Winery Marketing: Optimizing For Voice Search & Position 0 “Zero”
Voice search is the fastest growing segment of search right now, and it’s going to accelerate with the rise in usage of personal assistants. Today, I am speaking in Santa Rosa at the Wine Tourism & Marketing Conference, with representatives from wineries and tourism organization in attendance.
Here’s a look at the presentation that I am presenting at the wine tourism and marketing conference about voice search and position zero:
- Voice search trends & defining voice search
- Position Zero & Rich Snippets
- Why voice search matters for the wine industry
- Optimizing for voice search & Position Zero
- Ok, what’s next?
Voice search trends & defining voice search
- Google says that 55% of teens and 41% of adults currently use voice search more than once a day.
- 20% of Google searches and 25% of Bing searches contained a voice search in 2017.
- 24% of those searchers are looking for local businesses / content & it’s growing!
- Already 22% of people say they trust voice search with ecommerce transactions.
- ComScore predicts that Voice Search will be 50% of all searches by 2020.
Start by asking your personal assistant or device a question and Google and other assistants will attempt to provide you with the best search result based on your search intent. The “best answer” will be returned. We find that the Google Knowledge Graph is driving the majority of these search results, making for a great opportunity to optimize existing content to show up in voice search results. Often Informational queries are made, with structured data returned as results. The answers tend to be Quick Answer, it’s not in-depth content or a long customer journey. Commonly searched for terms include Who, When, Where, How, which is perfect for local businesses or wineries interested in diving local visitors to their location. Many of the popular assistants include Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Bixby, and Microsoft’s Cortana. Interesting to note is that the screens that we use in our navigation are changing and multiplying – consider the fact that Tesla’s cars are now heavily driven by an app and screen interface, bringing navigation and search results directly into your car.
Isn’t all of this voice search a little bit annoying?
StoneTemple recently conducted research that shows about 35% of those surveyed found voice command talking annoying – this is down from 52% last year.
Position Zero & Rich Snippets
Position Zero is a critical place for your business to be in search results because the voice search results that are returned tend to be from that first location. Position 0 is the location above the traditional search results – they may be a map, a weather listing, sports scores, or other structure data. At the moment we find that 80% of Google Home voice search results are driven by Rich Snippets, derived from Position 0 results. Google crawls pages and determines the best answer, often pulling into the search result much more than the traditional 10 blue links. This is a huge opportunity for wineries and AVAs to capitalize on rich content snippets to drive more traffic. Position ZERO drives VOICE SEARCH.
As Google and other voice search platforms continue to seek the best answer based on your search intent – Rich Snippet results continue to grow. In fact roughly 30% of all searches currently trigger a Position ZERO result now. (Stone Temple). Rich Snippets are not long and wordy – The average length is 56 words long. Rich Snippets need to be structured (h1,h2, schema.org, ALT text in images). Ok, so who is benefiting from Position 0 right now? Many technical industries are seeing growth including healthcare & financial. Local businesses & brands are quickly growing in search query volume. Local businesses: “Best” & “Reviews” are commonly searched.
Why voice search matters for the wine industry
- Voice Searches tend to be about 3x more likely to be local based.
- 31X more likely to take an action based on search results (directions, call)
- 8.6% CTR on Position Zero (brands see a 114% increase in CTR if they are ranking 3-10 on the page)
- Tourism industry sees a 300% increase in traffic when ranking in Position Zero.
OK, I want to take advantage of voice search & Position ZERO.
- How do we optimize for Position ZERO?
- What kind of keywords matter for voice search?
- How does my SEO Strategy affect all of this?
First Step: You must have a traditional search result in the top 10. Three Critical SEO elements of Content, Code and Credibility must be present. The probability of having Position Zero is based on SERP rank.
Optimizing for voice search & Position Zero
Ensure that you don’t hinder the search engines with bad code and complex site structure.
Google recently made changes for a site to be indexed “mobile first,” and many of the technical items also matter for voice.
- Site Speed
- Schema Markup
- Crawlable content
On Page SEO strategies drive better rankings, which means you open your site up to being able to show up for voice search results.
- Strong on page structure & organization (schema, H1s)
- Title tags still matter (you have 70 characters, use them!)
- Image optimization (ALT text, use non-stock images)
- Internal links (you can still shape how Google sees your site)
Off Page SEO helps to drive credibility and 3rd party validation for your site. Links & citations are the supporting cast for your content.
- Local citations (map listings, Yelp, TripAdvisor, others)
- Local AVAs & Tourism Partners (leverage each other’s authority)
- Content Marketing (online publication inclusion)
- Site Host IP & Trust (make sure your neighborhood is safe)
Ok, what’s next in the future of voice search?
A growing number of voice searches are local and transactional searches.
Video results will see growth in the future and likely will see more play time.
Google says…. more than 50% of regular smart speaker users want to hear information about deals and promotions.
Can I advertise on voice search results? Not yet.
Amazon Alexa Skills are currently not allowing advertisements; however they may integrate these in the future. Amazon would like brands to focus on engagement and useful content.
Near Me Search Trends
Over the last two years, the “near me” mobile search has seen a 500% increase in volume when combined with “to buy,” “can I buy,” or a similar phrase, according to a comparison of Google Data from July-December 2015 and July-December 2017. A related mobile search that has recently surged in frequency is “near me today/tonight.” That phrase increased by 900% in the same period.
Targeting the millennial with Voice Search
35.8% of millennials use voice-enabled digital assistants at least once a month, per eMarketer; this compared to just 10.1% of baby boomers. The number of millennials who use voice-enabled digital assistants will climb to 39.3% in 2019, per eMarketer.