By now I am sure you have been approached by agency after agency asking you how your business is prepared for the days of “voice search”. It’s the new buzz word in the marketing industry.

IT’S A THING. IT’S REAL. DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS?

Voice search is when a consumer utilizes a voice-enabled device to search for a service, find a product or answer a question.

Think of your Apple iPhone with Siri or the Amazon device sitting in your kitchen with your new best friend Alexa.

Perhaps you fancy Google and have the Google Home answering your beckon call. All are very popular voice search platforms.

You probably use one of them within your day-to-day life.

It’s real. However, it is also a sales pitch and I want you to be prepared for the conversation when your agency brings it up.

LET THE DATA SPEAK FOR ITSELF

Personally, I am a big fan of data.

It gives you the information needed to make business decisions.

Let’s see what the data says to help your business make better decisions with your marketing and the growing popularity of voice search.

It’s actually pretty interesting. Scroll down…

TODAY

It is estimated that there will be 21.4 million smart speakers in the United States by 2020. (Activate)

These are throughout the home in kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms, etc. I sincerely hope they are not in the bathroom. Something about that bothers me.

55% of homes are expected to have a smart speaker device by 2022.(OCC&C Strategy Consultants)

This could grow as home builders are now automatically equipping new homes with the devices. How can you make sure to capture the business?

65% of the owners 25-49 years old that have a voice-enabled devices complete at least one voice search a day.(PwC)

What if that one search is “Alexa, find me a local HVAC contractor to repair my air conditioner.”? Good thing you’re reading this blog.J

46% of users utilize voice search daily to look for information on local businesses.(BrightLocal)

You are a local business. They could be searching for you.

28% of users end up calling the business found in voice search.(BrightLocal)

Calls are the absolute best. They convert into customers at a higher rate than form fills.

27% of users end up visiting the website of the local business.(BrightLocal)

Please. Please. Please. Have a mobile friendly website for your HVAC company.

20% of all mobile search queries on Google are voice searches. (Google)

This is the most obvious data point that shows the trend towards voice search.

As mobile traffic continues to increase year over year this will only drive more and more consumers to your business.

76% of users perform local voice searches at least once a week. (BrightLocal)

GROWTH TRENDS

50% of ALL searches will be voice searches by 2020. (ComScore)

That is a large number of people talking to an inanimate object.

Make sure your business is positioned to be a source of HVAC searches.

WHO? WHAT? WHERE?

71% of individuals 18-29 years old use voice search.

This is not a surprise. This age range of consumers will be the next to enter the market for new HVAC systems.

Pay attention with how they search and buy products.

Adapt to their buying habits.

59% of individuals 30-43 years old use voice search.

39% of individuals 44-53 years old use voice search.

38% of individuals 54+ years old use voice search.

This statistic was rather shocking. Personally, I thought it would be much lower.

Many HVAC manufacturers mention this age group as the ideal consumer for HVAC contractors given their income and higher disposable income.

Location of voice-enabled devices in the home: Common Room (52%), Bedroom (25%) and Kitchen (22%). (Google)

In some cases it is important to know where consumers will be using the devices to know what type of content to create.

Different HVAC solutions for different rooms.

HOW?

Amazon is estimated to claim 63% of the smart speaker users in 2019.

My favorite. Amazon is connecting with home service providers to install products sold through the platform.

Soon I expect them to offer straight services using the same provider network.

Google is estimated to claim 31% of the smart speaker users in 2019.

They are well positioned to provide a stellar experience due to the search data acquired through the years.

Make sure you have optimized your website for Google so you are a favored result for future voice searches.

Everyone else rounds up the remaining 12%

You have the two giants and then everyone else.

I would say by looking at the data that it really is a thing.

Voice search is something that should be prepared for and monitored.

You have key demographic data that matches your targeting criteria.

You have a behavior that is growing in accessibility and ease of use.

Voice search is not going away. For now.

HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR HVAC COMPANY FOR VOICE SEARCH?

  1. Is your website mobile friendly?

If not, don’t tell me. Just get it fixed.

This is actually more common than people realize.

Google has place a tremendous amount of influence on the mobile readiness of websites within the search algorithms.

People are not using laptops and desktop computers at the same rate. Mobile search traffic continues to grow.

Work with a GOOD developer to make sure your website is mobile friendly. Keep the calls to action at the top with any offers.

Make it easy for people to do business with your company.

  1. Does your website have an SSL Certificate? Is it considered secure?

Not having an SSL Certificate is dumb.

If you are gathering any type of customer information on your website you need an SSL Certificate.

Google also realizes it is dumb not to have an SSL Certificate so it has now started to penalize websites that are no longer secure.

It’s sometimes free through your hosting or domain provider.

  1. Have you claimed and optimized your local directory listings?

I’m sure you have heard back Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, YellowPages Online, etc.

There are about 100 credible directories online that absorb the majority of the traffic.

Make sure you have all of them optimized with the correct contact information for your business.

This is incredibly important in the new era of voice search where the device will simply read or autodial the place of business.

It would suck to have a customer that recently had their compressor go out call a number that leads to nowhere instead of to your team.

  1. Is the structured data of your website complete?

Structured data is becoming essential in search engine optimization.

Think of it as a translator.

It takes the content of your website and translates it into a format that is machine readable.

You can also use rich snippets to embed important data like reviews

Use this tool from Google to review the structured data of your website.

  1. Are you creating the right content for your website?

Natural Speech – Make sure you speak like a real human. Stop keyword stuffing. Now.

Longtail Keywords – Consumers using voice search are using upwards of 26 words. Longer phrases within your keyword strategy will help you rank accordingly.

“Near Me” – Yes. Consumers are commonly ending a voice search phrase with “near me”. Work on creative ways to integrate the phrase into your website content.

Longform Content – The average article utilized in voice search results according to XXXX is XXXX words. Write longer content. Content that matters.

Frequently Asked Questions – Are you keeping track of questions customers frequently ask? Are you looking at your PPC search queries to see what people that click on your ad are typing into Google? Do it.

To help form the questions I recommend taking a look at the popular tool Answer the Public. It helps form popular questions that can be utilized in the process.

Readability – Make it easy to read your content. Google favors lower reading level content because it ensures more consumers can read it overall. Keep it simple. Big words don’t impress Google.

Customer Journey – Keep in mind the customer journey with your company. Create content that appeals to the various stages of the journey. Here is how search queries are entered from least to most intent.

What/Who – Consumer is educating themselves on the issue at hand.

How – Consumer is learning about a solution for the potential problem.

When – Consumer is looking for business information such as hours of operation.

Where – Consumer are ready to make a purchase or contact an HVAC service provider. The consumer is ready to act!

Voice search is real. Demand for voice-enabled devices continues to grow.

Create a strategy to allow your company to utilize voice search as a method for new customer acquisition!