How to Get Found for Spoken Queries on Google Home & Amazon Echo (Part 1)

If you’re stumped about how to position your company for success on the new smart speakers and assistants, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Many companies want to take advantage of getting found in voice search results via these new in-home (and in-office) assistants. The good news is that you likely are already a bit familiar with how to do this, if you’ve been keeping up on the importance of including long-tail keywords in your campaigns. And if you’ve been diligent about optimizing for mobile (where nearly 25% of queries are via voice), then you’ve got a leg up on the competition.

So how can businesses capitalize on the new wave of queries made to devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo? These tips will point you in the right direction:

>> Create content around popular questions. Not only must you understand the ‘right’ questions (user intent); you have to create the ‘right’ answers (content: text, images, audio, video). We discussed this in greater detail here, if you’d like to learn more.

>> Create better content than the competition. Include details, unique facts, in-depth analysis. Your content doesn’t have to be long. It has to be different and valuable.

Let’s look at Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Google Home and see where you can find opportunities to drive users to your website.

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo is tightly integrated – no surprise – with Amazon’s ecosystem. This is really convenient for consumers if a person wants to order things hands-free. Tell Alexa that you want to order cat food. It presents you with various brands to consider. Or if you want to order something again, or perhaps you know an exact name of an item, you can ask Alexa to help you find that.

Focusing on understanding Amazon Alexa user questions and creating ontent especially for these folks will likely bear more fruit if you already have an Amazon store set up, or if you intend on setting one up. As with non-Amazon key phrase research, you can spy on competitors’ keywords for even more question aand content creation possibilities.

Fortunately there are dozens of tools (some free) that can help with discovery of top queries on Amazon. Mine these top queries and they can point you to the best content topics. Create outstanding content based around these topics (with an eye to Bing and Wikipedia results, which commonly are referenced via Amazon Echo) and you have a better chance to be found via Amazon voice search.

Here’s a tip: Engine-ius Marketing keeps tabs on the top key phrases searched on Amazon – and beyond that, we know how to select the top key phrase variations that connect to common Alexa queries. We’re experts at using the most sophisticated Amazon keyword research tools to build lists of top converting questions.

Over the last year or so Amazon has branched out with video-enabled versions of its popular Echo line. These allow users to view videos, to-do lists, monitor rooms in the home and more. It will bear watching how these and later versions of Amazon’s voice and video assistants provide even more opportunities for users to find your business.

Google Home: Get Ready to Answer Questions

Michael Grothaus, in his ’20 Amazing Things Google Home Can Do For You Right Now,’ quotes a 360i study that states that Google leaves Amazon Alexa in the dust when it comes to answering questions accurately. With that said, it’s important to get busy now optimizing for Google-based voice search.

Google has increasingly set itself up as a one-stop resource for most any type of question – and when it comes to travel, dining, and local services, being found on Google is essential if you want to drive a lot of targeted traffic to your website. All of the tried and true SEO methods that can get you Google visibility still apply in this new era of voice assistants (in this case Google Home’s Google Assistant). As with Amazon’s Echo, you’ll want to build out more than a key phrase list; you’ll want to compile a ‘who, what, when, where, how’ question list. You will find this to be a valuable exercise because answering these questions (through content creation) will help you get found more easily on mobile, too.

Another way to get your business positioned for potential ‘wins’ against queries on Google Home is to create Google Local Services ads. These are being tested in about 35 cities currently, and span a growing set of home service categories; including plumbers, locksmiths, garage door repair companies, and more. You have to pass Google’s criteria to get into these listings, which means your company will be pre-screened, meet licensing requirements and will need to be insured. Google guarantees work done through their service providers, or clients’ money will be refunded. If you pass the criteria and get your business listed in these ads, the ads have the potential to show up at the top of search results. The ads also offer one more way for you to be potentially found via voice search on Google Home.

Important Google SEO tip: Apart from voice search and smart speakers, you should spend time creating and enhancing your Google My Business listing. When you work with Engine-IUS Marketing we can create this for you so you have the best chance to be found in local search results.

Think Like a User: What Questions Do You Want to Be Found For in Voice Search?

Even with the amazing technology built into Google Home and Amazon Echo, these smart assistants often get stumped when asked a question. That’s why it’s important to create questions (and content featuring answers to these questions) in multiple formats. Certain question formats bring an ‘I am not sure’ or ‘I don’t know the answer to that’ response. When you know that the information requested is not obscure, it’s likely that Google Home or Amazon Echo doesn’t have the capability of understanding the question format.

Create questions like this, all asking for the same information, but in different ways, to accommodate these smart speakers’ abilities and varying forms of user queries. As with typed in search queries, not every user will choose the same words or phrasing.

Here’s how you can take advantage of the possibilities. Say for example, you live in Jersey City, NJ:

  • Italian restaurants near me
  • Where are some good Italian restaurants in Jersey City?
  • Best Italian restaurant in Jersey City

Or if you are looking for car care centers:

  • Car body work Jersey City, NJ
  • Tell me where the nearest car repair garage is in Jersey City
  • Where’s the nearest mechanic in Jersey City, NJ?

Looking at these variations, note that they’re usually longer phrases than people would normally type into a search engine. If you’re already optimizing for mobile, you may be familiar with this type of question building. You’ll want to anticipate questions and build your answers (content) around them. And don’t forget that content isn’t always text – it can be optimized images, video and podcasts.

**Bonus tip #1: A great outgrowth from optimizing for voice search is that you will be improving your entire digital marketing campaign. Great content attracts traffic in multiple ways, including via social media shares. So at the end of the day, when we connect the dots, the tried and true SEO strategies continue to dominate:

Precise key phrase research (plus question building) + great content that fulfills users’ needs= online marketing success.

Bonus Tip #2: We recommend building out a marketing strategy for both Google Home and Amazon Echo. That’s because when it comes to local search-related queries, while Google is the king of search, Amazon Echo also performs quite well (defaulting to Bing’s index) and can answer questions such as: ‘Italian restaurants near me’ with several choices.

How to Market to the New Smart Speaker Audience: Keep Working the Tried & True SEO Tactics

Make your content the answer to top user questions.

So all of the knowledge and strategies that we’d normally bring to bear for a standard SEO campaign, are definitely vital for being found in voice search. Think of it this way: the user won’t be looking at a SERPs page when they search by voice. They might ask Google Home or Amazon Echo for a few choices, at most. It will be extremely challenging to position your company at the top of those voice search results, but we have some great tips to share next time to help you get there! And all of this is time well spent because it can also win you traffic from smart phone users!

Last time we discussed how to get ready for the evolution of visual search. Today we’re showing you how to benefit from voice search & voice assistant-enabled queries. Next time we’ll give you a handy ‘to-do’ list on how to get found via the new smart speaker devices.

Engine-IUS Marketing Leads Your Audience to Conversion on Every Device

Engine-IUS Marketing can position you so you have the best chance to be found on any device. So whether users speak, type, pinch or zoom – we can point them to your website! Contact us today to have us create your 21st century digital marketing campaign.

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