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Voice Search for B2B: 3 SEO Tips to Get You Ahead of the Competition

Jan 13, 2020
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Since the invention of "digital personal assistants" like Siri, Alexa and Google, voice search has been on the rise. Early adopters found that these tools were somewhat helpful, but knew they had a long way to go before they would implant themselves into our everyday lives. Today, these digital personal assistants are a lot smarter and more accurate. As a result, they're integrating them into nearly any newly developed  electronic device.

Users leverage digital personal assistants to play music, add tasks to lists, and search for information. While voice search has been seen as something crucial for B2C marketers, that is no longer the case. Today's savvy B2B SEOs are optimizing their businesses and clients to take advantage of B2B voice search. Check out the video below to learn more.

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Video Transcript: 

Hey, thanks for checking out this video. If this is your first time watching or maybe you've been watching a while and you have not yet subscribed please do so now. We would love to have you join our community. We create new content each and every week to help you get the most out of your digital marketing activities.

Like I said in the intro, we're going to be talking about voice search and more specifically we're going to be talking about how voice search is impacting B2B companies. Voice search has come a long way. Voice commands are being used in a new number of different ways. And the other thing about it is technology like Alexa and Siri and Google and you name it has a lot more data and though they're getting smarter and they're getting better at delivering the right queries when people are asking them. Yes there are ways to use voice search in maybe some funny ways, Siri and Google will tell you jokes and all that, but people are also using it in very serious ways to help them with everyday business problems.

There's been some research done over the last couple of years, used to be done by Stone Temple Consulting and now they've merged with Perficient Digital that's kind of tracked the trends of voice search and how voice search is being used. And if we look at this data, we can see that voice search is being used obviously in a lot of personal applications or areas that would be more individual or life oriented spaces. But we also see them being used in the office and we also see them being used with coworkers in the office.

Voice search is being used cooperatively in the office. But the interesting thing is voice search with coworkers is on the rise. We saw a rise in that in 2019. Now this is typically your younger age group, those twenties to thirties and then that range who are really taking the lead on using voice search. But I don't think it's just for play.

I think they're also using it to find answers to the problems that they're trying to solve because we look further in the data, more you make, so the people in the 50,000 to about a 100,000 mark and then $100,000 and over, those are the ones who are using voice search the most, even in these office locations and these office settings. We can also see that the higher your college degree, the more likely you are to actually be using voice search. So voice search is making its way into the workplace. It's also making its way up the C-level and to the people who are more likely in a decision making position inside of a business. So, what do we do to optimize it and how is voice search different?

Well, voice search is a lot different than typical search where you would get on a computer. It's a little bit more keyword driven. Yes. People use phrases and Google has really shifted. We've talked about this a number of times, shifted their algorithm to be more semantic so they understand how all of these themes fit together, but one of the ways that voice search is different is it tends to be a lot more conversational and it also tends to produce very long or much longer queries where people like find me the best business book on finances and that's a very long question. If you were searching in search from a desktop, you might just do best business book or best finance book, but if you're doing a voice search, you would say find me the best.

It's a lot more like, ""Hey would you find me this? You're talking to like an assistant, really, what these are called. More assistance, right? So that's one way that search is different. It's a lot more conversational voice search. The second way is it tends to be a lot more localized.

22% of voice searches in a study done showed that they were looking for local information specifically. Find me the best CPA in my area. Things of that nature. Find me the best business coach, find me the best co-working space, things like that in my area or close to me or near me. People are using voice search very much for local information. And the third way that it's different is it's very action-oriented. People are looking to take action, right then. Typically if you're using voice search you're in the car or maybe you're in the office working on something with coworkers and you need to find something now.

You can't wait for it. That's what you're doing. Typically the longer sales cycle, the informational searches, is most of search that is done behind a desktop still and people are reading and looking for information and taking their time. But voice commands and voice search tends to be very action oriented and action driven.

What can you as a business owner do about it? There are a couple of things. One of the things is structured data. This is something we've talked about on this channel quite a bit and understanding how do we take our content and the story that we're telling and the creative stuff that we've done in the website and then make it easier for the search engines to process. And this is where structured data comes in. We have a number of videos on that and we're going to continue to do some teaching on structured data, but this is something if you haven't implemented it yet, you should start doing. Things like structuring your organization, your blogs, the way your images are on there and how things show up because this is going to impact those rich features that you're seeing in search now where there might be that information on the sidebar or people also ask for questions or the FAQ model or the video models carousels, we've had a lot of those different options now in search.

Most of that is being informed by the structured data that really helps the search engines understand what your site is about. The second thing you need to do is claim your Google Business listing.

Google My Business typically was seen as more of a local tool, but it has implications nationally, internationally as well. You need to claim your profile. You need to make sure that it's optimized proficiently, that you're in the right categories. You have the right information on there because Google is going to be checking Google My Business and your website and making those connections together. It all has to make sense and it has to be seen as one entity online. Google is putting a lot behind Google My Business and they're investing a lot. There's a lot of cool new features in there as well that you can use to reach people and when they're on their mobile devices, they search your business, usually that's the card that comes up first and you need to make sure you have the right information and really that you're in control of that information.

And the third thing you need to do is focus on mobile. If you don't have a mobile strategy, I know a lot of businesses that we work with in the B2B space, they tend to get most of their traffic from desktop, but there is quite a bit, and I do see growth in mobile traffic even in the B2B side. So you need to have a site that obviously functions mobily that is targeted mobily, and optimized for a mobile experience because a lot of people doing voice search are doing so on a mobile device. So those are the things you really need to pay attention to. Your structured data, make sure that you have your Google My Business listing together, and make sure that you have a mobile optimization plan in place.

These are things we're going to continue to talk about on this channel and show you and give you tips on how to do these things and achieve these things. This is an overview of how B2B is now being impacted by voice search. And it's something that we can't just say, well that's for the B2C clients or that's for things that don't apply to us. It's starting to apply to everybody and now's the time to take it seriously if you want to get ahead of the competition.

So, thanks for checking out this video. If you have any questions or thoughts on this topic, please comment below. We would love to continue that conversation with you. Don't forget to subscribe to our channel, and until next time, Happy Marketing.

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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