Optimizing For Voice Search: Get Your Business Found Locally





Blog Date

May 27, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Optimizing For Voice Search: Get Your Business Found Locally

Optimizing For Voice Search: Get Your Business Found Locally

Unlocking the Power of Voice Search for Your Manchester Business

As an entrepreneur in the bustling city of Manchester, UK, I know firsthand the challenges of standing out in a crowded local market. With consumers increasingly turning to voice search to find nearby businesses, it’s more important than ever to optimize your online presence for this new frontier of search.

In this in-depth guide, I’ll share my top strategies for getting your Manchester-based business discovered through voice search. We’ll dive into the key players in the voice search ecosystem, uncover the different types of voice queries you need to target, and walk through step-by-step instructions for claiming and optimizing your critical local business listings. By the end, you’ll be equipped with a powerful arsenal of tactics to help your company rise above the competition and get found by customers searching with their voices.

Understanding the Voice Search Landscape

Before we get started, let’s take a quick look at the current state of voice search. While Amazon’s Alexa may dominate the smart speaker market with a 70% share, the overall voice search landscape tells a different story. According to Microsoft, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri actually lead the pack with 36% market share each, with Alexa coming in at 25% and Cortana at 19%.

The devices used for voice search are also shifting. While smart speakers may get the flashy headlines, the BrightLocal study found that smartphones are the most popular device for voice-based local business searches, followed by desktops/laptops and then tablets. So it’s crucial to have a local optimization strategy that covers all the key platforms.

Mastering the Three Types of Voice Queries

To truly optimize your business for voice search, you need to understand the different types of queries people are using. Local marketing experts have identified three main categories:

  1. Discovery Searches: These are broad queries where the user is looking for a type of local business, like “plumbers near me” or “best restaurants in Manchester.”

  2. Direct/Brand Searches: Here, the user is looking for specific information about a known business, such as “hours for [business name]” or “phone number for [business name].”

  3. Knowledge Searches: These are more general queries that don’t necessarily have local intent, but where a local business can still provide helpful information to answer the question.

While discovery searches are crucial for finding new customers, direct/brand searches can often be more valuable, as those users are ready to engage with your business right away. Knowledge searches, though a bit trickier to capitalize on, can also position you as a trusted expert in your field.

Claiming and Optimizing Your Local Listings

Now that we’ve covered the landscape, let’s dive into the practical steps for getting your Manchester business found in voice search. The foundation of this strategy lies in claiming and optimizing your key local business listings.

Google My Business

As the driving force behind Google Assistant, your Google My Business (GMB) profile is arguably the most important piece of the puzzle. Claim your listing, ensure all your business information is accurate and complete, and use best practices like adding photos, responding to reviews, and keeping your hours up-to-date. Doing so will help you dominate not just voice search, but also traditional Google Maps and Search results.

Apple Maps Connect

For Apple’s Siri, you’ll want to claim and optimize your Apple Maps Connect listing. This is where Siri pulls its local business data from. Be sure to fill out all the details, and keep in mind that Siri also relies heavily on Yelp for reviews and photos.

Bing Places

Though it may not be the first search engine that comes to mind, Bing Places powers Microsoft’s Cortana and still holds a significant 20% share of the voice search market. Claim your Bing Places listing and optimize it just as you would your GMB profile.


Finally, Yelp plays a crucial role in voice search, as it provides data, photos, and reviews to Alexa, Siri, and Cortana. Claim your Yelp business page, fill out all the details, add high-quality photos, and encourage happy customers to leave reviews.

By taking the time to claim and optimize these key local listings, you’ll dramatically improve your chances of getting found when customers in Manchester (and beyond) turn to voice search to find businesses like yours.

Optimizing for the Three Query Types

With your local listings squared away, it’s time to dig deeper into optimizing your content and online presence for the three main voice search query types.

Discovery Searches

To rank well for broad discovery searches like “plumbers in Manchester,” focus on creating robust location pages on your website that are packed with relevant keywords, detailed business information, and eye-catching visuals. You can also leverage your GMB profile, blog content, and social media to boost your visibility.

Direct/Brand Searches

For queries about your specific business, ensure your name, address, phone number, and other key details are consistent across all your online listings. This will help voice assistants quickly and accurately surface the right information. You can also encourage customers to leave reviews, which can further enhance your brand’s credibility.

Knowledge Searches

Positioning yourself as a subject matter expert can be a game-changer for knowledge-based voice queries. Invest in creating helpful, informative content on your website – whether it’s blog posts, FAQ pages, or even video tutorials. By providing genuinely useful information, you can increase the chances of your business being featured as a “position 0” result, which is prime real estate in voice search.

Putting It All Together

Whew, that was a lot of information to cover! But by now, you should have a solid understanding of the voice search landscape and the key steps to optimizing your Manchester business for this rapidly growing search medium.

Remember, the key is to take a holistic approach, claiming and optimizing your critical local listings, while also creating engaging, informative content that caters to the different types of voice queries your customers are using.

If you need any help along the way, feel free to reach out to the team at MCR SEO – we’re always here to lend a hand and make sure your Manchester business gets found, both through voice search and traditional channels.

Happy optimizing!

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