How to Optimize for Local Voice Search on Alexa, Siri, Google and Cortana

How to Optimize a Local Business for Voice Search - Alexa, Siri and Google

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Local voice search is rapidly growing in popularity … and every local business needs to optimize themselves so customers can find them when using Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana.

Here are the basic steps to optimize a local business for voice search:

  1. Understand the local voice search ecosystem.

    People use a wide variety of devices and Google, Apple, Siri and Cortana have relatively equal voice search market share.

  2. Understand the three types of local business voice search.

    You can optimize a local business for discovery, brand and knowledge voice search queries.

  3. Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing.

    Google My Business powers all local business results in Google Assistant.

  4. Claim and optimize your Apple Maps business listing.

    On Apple Siri, local business search results are powered by Apple Maps Connect.

  5. Claim and optimize your Bing Places business listing.

    Bing Places powers local search results for Microsoft Cortana.

  6. Claim and optimize your Yelp business listing.

    Amazon Alexa gets local search results from Yelp. Yelp also provides photos and reviews for Apple Maps and Bing Places.

Why Optimize for Local Voice Search?

Voice search use continues to grow not only with the proliferation of smart speakers, but on phone, computers and other devices as well. And people use voice assistants not just for general questions and tasks, but also to find local businesses.

A 2018 BrightLocal survey showed some very eye-opening results:

  • 50% of people used voice search to find a local business over the past year.
  • 74% of voice search users looked for a local business weekly.
  • 46% of voice search users looked for a local business daily.

That was nearly two years ago and voice search has continued to grow since then. Bottom line, people are using voice assistants to look for local businesses. Does your business show up for these customers?

Voice Assistant Market Share

There are four major voice assistants: Apple, Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, and Amazon Alexa. There’s also Samsung Bixby and a few others assistants but they have almost no market share.

Most people assume that Amazon Alexa dominates voice search. Indeed, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), Amazon does have a 70% market share of the home speaker market, Google Home has 25% and Apple has 5%. However, this is only for home speakers.

Mobile phones dominate voice search and market share changes considerably when you consider all voice-enabled devices. A 2019 study by Microsoft shows that Google Assistant and Apple Siri both share the greatest market share for voice assistants at 36% each. Amazon Alexa actually is third with 25% and Microsoft Cortana has 19%.

Voice Assistant Market Share
Voice assistant market share

According to the same BrightLocal study, when searching for local businesses, the most popular devices for voice search are smartphones, then desktops / laptops and tablets. Smart speakers are the least used for local business searches.

Popular Devices for Local Voice Search
Most popular devices for local voice search

Three Types of Local Voice Searches

Voices search queries can be broken into three different types:

DiscoveryDirectKnowledge
“What are the best breweries near me?”

“Find a plumber in Fort Collins”
“Call Hanna, Warner and Associates”

“Make a reservation at Hearth Restaurant”
“Has emerald ash bore been seen in Northern Colorado?”

In a discovery search, people are looking for types of local businesses. Direct searches are when people ask for information about a specific local business. Knowledge searches may not have local business intent, but local business can create information that will answer the question.

While discovery searches are important for finding new customers, direct searches can often be more important because those customers want to interact or do business with you right now. Knowledges searches are a bit more difficult to capture, but can lead to customers reaching out to you for your expertise in a certain subject.

The Voice Search Ecosystem

Local Search Ecosystem

When looking at the local voice search ecosystem, first start with the output devices. Obviously people use voice search on phones and smart speakers. But voice search use is increasing on tablets, laptop and desktop computers and game consoles.

You’re also seeing voice assistants being built directly into other devices such as smart TVs, appliances, watches. Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri are even being incorporated into new cars.

Optimize for Apple Siri

Apple Siri has 36% market share for voice search. It gets its local business data from Apple Maps Connect which powers not only local business data for Siri, but for Apple Maps as well. You can follow our guide to claim and optimize your Apple Maps listing. But the basic process is to go to Apple Maps Connect, sign in with an Apple ID, then claim your business listing and optimize your information.

You’ll notice that Apple Maps Connect has no reviews or photos. That’s because Apple gets reviews and photos primarily from Yelp, but also from a few other places depending on category. So, in order to best optimize your business for Apple Siri … and Apple Maps … it’s important that you also claim and optimize your Yelp business listing.

Optimize for Google Assistant

Google Assistant also has 36% market share for voice. This is the simplest voice search ecosystem because as a Google product, it gets all of its local business data from Google My Business, including reviews and photos.

Optimizing for Google Assistant is no different that optimizing for Google Search or Google Maps. There is too much involved in optimizing a Google My Business listing to go into here, but you can read our Google My Business Optimization Checklist or watch our Office Hours session on Google My Business ranking factors.

Bottom line, if you optimize your business to show up well on a Google search or in Google Maps, you’ll be well optimized to show up in a voice search on Google Assistant.

Optimize for Amazon Alexa

Amazon Alexa has 25% overall market share for voice, however, Alexa dominate the smart speaker market with a 70% market share and is being integrated into more devices.

Alexa gets local business data, photos and reviews from two primary sources. Their primary source of local business information is Yelp. So again, here’s why you want to claim and optimize your business listing. Yelp is the, the primary area where it’s going to get most of the information. That being said, it can also get business information directly input to it through Yext, right? So if you happen to be a Yext customer, if you’re running Yext, they have a, an exclusive relationship where Yext will directly push information in the Amazon Alexa. But if you don’t, just make sure you have optimized your business information in a Yelp and you’ll be just fine in Amazon. Alexa. So let me give you an example of that here real quick. Me pull this up. All right, let’s pull up Amazon. Alexa find coffee shops near me.

Why You Need to Also Claim and Optimize Your Yelp Listing

Yelp syndicates as data for a lot of places, not just on Yelp. Whether you like Yelp or not, that’s a whole separate discussion. The whole reviews thing on Yelp will have a whole separate session on that down the road here. But you do want to claim that and optimize as much as you can. The only thing you really have to do, this is the only kind of Yelp advertising that I, I strongly recommend other advertising that’s up to you to figure out if it’s a good ROI. But I would sometimes consider ’em using there a featured photos add on. I’ll show you more about that here in a little bit because then you can control the photo that actually shows up and managers your business. It’s not that expensive. Kind of a pain in the bud. If you’re happy with the photo, you’re getting off a Yelp on Apple maps, don’t worry about it.

Okay. So here’s the information that’s pulled in from a Yelp and you actually see primarily all this has come in from Yelp, right? There’s human being the table at Rez, Starbucks, mr dos donuts by the way, best donuts in all of Northern Colorado, mr Joe’s donuts. But all of its information is getting from Yelp, right? And you can even see it as a, it has a link to take you over to Yelp to get more information. All of this comes out obviously in voice. If I’m using a smart speaker or if I had voice enabled because I’m not sharing it, my, my screen here on that. I want to make you aware of something that has actually been going around a lot though. This is the whole thing. Talk about that a Amazon and how has our business relationship with Yext, right? So Yext, if you want to absolutely make sure you want to go directly through through a Amazon Alexa, great.

You can get a Yext subscription and I’ll push your information directly into into Alexa. However, again, it’ll pull from Yelp just fine if you’re not pulling it in from directly through a subscription. And a Yelp basic listing doesn’t cost you anything. There has been some scams that have gone around here and I’m gonna turn my speakers up here a little bit cause I want you guys to hear this. This is actually a, I’ve had several people contact me, ask me about this. We have an article about this on our website that I’ll link to. But this is an actual voice full meal that I got from a company and I got several of these over time. So here we go.

Hello. Sorry, I was just reaching out to you again to have your company be part of the Amazon Alexa network. According to our system, you still have not registered your business with Amazon Alexa. That means when someone says, Hey, Alexa, I need the phone number for your type of services. You are not being found. Amazon Alexa is currently in over 100 million homes and grilling call today to see if you qualify.

Okay, so bottom line, that’s a bunch of baloney. What they’re actually doing here is they’re actually, these are companies who are trying to basically resell Yext to unsuspecting businesses. So if you get anything like this at all blow it up. I actually called the guy, talked to the guy and I actually said, well, sorry, you guys just reselling the X. And he hemmed and hawed and you could tell it caught him off guard and he wouldn’t answer the question. And when they talked about the pricing, it’s typically a little bit more than what a subscription would be normally. So bottom line I like Yext. It’s not a bad system at all. If you’re using the X, that’s awesome. You don’t need it to be listed in here and you certainly don’t need to be registered with Alexa to show up in Alexis local voice search results. So heads up on the scam, ignore it, blow it off, tell other people know about it to blow it off. It’s not necessary. All right, moving right along here.

Let’s go into Microsoft Cortana. Let’s talk about this ecosystem. And again, it has close to 20% market share, right? So one in five voice searches are being done through courts. Now I have no idea which of those are general voice queries or which are specific local business search queries that that data isn’t out there yet. But nonetheless I think it’s worthwhile looking at it, especially if 20% of your customers may be utilizing that platform. So Microsoft Cortana, its business information from being places. So being as actually one of the top overall citations, we do recommend that businesses claim and optimize. It still has have significant desktop market search. It’s very poor and mobile search. But as you can tell, voice search is still has 20% market share as well. So it’s not chump change in, you might as well go out and claim it.

You out here, just go to Bing places.com. You can log in, claim it exactly the way you would do on Google my business. In fact, if you are already on Google my business, you can now actually log into being places and basically bring in all your listing information directly from Google. They just tried to make it that easy for you. So w it’s worthwhile claiming it optimizing it as much as you can because you might as well want to show up good in those results as well, both on desktop and mobile and invoice on here, I’m getting back into this here. It gets its business reviews and photos also from Yelp. A few other places, like sometimes TripAdvisor will show up in the hospitality industry. If you do a search out there, you can see which results are coming back and where they’re getting their their business reviews and photos from.

But it’s getting it from Yelp and other places. So again, another reason why you really want to claim your Yelp listing. So if you’ll notice your Yelp listing powers the business reviews and photos for Apple maps connect powers the business reviews and photos for being places. It also powers the business reviews and photos for Amazon Alexa, unless you’re directly submitting. So, you know, like, or hate Yelp. It’s an important part of the local search ecosystem when it comes to, to voice search, especially. So make sure that you’ve claimed that one out there. So big things. Want to do, optimize your Google my business listing as best as you can, optimize claiming, optimize your Apple maps listing as best you can, claim and optimize your being places, listing as much as you can and then claim an optimized your Yelp listing as much as you can.

You do those things there and you’ve set your business up pretty well to show up in all different kinds of search results. But especially for the voice search ecosystem. This is the slide show upgrade for a business listing that I recommend you might want to consider. They position as a buck a day. I realized that this is, you know, basically winds up being $365 a year. Right? Okay. This sucks. But what it does do is that allows you to control which photos appear on your page and in which order it was. So, which is the primary photo for instance the table at Rez here, which will coffee shop over here, their primary photo for a long time was a drinking fountain down a hallway that they had. They’re horrible. So went ahead and got this and we the, the, the, the listing so that, Hey, they can, you know, control the photos because this controls what their business appears like not only in Yelp but in Apple and in being and even in the Alexa search results if you’re looking at, at something on there.

So it’s something you might want to consider doing if you want to control that, if you’re happy with the photo that’s showing up don’t worry about it. But if you want to control that, this is one option that I might throw out considering upgrading that part of your listing. All right? Now let’s not forget about the knowledge searches, right? That is Emerald Ash bore in Northern Colorado, for example. This is where things get a little more complex, but there’s ways that you can get into those kinds of search results as well as a local business. So for Apple, Siri, Apple brings in its information from Wikipedia and from Google. I’ll show you an example of that. There’s two different kinds of results that you’ll get on Apple and knowledge searches for Google. Obviously it brings in all of its knowledge search from Google, organic search results, right?

For Amazon Alexa, it’s actually bringing in through a combination of being search results Wikipedia. But it was also something new called Amazon answers that I think you’re going to find very, very interesting. And then and Cortana, it brings in a organic search results from the being search engine, right? So these are where these knowledge search results are coming in. Not specific business results, but kind of generalized questions. So here’s an example. Here’s a, is the Google featured snippets. Sometimes this is called position zero. A lot of people, you’ll hear that how do you get into this? We’ll talk about that, but this is the essence of the position. Zero, right? So I did, has a, a voice search. Has Emerald Ash borer been seen in Northern Colorado. This is what showed up on a normal Google search. This is what showed up when I did a voice search in Google assistant. So you can see the featured snippet that shows up in Google search is the same as the featured snippet that will show up in voice search. And when you do an invoice search, it actually reads back the first part of the featured snippet to you. I’d like to show you that right now, but actually I’m gonna go ahead and disconnect my phone here and I’ll just do it for you real quick so you can hear what it sounds like.

[Inaudible]

Has Emerald Ash borer been seen in Northern Colorado

According to the Colorado and Emerald?

No, I just turned off my voice. Let’s try it again. Has Emerald Ash borer been seen in Northern Colorado?

[Inaudible] According to the Colorado and Emerald Ash bores were first confirmed in Colorado in 2013 with the first reports in Boulder.

There you go. So if you’re on Google, your goal is to become that featured snippet for that particular search or that position. Zero, right? We’ll talk about how to do that in just a second. Bottom line, you got to figure out, well, what are the kinds of questions that you want to be able to answer, right? So really generalized questions. You’re gonna have a hard time trying to rank in that position. Zero. This is a whole separate webinar about that position, zero and ranking on there, but pick questions that are appropriate to your geographic area, to your area of expertise, right? So for instance, we have a couple of tree companies here in Northern Colorado who, if they really focused on optimizing a piece of content for this answer, they have a good shot at showing up in position zero. So first of all, focus a web page has, you know, make it a webpage and the content on a specific question, a question that you want to show up in the results for, then do a search for that and find out how can you improve on the current snippet, right?

So if I’m you know, Davey tree company up here and I find this thing here, I’m going to see how can I improve on this article and the information that’s out there on the way it’s presented on the images. How can I do that? Use a site and local business and article schema. So schema markup, we’re not gonna go real deep in this hoping to have Martha van Berkel on here in a few weeks. She’s going to talk, she is the schema queen. She is going to be talking a lot about schema data and how to do this. But this is high level scheme of data for your organization, defining you as a local business and defining an article on your site. But then within the article you want to use a question, answer, FAQ list or table schema. This is a way to Mark up content on your pages and tell Google or any other search engine for that matter.

Hey, this is an FAQ. Hey, this is a, a bulleted list or a numbered list. Hey, this is a table. And then oftentimes that Google will take that data. It likes structured data. And if it sees you have structured data that answers someone’s question, it will oftentimes help boost that up and you have a better shot at achieving this position. Zero. So on your site and on the page, use site, local business and article schema. And then in the actual answers, if you have like a Q and a section, or if you have a bullets at a numbered list or if you have a table and make sure using schema markup within that. By the way, if you’re on WordPress, use the Yoast SEO plugin with the Gutenberg editor that’s built in there. It has all these little FAQ lists and table schema markups already built into it.

It’s awesome. It’s awesome. Inbound links are also going to be critical, right? So how do you get this position? Zero? Well, the more people who link in to this page, the more votes that page is going to get in the eyes of Google and the higher up in the search results this goes. So this is just like normal SEO, bottom line, the position zero, the featured snippet is really the best result that Google can find for that particular answer for that particular question. So your goal is first of all, you got to rank on page one first and then once you do that, then you have a shot at getting into that featured snippet. So don’t kill yourself on this, but on the other hand, it’s a great idea if you’re building out some content, build out an FAQ section on your site that talks about specific questions in your geographic area, in your area of expertise that you can answer, optimize the heck out of them, and you’ve got a good shot at potentially achieving that featured snippet or position zero, which you heard coming back on these voice search results.

All right, talk a little bit about the Google a featured snippet. Let’s talk about Siri. Siri has two different kinds of search results, what’s called spotlight results, and then general web search results. So if Siri actually just knows the answer to something, right? If you can calculate, you can ask the temperature. You could, you know, what’s 15 times a hundred, how many, how many, how many ounces in a pound? Things like that. Or factual data, like what’s the tallest mountain in Colorado? It will just come back and give you what’s called a spotlight result. I’m basically just saying, Hey, I know the answer to this. It’s, it’s featured snippet. If you would, I know the answer to this, I’m just going to give you the answer. If you’re asking something a little more complex and it doesn’t necessarily know the answer to out of hand, then you’re going to get a search results.

And those search results, organic search results will actually be powered by Google. So if you’re ranking well organically on Google, you’ll wake well in these kinds of results as well, right? So again, it has Emerald Ash borer come to Colorado. Siri didn’t know that just off the top of his head. So it said, Hey, I don’t know that, but here’s what I found through a, a Google web search and here’s the results. And the other hand was the tallest mountain in Colorado. Siri will oftentimes use sources like Wikipedia or other sources for things like temperature or census data or things like that. Factual data. They’re constantly grabbing different sources all over the place. Those are going to be hard to get in and just kind of own those. But Hey, if you’re ranking well on Google for organic searches, you have a good shot of showing up over here in the search results that may come up off of a voice search.

I was talking about Alexa for a second and Alexa answers. So Alexis, knowledge-based answers not, not business base, right? So if you’re searching for particular business or, or searching for a kind of business near you, it pulls that primarily from Yelp unless you submitted it directly via Yext. Right? but for the knowledge based searches, it’s going to pull from really three different areas. So the first area is it also will pull from like general data sources, Wikipedia, census Bureau generalize weather information, things like that. It’s going to pull that directly from there. Other things that will search from though that it doesn’t know. Yeah, we’ll actually try to use the being search engine to power these results. I will tell you this though of all for voice search assistance when it comes to kind of just generalized knowledge searches. Alexis, the dumbest one out there.

It really is. I mean, do you think Siri’s dumb? Alexa is dominant, comes to these knowledge based kinds of questions? It often they would just say, I don’t even know. I don’t know. Don’t bother asking me. Of all four of them, but, but there was a study, I didn’t put the date in here, the study done about a year ago of all for voice search assistance. And actually, Microsoft Cortana was the smartest. Google voice was second. Siri was third and Alexa was fourth in terms of just general knowledge searches. Obviously Alexis great at things like the commands that it knows and the skills that it already knows. But that’s just a heads up on that. There’s one of the things I want to talk to you about though, because this is really awesome. Just go out and search for Alexa answers. This is awesome.

This is a way that you can actually join in this community. And Alexa, Amazon will show you a bunch of search queries, voice search queries that have come up that it doesn’t know the answer to, and then you can actually fill in the answer and have a good shot at your answer. Becoming the default search on for that particular query on Alexa. Yes, believe it or not. So here’s one example, right? So I went in there and I, I’ve done a couple of these myself. I’ve got a profile out there. Here’s this guy Andy. Andy be the number two contributor to Amazon answers, right? And he’s, he’s a, he’s a contributed 764 answers, 91% healthfulness rating, right? A tons of badges out there, but I want to show you this. He had put in here, did Tom Brady quit the Patriots, right? That was, that was a question that had at Amazon had been asked that Alexa had been asked that it didn’t have a direct answer for. So when it gets these queries, it puts them into a queue and people who are these answer experts can go in and help and respond to them. So he put in this answer, this was his answer that Andy put in. I did a voice search. Actually, I’ll just do a voice search right now. Right here on Alexa. No, I’ll show you here. Did Tom Brady quit the Patriots?

According to an Amazon customer on March 18 to 2020, the NFL network reported that Tom Brady finalized an agreement to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a deal.

There you go. His answer became a default answer for this question. So you can imagine there has actually been a lot of abuses of this, but they’re getting better at it. People our rating to help from this, the rating, the answers. And so your answer just not automatically going to go live. You can’t just spam it. You have to build up a reputation in there. But fascinating idea. This is, this is another one of the spotlight results that ants, the Amazon will bring up. And you’ll see these and know these because it says according to an Amazon customer, all right, talk to us about Cortana, the Cortana featured snippet, right? So Katana, believe it or not comes from being obviously but it has feature snippets. When you do a search for being like Emerald Ash borer come to Northern Colorado, it actually has a featured snippet.

That featured snippet though has not been pulled over into Cortana. When you ask Cortana the same query, it says, I can’t help with that, but let me show you some search results. Obviously it gets those from being and Hey, this is its primary search result that becomes the first search result over here. When a Cortana brings back a result, Cortana is going to get smarter. It’s going to incorporate the actual featured snippets into there as well. But I wanted to point this out because it’s that knowledge kind of search that is an opportunity that businesses also have a chance to rank for. All right, last but not least, I want to let you know here. And if you have any questions, feel free to put these into the Q and a at this time. We’ll go here and take a look at some of these.

But there’s a great way to test these. If you’re looking for Google assistant, obviously any Google home device, most Android devices have Google assistant built in. But there is also an iOS and Android app that you can download for a smart phones. And then you can just, you know, do any kind of voice search and check it out that way. Apple Siri is available ups and any Apple device, Mac, iPhone, iPad, home pods, those kind of things. There is no Android app available for that. So there’s really no way to test that out and actually getting it on an Apple device. Amazon Alexa, obviously the echo, the echo dots but there is an iOS and Android app that you can download for your phone and you can test it out there for court. For Cortana. It is built into the windows operating system is built into Xbox.

It’s now built into Microsoft three 65 platform. There are currently an iOS and Android app. However, Microsoft has said they were, we’re going to start removing those apps in January. They’re still available. So maybe they’re changing their plans right now. Those apps are still available and you can check that out. So I hope that helps somewhat. I’m going to go back here and see if there are any questions that coming through rule. There’ll be a presentation available for download absolutely on a not for download, but we are recording this session and we will put it live on our website here. By next Thursday at the absolute latest, right? Well, hopefully you have found this valuable and now you understand how the local voice search ecosystem works and how you as a local business can optimize yourself or if you’re a marketing agency, how you can help your clients make sure that they are well optimized for voice search regardless of the voice search platform. That’s it for today. Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend and we will see you next week.

Well wait a minute, if you guys are still there, there’s a few more questions. I’m happy to chip in on somebody. So a few more questions coming in. Awesome. do you know of sources? Here’s what do you know of sources for different voice search systems are the same around the world or they differ based on your location? That is a great question. It is likely that they do differ based on location. For, let’s go back to this this ecosystem here. So for local business data that’s probably all is, is indeed going to come from those, from those locations. I’m primarily familiar with North America but I would imagine certainly Google my business. Google is gonna all come from Google. No matter what. Apple maps, Apple maps connect, business data probably still come from, they’re seeing with being, when it gets down to the business reviews and photos, that’s where things may change a little bit.

And like I said to the general search results, things may change a bit there. So I unfortunately don’t know much about outside the North American market on that one. Okay. Wasn’t clear if Alexa answers can help with business. I’m not quite sure what you mean with that Sharon. I mean, for example, if you’re a tree company and if someone says, Hey has you know, Emerald Ash borer come to the Northern Colorado. If I’m a tree company, I would want my result to be what shows up in those search results. That’s the knowledge kind of answers. And so if you can put that in there and answer those things with, with answers, then yeah, I mean, again, the more you can become an expert, the more you can guide people, the better it is. Okay. That helps a little bit here. Alright, we’ll just dismiss that one. Got that one. I’m good here. When it comes to optimizing Apple maps for clients, how do you go about that? Do you create them as separate Apple ID? Okay, great question Janine. So we do have a, an article about that. I’ll bring it up for you here too.

Let’s bring this over here real quick. Here we go. How to claim an optimized just your Apple maps listing. I do always recommend that you utilize the client, the client, Trina and Apple ID, and you utilize that if you’re an agency. Apple maps is not as developed as Google my business. So there isn’t this concept of multiple users and different user permission levels. And as a business owner, I always recommend that business owners own their assets. So in this case here I would definitely recommend that your client create the the Apple maps ID create it for the business, make it separate from their personal Apple ID, create one just for the business and then you as the agency utilize that when you’re going in to claim and optimize their listing. Hopefully that helps there. An image of your source graphic.

Yeah, bill, we’re actually going to try to convert that source graphic into an infographic here on voice search pretty soon. So stay tuned on that one. Price difference in getting [inaudible] subscription from Amazon and other sources. Okay. So first of all, Amazon does not offer Yext. You can get on to Amazon Alexa directly if you, if you have a [inaudible], if you have a [inaudible] subscription or if you’re working through an agency that is utilizing Yext on your behalf. So it’s just the prices of yaks and obviously with a Yext subscription, it goes through a lot of different places. But I mean there is a lot of contention out there amongst SEOs that you don’t need to continually update your business information all over the place. That subscriptions like this are not necessarily really needed. That’d be said. Yext offers a lot of other tools that are very valuable for, for businesses.

So I’m a fan of Yext but honestly, if you want to make sure you’re in Alexa search results you can do it through Yext. If you’re already doing that, awesome. But just make sure your Yelp listing is optimized is what I would recommend. Okay. Let’s go on here. Any suggestions for direct search when our name is not pronounced phonetically? Right. So you said like Skog rhymes with log. Ron, that’s a tough one. There really aren’t many options with that. Like I have an accountant that I work with here. Mueller pie and associates and good Lord is PI P, Y E and Mueller, M U E M, U E L. L. E. R. all the voice assistants have a real problem with that. So hopefully it already gets smarter and smarter over time. I think right now that’s really all we have to hang our hats on.

So there’s not a whole lot that you can do about that right now that I’m aware of. Normally here when adding citations for clients, I’m conscious the client doesn’t want spammed you create a separate Gmail address, you verify the listings where you do it be an existing email address. Mmm. It depends upon, you know, if there’s a general support address you can use that there. There’s a lot of different situations where the answer would have to be, it depends, unfortunately, Janine. But if they, if they don’t want to do that, have them create a separate Gmail address, a separate address, make sure they’re monitoring that one though. They have to be able to have access to that Gmail account. So make sure that they’re monitoring that. But I would also make sure that it is an email address that uses the domain name of the actual business itself. That just eliminates a ton of potential authentication, a ton of potential verification or suspension potential issues. So hopefully that helps a little bit. All right guys, we’ll got to run for now, but thank you so much for joining me again. We’ll try to post the recording of this sometime before Thursday or so next week. So make sure you’re on our email list and we will notify you that way. Have a wonderful weekend guys. Thanks.

Today we’re going to talk about how to optimize for local business voice search. Now, how do you as a local business optimize for voice search?

First of all, Alexa is not the most powerful search out there when it comes to voice. It’s the one that gets a lot of notoriety because a lot of home device units are being sold there, but when you look at the voice market as a whole, it’s everything from phones and tablets and computers and gaming consoles and cars and smart TVs, as well as these home devices. When you take all of them into account, Apple Siri actually has about half of the overall market share with Google Assistant between 25 and 30 and Amazon right around 13%.

Amazon, while it gets a lot of press, is actually the third largest voice search system out there. Let’s take a look at the ecosystem.

Local Business Voice Search Ecosystem

Here are all the various devices that are out there we just talked about. There’s Apple Siri, Google Voice, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana. There are also a couple other ones out there, but these are the biggest ones. Where do they get their information from?

Apple gets its basic business data from Apple Maps Connect. It gets its reviews and its photos for your business from Yelp and sometimes from some other locations: TripAdvisor and a few others.

Of course, Google Voice is going to get your basic business information, reviews, photos, and everything else from Google My Business.

Amazon Alexa is getting its basic business data primarily from Yelp. However, they just recently a few months ago signed a deal with Yext where Yext is now submitting business data directly to Amazon Alexa. Amazon Alexa’s results are becoming to be a bit mixed here.

Then finally, Microsoft Cortana gets its basic business data from Bing, but it gets its reviews and business photos from other places, similar to Apple Siri.

How Do You Optimize for Local Business Voice Search?

So what does all of this mean?

Really, you don’t do anything different with local business voice search than you do with optimizing your business for a normal desktop or a phone search.

You’ve got to optimize your Google My Business listing. You’ve got to claim and optimize your Apple Maps Connect listing. You’ve got to claim and optimize your Yelp listing because it impacts Alexa, Siri, and Cortana. Then you want to claim and optimize your Bing Places listing.

We have videos on how do to all of this in our training area, so go check them out if you’d like to.

Local Business Voice Search Examples

Let’s just do a couple of quick searches here.

“Hey, Alexa. Tell me jewelry stores in Fort Collins, Colorado.”

Alexa: Based on your zip code settings, here are a few top rated ones. One: Mariposa Plants and Flowers. Two: Vapor Tour. Three: The Nerd Store. Four: Wise Jewelers. To get more accurate results, go to the Alexa app and enter your address.

I haven’t put my address in Alexa yet, but obviously it’s getting my IP address, figuring out where it is. Let’s try Google.

“Hey, Google. Jewelry stores in Fort Collins, Colorado.”

Google: I found a few jewelry stores near Fort Collins.

All right. You might not be able to see them here, but the results actually are identical to if I were to look up jewelry stores in Fort Collins on a web search. Now let’s try one more.

“Siri: Hey, Siri. Jewelry stores in Fort Collins, Colorado.”

Okay, Eric. Here’s what I found.

It came up with four or five different results for me. All of these local business voice search services will come up with four or five results.

What Are Your Next Steps?

Again where are they getting this data from? Well, Apple’s getting it from Apple Maps Connect and supplementing it with reviews and photos from Yelp and other places. Google’s getting everything from Google. Amazon is getting it from Yelp and directly from Yext. Microsoft Cortana is getting it from Bing Places and Yelp.

So, these are the places where you need to really optimize for local business voice search. We have a lot more detailed information on each of these services and how to optimize them in our training videos, so check them out.