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Voice: The Next Frontier for Search

Posted By TNNA Editor, Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Voice: The Next Frontier for Search

By Leanne Pressly of Stitchcraft Marketing

Stitchcrafting Marketing - Voice Search

Voice search is using your voice, and your words, to request assistance from a digital virtual assistant. Think about Google Home, Siri from Apple, or Alexa from Amazon; these are three of the most popular voice search assistants. Even now, you can ask Siri or Alexa to find information or complete actions by using simple words or phrases. Statistics suggest that people are making increasing use of voice search over text search (i.e. typing words or questions into a search engine), and that by 2020 more than half of all searches will be voice searches (via ComScore). Further, Gartner predicts that in the next few years as many as 30% of searches will be done without a screen (via Mediapost).

Why is voice search important to your creative business? Your customers need to be able to find your website and your business services using voice search. At some point in the future, you may even wish to incorporate a digital assistant into your website design to help customers navigate your site.

How do you prepare for voice search?

In the past we have written articles about search engine optimization (SEO), and the importance of using keywords to improve search results and drive traffic to your creative businesses. Voice search adds another layer to that.  Typically, voice search will consist or more than a keyword or two, and will involve some sort of a question or command.  These longer phrases, called long-tail keywords will help your customers find your business through voice search. For example, previously you may have used a keyword like “hand-dyed” to promote your creative business selling hand-dyed yarns. A long-tail keyword voice search might include the phrase “Where can I buy hand-dyed yarn?” Think about voice search as a conversation between you and your customer. What questions might your customer ask you that you can answer ahead of time?  Think of preparing for voice search as creating a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) in advance.

What do your customers want?

In developing your long-tail keywords you have an opportunity to hone in on what needs you are fulfilling for your customers. Are you providing your customers with information like posting craft  tutorials, technique demonstrations, creative ideas or exercises? Are you allowing your customers to more easily navigate by finding specific content or a product on your website? Or, are you allowing your customers to engage in a specific business transaction with you? The creative content, goods or services that you provide should drive your development of long-tail keywords based on the kinds of questions you already receive from your customers. If you are already surveying your customers to learn how they found your creative business, you can use this information to improve and expand your keywords 

First steps

Given the statistics, voice search seems like a trend that is here to stay (via Branded3). How will you use it to make your business successful? There are some simple steps that you can take now, even if you’re not ready to invest a lot of time or money in voice search.

First, you can ensure that your business is listed appropriately on the web. Go to Google My Business and make sure that you have a listing with all relevant information correctly entered.  There should be nothing easier than sharing how your customers can best contact you (business name, address, website, email, and hours open, if applicable). Ensuring this information is up to date and easily available means that when your customers conduct a voice search for a product or service you provide based on where they are located, your business should populate in their search results.

Second, make sure the same information above is readily available on your website. To ensure that search engines can “read” this information from your site, make sure that the relevant information isn’t in a graphic image, but rather in standard text that is easily searchable. If you want to add a graphic element to it, add headers or other kinds of formatting to set this information apart in an easy-to-find way. There is nothing worse than searching for a business and not generating results, or finding a website, but not being able to contact the business!

Third, give some thought to the content on your website. Do you have an FAQ section that includes questions people ask about your business? Do you include information on your product pages that answers the typical questions your customer will ask about your products? If not, starting thinking about the conversations you have with your customers and proactively add this information onto your website where it can come up in searches using your keywords. If you’re really stumped on coming up with keywords, give Ask the Public a try and see if it will kick start the way you think about long-tail keywords.

These three tips above are just a few of the ways you can start to prepare your creative business for the voice search frontier.

This article provided courtesy of Stitchcraft Marketing- a niche agency serving creative companies. If you have additional questions or are interested in working with us to include voice search in marketing your creative business, please contact Leanne@stitchcraftmarketing.com.

Tags:  business  business tips  Stitchcraft Marketing  TNNANews 

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