What is local SEO that is important for voice search strategy (VSO)?

With the spread of the Internet , searching has become a standard method of gathering information. Until now, text searches were common, but recently, voice searches are becoming more familiar with IoT home appliances and AI assistants in smartphones. Against this background, companies that have been focusing on SEO measures are paying attention to VSO measures (Voice Search Optimization), which are voice search measures.

Therefore, this time, we will explain local SEO , which is an important measure for VSO measures . If you are a web manager who is about to start working on VSO countermeasures, this article will help you understand the specific countermeasures.

Why Local SEO Matters in VSO

Consider how voice search is used. Unlike text search, hands-free voice search allows you to search while doing something else. You may look for a nearby convenience store while driving, or look for a place to eat lunch while traveling. It’s best to let people know your store when voice search is done like this. As a result of the act of searching, which is accompanied by a strong motivation, if the information of the store is conveyed, it can be expected to lead to attracting customers. That’s why local SEO is so important.

Even if you know voice search, there may not be many people who recognize the importance of local SEO , assuming the usage scenarios mentioned above . If you have a store or facility that can be found by voice search, local SEO should be done before most of your competitors start working on it.

Local SEO measures

Local SEO measures are measures to ensure that pages are displayed at the top of the search results for searches using keywords that are easily influenced by the region, such as “region name + keyword”. For example, if you search for “Shinjuku Yakiniku”, local search results will show Google Maps and store information for Yakiniku restaurants in Shinjuku. These search results are sometimes called local packs. Also, if you search for “Yakiniku” in Yokohama, Google ‘s algorithm will display the Google map and store information of the yakiniku restaurant in Yokohama, your current location . But I only see 3 results for my local search. You won’t see more stores or establishments until you hit “more”, so being in the first three results is very important. For that reason, you have to do local SEO measures.

Well, from here , I will introduce what kind of measures are specifically required to implement local SEO .

Requires registration with Google My Business

The first step in doing local SEO is registering with Google My Business. To display store and facility information in local search results, it is a prerequisite to be registered with Google My Business. Google My Business registration is free, so if you have a store that you want to target for local SEO , register first.

Stores that can be registered on Google My Business must be able to respond directly to customers during business hours. For example, interior shops, real estate agents, restaurants, recycle shops, etc. Simply put, a physical store must exist, not an online retailer. Properties that are for rent or sale, such as model homes and vacation homes, are also not eligible. Registration requires confirmation from the business owner, so you need to be able to handle that. You must include your address so that you can receive the business owner’s postcard from Google .

Put up-to-date details in Google My Business

Keep your Google My Business account up-to-date. The information that can be registered includes store name, business type, address, phone number, business hours and website URL . As a local pack, it is transmitted to search users, so be sure to set it.

Information about store closures and opening hours is especially important. Even if customers visit the store because of the results of local SEO, if they visit the store during the business hours of the old information and the store is closed, it will be an opportunity loss Otherwise, you may end up with bad reviews . Regarding business hours and regular holidays, it is possible that they will be rewritten by Google ‘s crawling, so you need to be especially careful.

Let’s check the information displayed as a local pack as a test. If you use your smartphone to search for yakiniku restaurants in your area, the restaurant name, reviews, address, and opening hours will be displayed. Let’s register correctly so that the user can enter the store.

communicate with users

As a search engine , Google tries to provide the information that users need. Therefore, it will be important to have a high objective evaluation. Check Google My Business for user ratings. The number and content of word-of-mouth is important, and I want to accumulate it in Google My Business. However, getting users to rate a store or facility, as you know, is not easy. Communicating with users is important to get reviews .

Since Google also includes “familiarity” in the evaluation of high ranking display, we would like to leave a history that many people know the store. Word- of-mouth is of course important, but building trust through communication with users is also important for becoming loyal customers. Whether it’s on the web or in a physical store, good communication is still important.

Photo posted

You should also post photos regularly. Adding more photos will increase the number of points of contact with users and increase engagement . It is important for local SEO to increase the chances of being seen by many users . Images can tell a lot more about your store at a glance than text , so use images effectively to capture the interest of users.

Even in the picture, you should consider the appearance of the store. When a user visits a store for the first time, they will look for a physical store by referring to the exterior photo of the store. Although it is more user-friendly than local SEO , it is easy for users to keep the exterior photos of the store up-to-date.

Unification of NAP information

NAP is an acronym for “Name”, “Address” and “Phone”. It refers to the name, address, and phone number of a store or facility, and uniformity is required for these. This is because the NAP information held by Google and the user’s location information are related to the display of local search results. In other words, if the NAP information is not unified and scattered, there is a risk that Google will not display the company’s store to the user. If NAP information is not unified, it will be confusing for users. Be sure to check the information registered in Google My Business and the information posted on the official website. NAP information should be unified even on pages not managed by your company , so you should try to have them corrected.

Move one step ahead of the competition

There are still not many stores and facilities that practice local SEO . Start faster than your competition can. First of all, I recommend registering the store you want to aim for local SEO in Google My Business and putting into practice what I introduced this time. Local SEO does not take effect immediately after registering with Google My Business. Stores that are supported by users are highly evaluated by Google as well-known stores. In order to do so, we need to build up steady daily efforts such as communication with users. Let’s start working on it as a VSO countermeasure.

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