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How Voice Search Can Help Improve Online Presence

Mobile users are using voice search to find local businesses. Here's how to improve online presence to ensure they find you!

6 min read

People are searching for your product or service on Google. But they're not typing—they're speaking.

This is known as voice search and it's something worth learning about, especially if you're trying to improve online presence for your business.

And there's no time to waste:

Google states that 20% of all searches use voice. And by 2020, 50% of online searches will be voice-based.

So what does this mean for your local business?

Let's find out.

First, What is Voice Search?

It's exactly how it sounds. It's when you conduct a search online using your voice. This is most common among mobile device users for obvious reasons (it's easier than tapping on a screen and it has a built-in mic).

Not to mention, these devices are also equipped with AI assistants like Cortana, Siri, and Alexa.

Now, when you take into account that the majority of internet users are using mobile devices, then it starts to click:

Your business needs to accommodate voice search in order to improve its online presence.

In other words, you need to optimize your website using the terms they're more likely to use. In doing so, you'll help improve online presence substantially.

Now, what's unique about voice searchers is that they ask questions. So rather than focusing on odd keywords like "dental office Miami Fl," you'll use a key phrase like "Where is a dental office in Miami, Fl?"

By doing this, you'll increase the odds of your business showing up in the snippet. You know, that box that shows up at the top of search results answering your question.

Let's hone in on that a little more.

How Featured Snippets Can Improve Online Presence

If you're looking to improve online presence for your business, then getting to the top of Google should be a priority. Especially since most web surfers don't go past the first page.

The featured snippet or answer box shows up at the very top—even before the #1 spot—at position zero.

Showing up here will help users find your location, website, or other content you publish targeting featured snippets (Q&A style).

The purpose of the featured snippet is to allow users to quickly find the best answers to their question. Then if they want to learn more, they can click on your link to read further.

Here's a closer look at how to increase the odds of showing up in a featured snippet.

improve online presence with voice search

Improve Online Presence with Conversational Search Terms

Those who use voice search are asking questions and speaking conversationally. So you're not just focusing on terms like "cheap cars in Lakeland."

You're inserting these relevant terms into a conversational style, like "where to find cheap cars in Lakeland."

If you've ever written content for a website, you'll find that inserting conversational key phrases is a lot easier than stuffing in odd phrases. Plus, it makes your content read more naturally.

Now, when you're writing these conversational keywords, be sure to answer the question immediately after. For instance, have the search term as a subtitle and then in the first paragraph answer the question. This may help you land a spot in a snippet.

It's also good to use a bullet list (over a paragraph), especially if it's naming different products/services or steps to complete a task.

By landing a spot in the snippet, you can improve online presence and traffic for your website. 

Don't Forget About "Near Me" Search Optimization

Voice search has a higher chance of affecting your local business because most smartphone searches tend to be local.

And it becomes even more important when you have a physical location. When mobile users conduct a search for a business, Google's local 3 pack shows up.

This is the box with the map and the top three relevant businesses in that area. How do you get your local business in this spot?

You can start by claiming your Google My Business page. It's also ideal to do the same on Bing Places and Yahoo Local.

Once you do that, you can compete to show up in the local box on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Whenever a mobile user asks:

"Where's a pizza restaurant near me?"

Your pizza parlor will show up.

Just be sure to completely fill out your business citation with:

  • Business name
  • Address
  • Phone numbers
  • Hours of operation
  • Business category
  • Services/products offered

Then keep these updated so it's always correct and reflects what's on your website. If these are mismatched, then it'll hurt your listing's ranking and negate all your efforts to improve online presence for your business.

voice search for online presence

Siri vs. Google Now vs. Cortana

These are the top AI assistants used by mobile users. But how do they compare (and more importantly, how do they differ)?

Unlike Google, Siri and Cortana aren't search engines. So by default, they use Bing to collect search results. Google Now and Android both use Google search results.

Now, this doesn't mean that Bing will outpace Google in searches. As of 2019, Android holds 87% of the market share, leaving 13% to iOS.

So, should you target Google instead of Bing to improve online presence? Well, it should be a top priority, but by no means should you disregard Bing. It still has the potential to drive more traffic to your business.

Here's what you need to know to ensure your optimization fits both:

  • Google: Uses semantic search (doesn't have to exactly match) and ranks the most popular first.
  • Bing: Prefers specific keywords (exact match) and prioritizes local search (keywords with city names).

It's possible to target both styles throughout your website, and even on the same page. Just do a mix between exact match local keywords and then follow up with semantic keywords.

Improve Online Presence Using Local Search

Now that mobile searchers rule the world, it's impossible to ignore local search. This will ultimately improve online presence and drive more leads to your business.

But this will only happen if you're optimizing for local search. By claiming your citations across business directories, you can improve your presence online significantly.

Does the idea of creating listings on 70+ directories scare you? GoSite's placement tool will help you claim and update all of your citations in a few clicks. Or, continue educating yourself with our free local search guide!

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