As an online marketing agency, we ensure more visitors to the websites of our customers. But as a clothing store, hotel or car garage, you naturally also want to attract people to your physical location. Being present online through a website and social media page already helps with this.
However, there is something that will attract many more visitors: voice search!
In my previous blog about voice search, I discussed the different intentions people have when they search via voice search. These intentions are information, transaction and navigation. In this blog, I will further elaborate on the navigation intention and how you as a company attract more visitors to your physical location with the help of voice search!
Before we start, I will first briefly explain what the navigation intention entails. By navigation intent, we mean that people want to be guided to a physical location. For example, people can search for the nearest car repair shop.
Or someone is walking in town and wants to go to a clothing store to buy pants. Asking Siri or Google Assistant will give you some options from clothing stores and auto repair shops. The searcher clicks on a result and gets directions to the location. As a company, you naturally want this to be your location. How do you ensure that? Read on quick!
At this point, it may not seem that important to optimize for voice search. After all, you don’t see many people talking to their smartphone in the middle of the street, looking for the nearest clothing store. Yet this is done more often than you think!
The search term often used in voice search with a navigation intent is ‘near me”. The graph below shows the interest of people who search in combination with: ‘near me’. So for example: ‘Shoe store near me’. It is good to see that this line continues to rise and is now approaching 100.
A value of 100 means that this is the peak popularity for this search term. In other words: this term has never been so popular. Optimizing for voice search not important? Think again!
The graph shows the results of the term [near me]. of course. We expect [nearby], will increase in popularity due to voice search with a navigation intention.
Source: Google Trends.
Like the search results you see on your screen, people with voice search usually choose the first result. Do you have a business or shop? Then it is very important to ensure that your physical location comes first. To get this done, voice search SEO comes into play. Once the viewfinder has clicked on a result, it is directed to the store. By being easy to find via voice search, you have the chance that you will turn this searcher into a customer.
Due to the shifting search query, more and more business listings are coming up in the search results. This is important if you have a physical store in addition to a website. But this is also important for a hotel or a restaurant, for example. People who start route guidance to your location are very willing to become a customer too! They are looking for exactly what you offer them.
There are several things to consider to optimize for voice search. Now I will only go into optimizing for the navigation intent. So: how do you ensure that you come out on top in the results that the Google Assistant, Siri or another smart assistant gives?
Without a business listing on Google My Business and Apple Maps, you will not be found by voice searchers. Google Assistant and Siri get their information about your company from here. To get directions to your business, the smart assistant will retrieve the address of the business listing. This also applies to opening times, for example. The first step to getting found with voice search: optimizing your business listings. Make sure everything is completed and correct.
In addition, there is also Bing Places, where Cortana gets the information from. However, this feature is not yet available in the Netherlands at the time of writing.
Content optimized for a particular location is important to be found. For example, a page such as ‘ online marketing agency Gouda ‘ is an important page for us because it helps the search engines (and therefore the user!) To find their (online and physical) way to us.
Do you have a flower shop in Melbourne? Then help search engines, searchers and yourself with a page entitled ‘Flower Shop Melbourne’!
Google wants to deliver the best possible user experience, and this also applies to Apple of course. Users, therefore, expect the best quality of search results.
For example, if they visit a restaurant with a voice search, they expect you to be able to eat well here. Both Google and Apple then look at the reviews. You can imagine that a restaurant with a review of 4 stars scores better than a restaurant with an average of 2 stars.
As a company, it is therefore important to collect reviews from customers. Google Assistant mainly gets reviews from Google My Business and Siri does that mainly from Yelp. They also take their reviews from other well-known review websites. That’s why it’s very important to start collecting lots of great reviews!
Voice search is becoming increasingly important, and you can use it well to lead visitors to your physical store. To help the search engine and thus the searcher to find you well, a number of things are of decisive importance:
• Business Listing (Google My Business, Apple Maps, Bing Places);
• Location-optimized content;
We are happy to help you make your store easier to find online and physically. Feel free to contact us for more information about SEO or voice search. We are happy to help!
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