“OK Google….”

How many times have you started a Google search that way? If you’re like the majority of Americans, the answer to that question is “more and more often.”

Increasingly, U.S. consumers are turning to voice searches to find the services, products or answer to the questions they have. If your business is not optimized for voice searches, you can be leaving potential customers in the dark—and losing out on new business.

According to recent studies, there are more than 33 million voice-first devices in circulation. A survey of Search Engine Optimization trends from 2017 shows that, even then, voice searches were the third most popular form and about 20 percent of all Google searches were voice searches. If you consider that 22 percent of those voice searches were queries for local content, the importance of having your business optimized for voice search becomes clear.

Here are some easy ways to make sure your business is optimized for voice search:

  • Think in terms of dialogue. Voice queries tend to be conversational and are longer than traditional searches typed into a Google box. When you’re arranging your web content, think about ways to answer a question your potential customers may ask. A good starting point is Answer the Public, where you can enter a keyword and get a list of questions that relates to it.
  • Add keywords like ‘near me’ into your title tags, meta description and internal links. Include any local landmarks in your location description.
  • Claim your Google My Business listing. Because more than 50 percent of local mobile searches by consumers lead to a site visit within a day, it’s important to have your information properly listed through Google My Business. Make sure your Name Address and Phone Number (NAP) is accurate, and your basic address and contact information is clearly visible on your site’s landing page. It’s important to properly categorize your business, too, so make sure the services you provide are accurate and relevant. Don’t go overboard and try to list yourself in every category—mobile voice searches tend to be specific.
  • Write blog posts answering your potential customers’ questions. Sure, you could tackle this through a dedicated FAQ page, but creating specific blog posts to answer them will provide more content and give your site an advantage in Google searches. You can also use your existing content this way, and use the blog to link to different service pages on your site.
  • Make sure your site is mobile friendly.

What other tips do you have to optimize your site for voice searches? Let us know in the comments!