How Brands Win at Voice Search Preparedness

Chatmeter, a provider of local search marketing and review management, today releases its second annual Local Brand Report to help CMOs and brand marketers update search strategies for stronger ROI and better prepare for voice-enabled discovery.

With Google Consumer Insights reporting a 900% increase in “near me tonight / today” searches in the past two years, brands are taking a closer look at local SEO. And when it comes to local search, voice is 3X more likely to be used than text to find a nearby business. While this has in part led to a surge in search ad spending, companies struggle to make SEO strategies hyper-local and hyper-relevant at scale. Furthermore, most overlook the key to being found in a voice search starts with local SEO.

Highlights include:

  • Optimizing for voice search equates to ranking in a local search as high as possible – There’s an education gap around voice search preparedness as many marketers wrongly believe it is unnecessary or requires a lot of extra work. This research highlights the rise and impact of voice search, and how brands that have local SEO optimized for a high Local Brand Visibility (LBV) score have already paved the way for voice discovery.
  • 5 elements of a successful local SEO strategy – This report helps marketers understand the value and connection among review management, local listings, local SEO rankings, local pages and social media – and how this translates to potential sales.
  • None of these brands are ready for voice or voice engine optimization (VEO) – While Target, Best Buy, Dunkin’ and A&W Restaurants “win” in their respective categories, research finds all 12 brands have a below average LBV score (no brand is above a 64; 70 is an industry leader).
  • 3 common pain points to voice readiness – Being optimized for voice search is about ranking as high as possible. Areas where brands struggle include: posting to local social media, having an unbranded keyword strategy and responding to online reviews, which is a powerful way to improve rankings. The research found 8 out of 12 brands have a review response rate of 0%. This is alarming for big brands as a significant percentage (15%) of how Google’s search engine ranks businesses is dependent on reviews. At Chatmeter, data continues to prove that improving the response rate to reviews is the quickest way to boost rankings in local searches.
  • 81.7% of impressions on local search lists come from unbranded keywords – If a brand focuses too much on branded keywords, they are reaching a small percentage of their audience and not reaching new customers. In fact, all 12 brands have below average rankings scores (average score is 39). This means despite name recognition, these businesses are not visible when consumers are searching for unbranded keywords.

Chatmeter used real consumer data to determine the biggest areas of opportunity for a brand to increase its visibility in search results and improve customer experience. 

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