The rise of voice search is evident, as more and more people start to ask Alexa and Siri, and other virtual assistants, to answer their questions and perform other tasks. The growth in virtual assistants has been exponential, and alongside that has been the growth of voice search. Rather than having to type what they want to find, people can instead say what they are searching for. This phenomenon has led to companies from all industries to change the way they strategize to optimize for SEO, including the hospitality industry.
The capabilities of voice search have expanded, being able to accomplish more than before, which has made it a more feasible method of search than before. Rather than typing, “ Online Marketing Hotels El Monte,” people can now use voice search to instead ask, “Who provides online marketing for hotels in El Monte?” This is a much more specific search query and more natural to the user. What this means for hotels is that they have to optimize for long-tail keyword phrases. Long-tail phrases are much more specific than short-tail keywords, and tend to have more value. How? Well, these phrases have been found to have higher conversion rates than their short-tail counterparts. Continuing to focus on short-tail keywords is okay, but long-tail keywords are becoming more relevant as natural phrases appear more and more due to voice searches.
Hotels should also dedicate the time to create an FAQ page which responds to the long-tail keywords. By grouping common queries on one page, customers may have all of their questions answered in a much faster manner. In order to do this, hoteliers must figure out what questions the customers are asking and how are they asking these questions. They must then answer these questions on various outlets, including their website, social media posts, and blogs. By answering the “Who, What, Where, When, Why and How,” you can not only provide more information efficiently to your customers, but also out-perform the competition.
Another important aspect of voice search to consider is location. Location factors into about 80% of all searches, but voice-searches are even more location-focused than written search queries. To account for this, there are a few things to pay attention to. The first thing is your Google My Business page. If you already have one, make sure that the information is up to date, including the phone number, address, and so on. Next are the reviews you have received. Not only do the number of reviews impact your ranking in Google’s local pack, but so does the fact of whether the reviews themselves were positive or negative. Make sure to respond to negative reviews effectively. Now, if a customer were to ask their virtual assistant, “What are good hotels near me,” you may appear as a result by following these steps.
These steps go towards hotels shifting to a more conversational tone overall on their site, social media and blogs. Google Now and Siri won’t rate with content that is not written in a natural voice, so rather than lose potential customers, change your tone. Most people tend to enjoy a more natural voice when online, which matches well with the way that they actually speak, and allows them to search for your hotel more easily when using a virtual assistant. Make sure to take into account the voice that your brand is trying to project to their audience when trying to convey it in a more natural voice as to maintain your hotel’s identity. This will also enable you to put your long-tail keywords to practice, and figure out what you can improve upon and what has been producing results for your hotel.
As voice search continues to rise, it is important for hotels to prepare for it, but also continue to focus on traditional SEO. Voice search is supposed to support your SEO strategy, not replace it. Although voice search is rising, the majority of search is still conducted by typed queries on mobile devices and desktops. For a hotelier to be successful, you must optimize for both text and voice search in your SEO strategy.