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Is Your Local Business Prepared for Voice Search?

People are relying on voice search more and more these days, and it is essential that local businesses are set up so they get included voice search. It’s believed that two out of five adults use voice search daily and it is expected that half of most searches will move from the keyboard to voice.  Voice speakers like Google and Alexa are most frequently used and  62% of people using these voice-activated speakers expect to buy something through them within the next month.  This means that businesses that are optimized for local search have a better chance for ranking at the top of the search results page. This is why it is important for your business to be prepared for voice search. Let’s dive a little deeper.

What is Google 3-Pack and Why Does it Matter to Voice Search?

Local Pack is a section of Google’s search results that shows the local businesses related to your search query. Whenever your query has a local intent, Google will show three local businesses that might answer it. Why is it important to be among the 3-Pack? It shows in the #1 position 93% of the time.  Also, the “near me” search query has increased 34x since 2011. So, it is important that your local business is on Google My Business and other local directories like Yelp. If you are not set up yet, here is how to do it. Voice search can help a small local business beat larger chains, and it makes Google happy because they want their search queries to be accurate.

How Do I Set Up and Rank for Local Pack?

First, it is important to note how essential to make sure all your business information is consistent.  Small errors like “Ste” or “Suite” can make a difference to Google.  Streamlining this process is easier with directory assistance.  We use “Smartlist” which ensures all information on all directories is the same. Second, Google wants to make sure they answer their search queries as accurately by using the best results with results such as key factors such as proximity, category and keyword.

How Does Local Pack and Reviews Improve Voice Search?

Voice Search is increasing every year. 20% of the online population already uses voice search and 58% of mobile users use it for a local business search. Many of these users consider it as their first choice. Making sure your business information is online is crucial, but so are reviews. Reviews are extremely important to ranking in the Local Pack and essentially voice search. By having many reviews from Google and Yelp, especially five-star ones, it is likely Google will rank your business. Reviews can also determine if you get into the 3-Pack or not.  This is why it is important to have a reputation management program. We use “SmartRep” to manage our reviews and reputation. Ask your satisfied customers for a Google review because it has a positive impact not only for voice search, but also for web traffic and search engine optimization (SEO).

Where Do Voice Devices Get Their Data?

Not all voice search devices are alike. Each one obtains data from different sources. Siri and Google Assistant obtain information from the 3-Pack Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and from Yelp. Alexa obtains data from Bing, Yelp and Yext data. To get the most out of voice search, you want to optimize your business for all devices. 

We’re Here to Help

Strategic Marketing is a full-service advertising agency that can assist you with local SEO, reputation management and many additional services.  Please contact us with any questions or let us know how we can assist you with voice search.