Google is releasing a new feature to help voice users make appointments with local businesses. It is called the Google Duplex. This development was released in Google i/o 2018 If you have not seen the exciting video of how this week, Check it out on Youtube.
You ask Google to book an appointment for you, and the Google Assistant seamlessly makes a phone call on your behalf using natural language. The idea behind this has always fallen within the brackets of giving the world’s information to users at the touch of a button.
Google is a consumer-based company, It is making sure their product serves the user with the best technology that makes it as easy as possible for the consumer to interact with the information they need, this is called “Moments” or as they put it “Micro-Moments
Why does this matter to my business
Google is giving you the opportunity to win that customer, and being at the moment when their AI can choose the nearest location to them can mean a phone call from Google to your business. Below are some tips on what you need to look for to stay relevant before the launch of Duplex.
Before getting into the tips, you want to understand that local SEO depends on the legitimacy of your information. If your data is wrong, Google may not be able to legitimize your business therefore not allowing you to rank your business on Google Maps. You will want to keep a consistency of your business name, your address, website, and phone number. We called this the NAPW. Read an excellent article about NAP ( NAP by Moz ). So let’s start with your tips;
1. Check your Phone Number
This is an easy one, right? However, many have never changed their phone number on Google My Business or even have a listing on Google My Business. Start with creating a profile as soon as possible. Add relevant photos, descriptions, and services to enhance your ability to showcase who you are, what you offer and your location.
2. Is your Address Correct?
Google will choose a company to call based on their proximity. Using the location services on your phone, it will decide what’s more convenient and closest to you. You want to make sure that the right address is specified in Google My Business and any other directory listings your business is on.
3. Categories are also important
Make sure you have chosen the right category. Like the example in the video above, that business category must be “Hair Salon.” However, may not be a barbershop. Choose the categories that are closest related to your business and don’t stuff it. Just because you can offer it, it does not mean that it aligns with your industry vertical. You also want to make sure that anywhere else you add your business you want to keep a template of these categories. See more about this here
But I don’t have the time
That’s ok; there are several vendors that can give you a solution to your problem. These vendors take care of all of this for you, you need to provide them the correct data. Here are some of the top vendors I have experienced.
- WhiteSpark – This one is indeed my favorite. Whitespark has been around for a while now. They focus on organically helping you Audit all of your listings and changing the info that is incorrect. Their packages include a citation Audit, in which you would want to bundle with a citation building package. This can help you rank for very competitive keywords
- Yext – Known as a DKM, a Digital Knowledge Manager. Yext simplifies your process of creating multiple directory listings. It will give you one platform to add all of your info in a natural process, and it will aggregate your info to the top directories
- BrightLocal – This is a mix of both worlds, Yext and Whitespark. There is a manual submission aspect to it, but it also builds and aggregates your information to some of the most important directories.
Voice is becoming more important
Mobile is one of the most often used devices search but “ 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020” according to Comscore. It’s time you invest some time into this new trend before your local business is left behind.
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