Local businesses that aim to attract customers within a geographic vicinity may be tempted to eschew Internet marketing for other promotional strategies. However, in reality, digital marketing tactics are important even for small local businesses, and they can make or break a company’s ability to bring in customers and clients. To illustrate: studies show that 46% of all Google searches are people seeking local information, and 88% of people who search online for a business nearby will visit or contact that business within a day.
One important digital strategy companies should be focusing on today is harnesing the power of voice search. Voice search is becoming more popular than ever today, and people are taking advantage of it not only when they’re at their home or their computer, but also while they’re in the car or out on the go. In fact, 52.18% of people have used voice search while driving, and Gartner predicts that 30% of ALL searches will be done without a screen by 2020.
If you want to take advantage of the number of people using voice search to search for businesses on the go, it’s important for you to start focusing on how to you can tap into the voice search audience. Here’s how you can harness the power of voice search as a local business and bring in more customers in your area.

Optimize Your Website for Voice Search

Optimizing your site for search is key to getting discovered via search engines. But, you should also focus on optimizing your site for voice search. This strategy is a bit different than optimizing for a traditional search engine. To optimize your site for voice search:

Consider how people ask questions out loud.

When people type a search into a browser, they usually search for keywords. When they search using voice search, they usually ask a question how they normally would out loud, in sentence form. Keep this in mind when optimizing your site, because you’ll want to incorporate the natural phrasing of questions rather than simple keywords.

Include Address and other Geographic Information

People will be searching for a business near them or based on geographic location. Make sure you include your address and location in your website so that your business comes up as a top result. Also make sure your contact and location information is accurate and up to date in online directories, like Google and Yelp.

Take Advantage of the FAQ

Not sure where to incorporate the questions and long phrases people might say when using voice search? Create a FAQ page where you can type out those questions and answer them. An FAQ page is an indispensible tool for any local business looking to harness the power of voice search.

Optimize Your Business’ Site Speed

People using voice search want their results quickly. Make sure your business’ website will load as fast as possible. That way, you can ensure that your information will come up appropriately in a voice search results page. Studies show the average voice search results page loads in just 4.6 seconds, so you need your site to be able to load that quickly, too.
If you run a local business, don’t overlook the power of the Internet for marketing—especially voice search. By understanding how voice search works, who is using it, and how you can best set up your online presence you are discoverable via voice, you can help attract new leads and convert paying customers who want to come in to your business.
Homebase offers free staff scheduling, smb hiring tools, and more to over 100,000 local businesses.

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