Voice Search Optimization for B2B Companies
It’s 2018, and if you haven’t spoken into your phone or mobile device for driving directions, to check the weather, or find the nearest coffee shop, you will in the near future. Voice Search is growing in popularity and it’s not just for “comfort” searches or the “little things”, rather it’s becoming a large part of the overall search marketing strategy for b2b companies across every industry. Here’s how to take advantage of this powerful brand-growing marketing discipline.
Comscore estimates that 50% of searches will be performed by voice by 2020! No keyboard or keypad will be used. Just push a button and speak. All types of information will be delivered instantly to your ears. Whether or not the 50% prediction will be completely accurate, it is certainly a motivating statistic. And like most new innovations in tech, companies that adopt good voice search practices in their overall marketing strategy will enjoy a huge first-mover advantage (read business growth), while the rest will be struggling to catch up.
Let’s look at the chain of events that happens when a voice search is performed. When a person speaks into a mobile phone (or smart speaker like Alexa or Google Home), perhaps a person looking for b2b information on plastic packaging types or pharmacovigilance consulting services, the information that is returned via voice is typically derived from something called Google Snippets. These snippets occur in the regular visual search results in “position 0”. That means they are at the very top of all the organic search results and below any AdWords ads (if there are no ads being served for that query then the snippet is at the very top). Here’s what it looks like:
The intelligent voice on your device will recite the information found in the snippet. Now, imagine if Google was deriving that snippet from your corporate website. Not only will you be reaping the benefits of large amounts of organic traffic from visual searches on desktop/laptop, tablet and mobile phones, but you’ll also be the “top dog” when it comes to voice searches for that phrase and related phrases. Think about it. When a person asks a device about “plastic packaging types”, the voice would be reading from your website including citing the website name (which is often the web address). Talk about exposure! If that’s your company name, you can expect orders of magnitude more inquiries and/or leads, especially when voice search becomes truly ubiquitous.
How do you go about earning “snippet status” for important voice search terms in your industry? Here’s how to get a head start.
• First, snippets tend to be derived from high ranking sites on Google. If you are already on the first page of Google for an important search phrase, even at the bottom, you already have increased your chances for a snippet for that phrase by the eliminating the 100’s of sites you outrank. So be sure your website is following Google’s best practices like being mobile responsive, fast loading, full of high quality/unique content, has quality inbound and outbound links, etc. If you aren’t sure where you stand with these requirements please contact us below for a complimentary website review.
• Understand that a voice search is typically different in nature from a typed in search, so shape your content more towards the spoken word. If a potential client in your industry has a free moment on the weekend and asks his or her Google Home speaker, “OK Google, what are the latest B2B Marketing Trends”, the device will currently recite from the following snippet:
The information in that snippet is derived from the page cited at the bottom of the box. The bullet points are quick summaries pulled from the source page where there are paragraphs of content under each bullet point. Sometimes the image comes from the same source page, other times it doesn’t. In this case it didn’t because the image from another site was formatted better (alt tag, etc…) and did a better job of representing the topic!
Google rewards corporate websites with search snippets when they have all their “ducks in a row.” They love structured content. Google tells us this with their guidelines and tools for webmasters. So structure your webpages with on-target headings that answer questions, create a detailed list or table and/or include a concise paragraph(s), optimize your images, and you’ve made it much easier for the Google algorithm to reward you with a traffic driving snippet!
• Answer more than one question with your content so you can be eligible for more voice and visual searches. Here’s a search result for the voice and visual search “top luxury car brands”. Your mobile device or smart speaker will recite information from the snippet shown:
But notice the “People also ask” box. Those questions are derived from actual searches, including voice searches. So take the opportunity to include some of this information in your content so it will be available for more voice searches and snippets. Adding a few words based on other real searches can significantly increase your traffic. And one of those additional leads may result in a future legacy client!
Voice Search is now a large part of the new frontier of artificial intelligence. It’s not on the horizon, it’s here, adding value to personal lives and businesses across the globe! Nowhere is this more evident than in the b2b sector where voice search is connecting decision makers with suppliers across a wide spectrum of industries. We hear it all the time from our valued clients who express how “hands off” communication including voice and visual search has led to greater brand recognition and new business opportunities.
It’s an exciting time for the b2b space and we are here to help. We are experts at developing the best overall lead generating strategy for your organization, including optimizing your digital assets for voice and visual search marketing.
For more information about our brand development services including search marketing, and how you and your company can get to their next, call us at (908) 534-9044 or fill out the form below: