create more code on your website.
Schema, or structured data, is code you add to your web pages that gives search engines more context and information about your page. There are hundreds of types of schema but some of them can actually enhance your website’s appearance in search.
For example, a product page can use product schema to display the name, price, in stock status, and review average directly within the search results page as opposed to having people need to click through to a website to see that information.
Ask questions to the smart speaker.
For instance, “Bixby, Fetch!” is a piece of software made by Wpromote that automates the process of asking questions to smart speakers and recording their responses, Mckinney says.
The machine uses a Text-To-Speech program to read aloud questions from a file, which the smart speaker hears and then answers.
Then the software records and transcribes the response from the smart speaker using a Speech-to-Text program. From there, the responses can be analyzed.