Optimizing for Voice Search: Getting Your Business Heard

iMapping, Hey Siri

“Hey Siri, what’s the best coffee shop near me?” How many times have you asked your phone something similar? Over the past years, voice search has become increasingly popular, with 58% of consumers using it to find local business information online.

Of this number, 19% would visit the business location immediately, while 28% would call the business first. Furthermore, 46 out of 100 consumers use voice search to find local businesses every day.

This data shows the power of voice search. If your business is not optimized to appear in voice search results, you are missing out.

Who controls the Voice Search market?

iMapping, who controls iMapping market

There are many voice assistants in the market, but there are only 4 major players. You might assume that Amazon Alexa dominates the voice search market because it controls the home speaker market. But that’s not entirely true. 

When searching for local business information, 56% of consumers use their smartphones, and only 18% use smart speakers. This gives Apple Siri and Google Assistant an almost equal market share at 36% each, while Amazon Alexa only has 25%. Microsoft Cortana comes in at 4th with a 19% market share. 

To dominate the voice search results, your business page has to be optimized for all voice search assistants. 

Understanding the Voice Search Ecosystem

In optimizing for voice search, you need to understand how it works. Voice search starts with the output device, which can be anything from a smartphone to a desktop/laptop to even a smart TV.

Every smart device (and even new car models) has a built-in voice assistant. Each of these voice assistants gathers their data from different online sources. 

When they need local business information, Apple Siri uses Apple Maps, Google Assistant uses Google My Business, Amazon Alexa uses Yelp and Yext, and Microsoft Cortana uses Bing Places. 

If they need reviews of local businesses, Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Microsoft Cortana uses Yelp Reviews while Google Assistant uses Google My Business.

Optimizing for all these online sites is a must if you want to dominate the voice assistant search results.

Your Next Steps

iMapping, next step

Dominating voice search results is not rocket science. It’s as easy as claiming a listing and making sure your accurate and updated business information is listed. 

Your business listing should include your latest business photos, a working phone number, updated opening hours, and any FAQs about your business. You should also link it to a website if you have one.

It’s also important to have high and frequent reviews on your Google My Business and Yelp pages. 

Online directories and online maps will most likely have your business already listed. They pull the information from various online sources, which can often be inaccurate. You must go through the verification process on these platforms to claim your listings

If your business is relatively new or not yet listed on these platforms, then you could reach out to them or sign up with a mapping service to get listed.

Voice search is here and will keep on growing. Your business should adapt or risk getting left behind.