Ever had your hands covered in masala while you cook, and suddenly forget the name of that one last spice you have to add to make the perfect dish? We all know what to do when that happens. If you’re thinking, “Ok, Google! Check recipe for pav bhaji.” That’s a lie; we all know it’s usually, “Ok, Google! Call mom.” It’s important, however, to note that Google gives you the option to do either. More importantly allowing you to flip through the pages of the best encyclopedia, by simply saying a combination of words. If that isn’t amazing, we aren’t sure what is.
As if that weren’t enough of a miracle achieved by Google, they went ahead and created “Near Me” predictions. That one night that you needed to know the nearest grocery store, because you were out of chips (and there were 15 people in your house), Google had your back. If you’re an introvert (like some of us on this side of the screen), it was movie night, you wanted popcorn and you needed to know who was close enough to deliver, Google still had your back.
This blog aims to help you understand the role these two technological advancements play in your daily life, as well as in the growth of your business.
Google Voice Search
Using our voices to obtain information has been the most common search function we have used for decades now. Going back to dialing into directories, and asking to be connected to relevant businesses, voice search has served us well. It continues to do so, with Google adapting this age old system into a tech savvy option for us messy, clumsy, and lazy folks. Even more so, for those who are efficient multi-taskers and need an assistant like Google to help them through their list of daily achievements.
What Google Voice Search offers you:
- As a consumer:
Google Voice offers Search and Actions. Essentially, it offers you convenience within the realm of your device, as well as through the internet. You have access to the following with Google Voice Search and Actions:
- Searching for basic information: You can simply ask Google a question, and it will provide you with the top listed responses. For instance, if you were to ask, “Hey Google! Is it going to rain today?” The automated Google voice will respond with the top most forecast, and provide you with the option to pursue.
- Get Directions: If you decided on a spontaneous solo road trip to a hilltown near you, and now you may just be lost. Instead of stopping by the side of the road, and asking the first person you see which way to head, you simply say, “Hey Google! What’s the best route to Nandi Hills?” Google will respond with the best possible route, and all you have to do is click start, and let Google guide you to that scenic point.
- Create Reminders or Set Alarms: Have an appointment tomorrow and you remembered while you’re busy drying clothes. Google allows you to set reminders and alarms on your phone, and you can adjust notifications settings as well. This feature isn’t just easy, it is also efficient.
“Hey Google! Set a reminder to read more blogs tomorrow.” – Try it!
- Control your Google Account: We all know Google is currently the backbone of the digital world. It is near impossible for a common internet user to not have a Google account. Google voice search allows you quick access to all Google Account related settings at any time. These could be normal settings or privacy settings, which are extremely crucial as we all know.
- Entertainment and Communication: This also gives you access to music, videos, and other forms of entertainment that are already available on your device, or that need to be accessed from the internet. “Hey Google! Play *song of choice* on *app of choice*.” OR “Hey Google! Play *song of choice* on Youtube.” The access exists, the choice is yours. More importantly, you can use Google to contact people, or even businesses. For instance, “Hey Google! Call mom.” or, “Hey Google! Call the nearest medical store.” You can also save a certain name under a certain title. Let’s take for instance, your brother’s name is saved as “Sumit” on your phone, you can ask for his name to be saved under the title “brother”. The next time you say, “Hey Google! Call my brother.” You will be connected to Sumit.
- As a Business:
Being in the top suggestions under Google Voice Search for your industry is neither easy, nor surpassable.
As a business, the function and importance of Search Engine Optimization and high website availability on SERPs is something you would understand.
Another important part of Digital Marketing, it is crucial to know how Google Voice Search changes the game, and how you can keep up with it.
Keeping the following points in mind is crucial:
- User Search Intent: Always keep in mind the more specific needs that potential customers would enter into the search engine, and write your content accordingly. Keep all the important details about your business available to the search engine and in doing that, to the consumer. Your working hours, contact details, address, etc. are extremely crucial details.
- Keywords: One could argue that this is similar to the previous point, however, this point focuses more on keeping in mind long-tail keywords. Allow me to explain. Long-tail keywords, as the name suggests, are longer, but more importantly they are specific. Thinking about the tone of a voice search in comparison to the tone of a typed out search phrase, remember that voice searches will generally have a conversational nature to them.
Most businesses will choose to go with the shorter, more competitive phrases, note the untapped potential that lies within long-tail keywords.
- Google My Business: As always, Google is a few leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the world. A platform that allows you to interact with customers for free – who other than Google could provide it?
Google My Business, allows you to set up all the details that a customer would need immediate access to, including contact details and address. Keeping this account available and updated is the biggest favour you can do your business if you’re trying to stand out in the world of Google Voice Search.
Take for example, a major salon (XYZ) in HSR Layout. In terms of word-of-mouth and in the area it is well known for brilliant services. Supposing someone new moves into the area and uses voice search to find “salons in HSR Layout”, and XYZ doesn’t come up, but the next best salon does come up. This would happen, if XYZ does not have a Google My Business page, while its competitor does, immediately giving the competitor a major advantage.
Google Near Me Predictions
As stated before, Google continues to outdo itself repeatedly. With the advent of device location tracking. The best way to make the most of it was to offer customers the advantage of easy access to the establishments in their surroundings. As an individual, the easiest way to find a business you need quick access to, is to simply search for the relevant business near you.
In a populated, constantly growing, and highly digital world, Google saw the need for yet another form of convenience and preemptive suggestion. Therefore, when you now enter search words such as “medical stores”, the automatic suggestion that follows is “near me”. If they have an updated Google My Business profile, all details will be included.
You would have noticed that although there is a medical store available across the road from your house, the top most suggestion on the SERPs you see is much further away. This is simply because that store is not optimized for “near me” predictions, and therefore does not feature in comparison to other established stores in your vicinity.
THERE’ S A GOOGLE ALGO DEVELOPED ONLY TO OPTIMIZE LOCAL AREA SEARCHES
As a business person, it is crucial that you observe these differences, and attempt to ensure that your business takes the required steps to be a step ahead.
- Local keywords:
Using locally relevant keywords is extremely important when using near me predictions to your advantage. For instance, if the term “pharmacies” is more commonly used than “medical stores” in your city, or your particular area, ensure that is the term made available in your description. In that case, if someone were to search “pharmacies near me” your business would be listed higher than those using the term medical store.
- Google Ads Extensions:
When your ad is posted on the SERP, using the Google Ads Extensions can increase your click through rate by a lot. In the case of near me predictions, keeping your click-to-call, or direct access to your shop location would serve great purpose. Having the option of searching “schools near me” and clicking the call button for immediate assistance increases the chances of an individual contacting your business.
- Google Maps Search Ads:
Make it a point to invest in Google Maps ads for your locality. In the image below, you can see that the top listed school is an ad. Even though it is further away than the schools listed below it, and even has a lower rating, it is first on the list. Investing in these ads can be highly beneficial for your business. This will also affect your ranking in near me predictions.
Now that you have a basic understanding of Google Voice Search and Near Me predictions. As well as, the varying roles it can play in service of an individual consumer, or a business. We would suggest you make the most of these technological advancements as best you can.
Handling these many tenets as the world continues to grow is not easy. Fortunately, there are those who specialise in these services, and could help your company grow immensely. Advertising agencies, like Moshi Moshi in Bangalore, specialize in Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, and other such services. They are easily available from anywhere and everywhere, and are a brilliant investment for the growth of your business.