People are looking for local businesses like yours by asking their smartphones.

If you market your small business, you already know how important SEO is. Local SEO is one of the most important small business marketing tactics to understand for anyone trying to get their site to the top of Google’s rankings, but it’s a complicated subject and takes time to understand as well as to get real results.

For years, many marketers have simply been stringing keywords together in hopes that their target demographics will stumble across them in a search, and actually, it’s worked out pretty well for a lot of people. Of course, tech companies and small business consulting firms have provided a number of tools for making that process more efficient, but the core concepts haven’t changed much—until now. With the growing number of people accessing the internet from mobile devices and a few key advances, SEO is about to undergo some big changes.

One of the biggest developments in mobile technology this past year is the rise of voice activated searches. The idea behind this isn’t exactly new—in fact, Apple’s Siri has been able to do it for quite some time and Google’s search app as well. However, recent improvements to voice recognition technology in smartphones have been allowing people to use voice search features with much higher levels of accuracy. As a result, the number of people who currently use voice searches instead of typed ones is on the rise. In fact, about 25-30% of searches today through Google’s mobile app are already from voice queries, and the numbers are growing. By 2020, it’s expected to account for more than half of all searches. Additionally, more than half of Google searches today are done via a mobile device; hence, Google’s mobile first initiative.

Why Does This All Matter?

Google plans to keep up with these evolving trends by changing the way they rank websites. The plan is to move away from keyword strings and rank sites based on more conversational phrases, the questions people might utter into their phones, and by mobile search results instead of desktop. What does that mean for small business marketers? Simply put, it means that you’re going to have to rethink your SEO strategy a bit.

How You Can Prepare?

You will definitely want to start to tailor your on-page top keyword phrases to more conversational phrases that you expect people to use or say to find your business. You’ll also want to edit your metadata and update your Google My Business listing, because in a lot of cases, especially local searches, this listing is what will be shown in search results.

So imagine that you’re asking your phone where to get organic groceries in your neighborhood. You might type in “organic vegetables Boston,” but a voice search would probably sound more like this: “Where can I buy organic food near me?” A search engine configured for voice search is going to hear “near me,” then cross-reference your location data with websites whose Google My Business listings put them nearby.

Thinking the way people speak and making sure your business has a fully loaded online profile are going to be instrumental to your success when voice search becomes the norm, so plan accordingly. Make sure that you’re ahead of the curve when people start asking their mobile phones questions.

We hope this post has been helpful for your business.

Auctus Marketing Team