Alexa, how can people find my business?

Voice Search is the Future of How Your Customers Connect With You

71% of people use voice search for everyday tasks. You might read that and wonder how the percentage grew so large, so fast, but think about it: most consumers have access to at least one voice-activated virtual assistant. From Siri on an iPhone to Google Home, Cortana on a Windows product, and Amazon’s Alexa - the robot takeover is real. According to research from NPR and Edison Research, one in six adults own a voice-activated smart device.

According to Statista, a quarter of American adults between 18 and 29 own an Amazon Echo (the device that Alexa operates on). Nearly a quarter of adults between the age 30 and 44 own one as well. The number doesn’t fall radically as ages progress. Ownership rates of an Amazon Echo among American senior citizens is over 10%. Of course, these figures are only expected to rise.

When consumers ask Alexa a question about businesses nearby, the AI-enabled system only presents the top answers based on data available online.

When consumers ask Alexa a question about businesses nearby, the AI-enabled system only presents the top answers based on data available online.

Voice search’s lack of physical interface and ease of use make it an exceptional alternative whenever you have a question that needs to be answered. And if you’re running a business, we bet you’re hoping that you can be the answer to a future client’s question! Looking for a haircut nearby? Wondering where the best place to eat lunch outdoors is? Not sure how to assemble that IKEA bookshelf? Your clients are asking these questions and providing the data for search engines to be able to understand that you could be the answer is easier than ever.

When consumers ask Alexa a question about businesses nearby, the AI-enabled system only presents the top answers based on data available online.

Voice Search Is Nothing Like Traditional Search

Yes, we just said “traditional search.” Alexa won’t bring up 295 pages of clickable links to answer your query. What it will do is give you one, or a few answers, and then ask you what kind of follow up task it can complete for you. Businesses that provide the right data about where they operate and what they do are the ones that will be presented as an answer to a voice question. Alexa needs the right data from you if that’s going to happen.

Alexa Needs to Know Your Website

How does Alexa know how to answer a search query? The technology is similar to Google search in that it pulls information from websites and a number of data aggregators on the web. Just like Google, Alexa can only know the information you make available, which makes a straightforward case for investing a website that offers comprehensive information about your business.

As designers and developers we understand how on-page copy (like what you’re reading) and backend metadata combine to give search engines and virtual assistants information about your business. Formatting that data is standard practice in all of our projects.

If you are a business owner concerned about making sure your business can be discovered by your customers, consider filling out our custom project planner.