Voice search, which allows users to perform internet searches via a voice command, is getting more popular each year. Statistics show that two out of every five adults are already using it actively and predict by 2020 at least half of searches will be by voice.
Today’s consumers expect instant solutions and are using voice technology instead of typing into a search field. They are using a mobile devices or personal home assistants for searches including tools such as Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, or Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s new HomePod to gather information.
Google, as a commitment to voice searches, just recently added a new microphone icon right into the Android Google search bar. Android users can now hear a spoken response, rather than just seeing silent listings displayed, which is useful if they are doing tasks such as driving or cooking. Smart phones already have a microphone option on the bottom bar, but this creates additional entry points for voice and offers more consistency for users.
Salons rely on being found through local searches and as a small business owner, your goal is to make it easy for potential clients to find you and purchase your services. Voice search can impact your salon’s local marketing strategies and you should be proactively planning ways to optimize your website for voice search to better position your firm now.
Here are some ways to optimize your website for voice search:
Using local search terms such as “near me” has increased dramatically on mobile devices, with 88% of “near me” searches being done on mobile. To take advantage of local search, it’s important that information on your Google My Business, website, Yelp and other third-party directories match and are all up-to-date with correct details for name, address, phone (NAP).
For voice search queries, think more in terms of using longer phrases and not just keywords alone. Voice Search is more conversational and detailed and utilizes the long-tail keywords to help users to find your products or services. As an example, a user might typically just type in “salon services balayage” for a search, but for voice they might say something like “Are there any salons in downtown, Cleveland, Ohio that focus on balayage?” When adding long-tail keyword strategies to your web site, think of questions your client might ask when speaking as opposed to typing.
Optimizing your site with trigger words such as “I” and “That are” or “Where” or using specific locations can make the difference when those long-tail keywords are used in voice searches. Consider how a user may pose the question “Where can I find a hair salon in Back Bay Boston for women?” This is another reason why it’s important to have your local listings up-to-date and correct on all your sites and directories so your site can be culled into the data for search engines to find.
Your website should have an answer for those searches. Instead of "Haircut in Dallas" it would be “What is the best salon for a women’s haircut in Dallas?” You will want to put more of that type of content onto your site so that it can be easily found by search engines. An option is to offer an FAQ page. This allows you to have more relevant and searchable content that includes important long-tail keywords.
Site Speed, faster is better
Spoken search results tend to load almost twice as fast as a web page might load. So you will have to check your website’s speed and load time. Google uses speed time as a ranking factor for searches already. If your site is slow to load, it won’t appear in the top results.
By implementing the latest digital marketing strategies for voice, you can keep your salon business ahead of the competition and make it easy for customers to “talk” to your salon.
Make sure that your web site:
Offers a responsive mobile-friendly design
Local listings are accurate on all directories
Local content is built into your pages
Page meta descriptions are updated to factor in local keywords and long-tail keyword phrases
Evaluate your current keywords and update so they are relevant to voice search
Start with a thorough evaluation of your existing website
Is your website optimized? For a free website scan click here: Free Web Scan