#192 Mail Right Show We Discuss Google Voice Search
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Google Voice Search Everything You Need To Know If You A Real Estate Agent!
Voice Search is getting more and more important for real estate agents, see more people are using voice at home and in their cars to find local services like real estate agents also Google is now really integrating voice search with local search into what Google calls its “Google Brain” technology which is its version of AI (artificial intelligence.)
Yes this all sound like science fiction and what does all of this have to do with me getting more leads?
The good news is with a small plan of action (which Robert outline in this episode) you can now really compete in your local market with your large local brokers or even with Zillows of this world!
Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the Mail Right Show. This is episode 192. It is going to be a discussion between me and Robert. And Robert knows about this subject. Thank God, because I do not know too much. We are going to be talking about voice. And voice when it’s connected to SEO. Voice search is a fascinating subject. I’m sure we’re going to learn a lot from Robert about this. Robert, would you like to introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers?
Robert: I’d love to. So my name is Robert Newman. I’m a 12 year veteran of the real estate marketing industry. I fulfilled a lot of roles for a lot of major real estate marketing technology companies and some independent ones as well. Since 2016, I founded my own company, inbound rem.com. And we have a unique inbound marketing approach for doing real estate lead generation. And on the show I kind of cover a lot of things related to SEO, direct marketing, digital marketing, that kind of thing. And John humors me lot. So here we go.
Jonathon: I’ll just before we delve in to voice search. I just want to say to the listeners and viewers thank you. I think it’s going to be a record month this month for downloads. We’ve got a few more days until we hit May. We almost doubled their listeners and viewers over the past six months. And I would like to thank you for joining us on this journey. And hopefully you’re getting great value from our little discussions. So voice search. Obviously we’ve got these devices in their house. We got them in our car. We now speak to them. How’s this change in the landscape of search then Robert?
Robert: Right now voice search accounts for somewhere between 12 and 20% of all searches that are done. All right, so you have a device very similar to this one and you talk to it. You say okay Google find local restaurants. And my phone, (Google: I found a few restaurants near you) spits out the answer. It gives you hyper local search results. And then bang, I’ve got my local restaurants, which are actually Google is sorting them by how their rankings are, how many reviews they have. So Google is automatically not only given me local restaurants, but it’s given them to me in the order of quality. Since I did a general voice search.
I wouldn’t be talking about voice search except that there are a lot of industry experts that are saying that voice search is going to be 50% of the search market by 2020. So in the next year, so the numbers are growing exponentially every single month. People are getting more and more comfortable doing voice search. And why is that John? Because you just called it out yourself. I’ve moved away from having no voice activated devices in my house to having three. I have now three Google my assistants. My friends have all moved into Alexa and my brother orders his shopping list off some type of Amazon fire bar or something like that. Or some type of Amazon product where he just has it at his house and it automatically fulfills a shopping list. Movies are starting to have voice technology in them on a regular basis.
I just watched a movie last night with one of my partners where it was talking about, it was showing a huge amount of voice technology inside of the movie. And it seemed perfectly natural. And that’s what when you said, what should we talk about today. I realize we really need to talk about voice search. Because there are a lot of ways that you can optimize websites and a handful of ways you do not need a website. To get found using voice search because to say that voice search isn’t irrelevant marketplace in terms of promoting your business, your real estate business is dead wrong. People might say for instance, into their phone and I’ll just try this right now. Okay Google houses for sale near me and interestingly enough, Google is connecting to another device inside my house and giving me the answer there.
I don’t know what the answer is going to be. It’s probably going to be something complicated on one of my Google assistant devices. But nonetheless there are answers that these devices are going to spit out. And one of the hugest categories of voice search right now is near me. Nearby searches, what is nearby me? Is there a post office? Is there a home for sale? Is there a restaurant nearby me? Because the thing about these mobile devices is they are geo located. So nearby me voice searches are probably becoming one of the largest categories of searches. So that leads to the question of do you want to get in front of the searches that are like real estate office nearby me realtor near me. So we’ll try this one more time. This didn’t really give me a great answer the first time around. So we’ll go.
Okay Google realtor near me. Didn’t give me a great response to that either. Anyway, this isn’t.
Jonathon: It doesn`t like you does it?
Robert: It’s not turning into a great example. And thank you again John for humoring me because this is definitely something that I threw at you as opposed to you throwing at me. But here’s one of the things that people need to understand and I do need to do a little bit of talking to make everybody who’s listening to this show understand why did I choose to talk about voice search. Well, one of the reasons that voice search is absolutely beyond a shadow of a doubt become going to become more relevant and rapidly so. Is that I don’t think that people understand the huge role that Rank Brain, which is Google’s AI. So Google has an artificial intelligence that is now connected to their search queries. They have announced that it handles all of their long tail searches. John, for the audience, would you mind sharing what a long tail search searches?
Jonathon: It’s anything that’s a phrase that’s more than four to five words in length. But a short tail, short phrase would be, find me the best realtor. A long tail would be, find me the best realtor in Reno and Northern Nevada.
Robert: Right, and that’s correct. So the longer the search that is given Rank Brain, more details. And it’s a learning artificial intelligence, the more questions it answers and it attracts the results, the better that rank brain is getting at delivering us information. There essentially rank brain is learning what the semantic meaning of our queries is. So we put in a query and we say find a local realtor and then it assumes that local is next to you on the phone. But it could be that you really meant local in comparison to your home address. As Google searches the total amount of how long you stay on the queries that it serves up. It’s learning from that and adjusting the answers it gives you because it’s already understands, there’s more than one answer to the question that you’ve asked. That’s Rank Brain. Rank Brain, because voice search is all long tail.
In other words, when you’re talking to your phone, you are more comfortable saying more words than when you have to type. So most likely, like I’ve done two or three searches in terms of my phone already. And they were all long tail, they were all long tail. Like anytime that you say, find a home for sale near me, that’s five or six words, that’s a long tail search. So Rank Brain is going to be the one delivering all of these voice searches. That’s the thing that I want everybody to understand. Is that there’s an artificial intelligence that’s going to get smarter and smarter about delivering us what we want as we voice search. Now, how do you get in front of Rank Brain? Like how do you actually get in front of Rank Brain? Well, number one, you optimize your website for long tail search. And what does that mean?
Well it hooks into stuff that you and I talk about all the time, John. Long tail keywords or semantic keywords with long tail possibility are when you have long form blog posts on your website. A lot of information, deep websites that talk in depth about a topic is far more likely to get found for voice search on long tail searches. Than ones that are not. One is something that we don’t talk about a lot is schema markup. Okay, so schema markup is a type of data indexing that Google is added to their search algorithm. It basically says this is a blog post, this is a tutorial blog posts. This is a review blog post. It categorizes automatically through Schema markup, what kind of content that you’re looking at. Anything that we do that makes Google’s job easier, they’re going to reward us with greater search results. Doing Schema markup on the type of blog posts that you’re doing is going to be highly advantageous to voice search. Because Google can already sort through all the content on the web and say automatically this person we think is looking for review. So the Schema markup has already narrowed down the amount of pages on the web that is definitely reviews.
Jonathon: I have totally followed you so far. But I’m sure the listeners and viewers that have been with us for a little while understand that going to be lost a little bit with some of our discussions. But they keep with us because they know also this is rather important. I totally understood what you said there, but in practical terms. How can you make sure that your website gives us, like if you can give us some pointers about a website that makes it easier for Google and for their new technologies to find and really understand?
Robert: One more time John.
Jonathon: Can you give some pointers to people when they got their website, things they can do the website that would make it more searchable for Google? And especially long search.
Robert: Well, okay. So first of all, really it’s just you long form content, do a lot of blog posts and I understand that I may have been losing everybody with this scheme of stuff. But there’s plugins that go into WordPress that makes schema markup very easy. It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Though I understand why you put a pin in it. The other thing that we can do that is incredibly important for voice search that’s simple, that’s not complicated, that’s easy for everybody to understand is we want to make sure that we’re printing our business information in two separate places. Number one, we want to on a Google my business listing. And by business information, I mean we want the name of our business, our hours of operation, and our address. And if we have any other locations and what our business does. That’s the stuff that we want on both the website and the Google my listing.
And it’s very, very, very important for voice search. So if you don’t have a Google my listing page and a website that clearly has your street address, your phone number and something that says, I am a real estate agent. Pretty simple buyers and sellers, agent seller’s agent, you do not want to let the assumption go by that because you have like real estate and your company name that everybody knows exactly what you do. You label it, you say, this is what we do. So that Google can clearly identify that. And unlike Schema markup, you just print it and put it on the website. Same thing with your hours. It’s super clear, straightforward. And more important by the way, and the Schema markup is getting that stuff on your website. Because half the questions that people have with voice search do have to do with business locations, hours of operation.
Like are there real estate offices near me that are open right now? That would be a very common query that would be used for voice search. So how does Google know that unless you have your printed hours of operation on the website? So these are all, like another thing. And you could get more into detail with both your Google my business page and your website. But here’s some weird shit that you can add. So I’m giving you the real basic stuff. But what about not so basic stuff. Handicap access. Is there parking available? If you’re in a major metro area. Are their amenities located in the same building that you’re in as a business? So can somebody grabbed lunch and see your business in the same city. These are all things that you want to add onto your Google my business page that you want to add on.
Jonathon: To your website as well.
Robert: We’d probably want to go for break. But I want to say before we do, I have a tip. There’s also, and I don’t like this tip as much as I liked the others, but guess what? There is something else that you can do that involves paid Google search. So if you’re one of our listeners and you’re not into the SEO, you’re not buying that, but you are getting your leads by using paid advertising. I can give you a little tip that’s going to get you some extra value out of your advertising dollars.
Jonathon: Let’s go for our break folks. We will be back and Robert will reveal his tip for the day. We will be back in a few moments’ folks.
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Jonathon: We’re coming back. I kind of semi confused Robert with wave flow. And he has got a tip and he is just bursting to tell you this listeners and viewers. Robert tells us your tip.
Robert: Adwords has something called a location’s extension. It’s part of your Adwords campaign. It’s a Google product. I don’t know if Facebook has something equivalent. So you can ask us if somebody messages us on the Mail Right website. I will deliver the answer to John should he messaged me. So you can find where the show notes are housed. I am not as good at keeping up my website with the podcast as he is. But there’s an Adwords extension that shows where your geo location is. YouTube does the same thing where YouTube videos have geo locators inside of them. These geo locators are absolutely 100% not visible to the human eye. And the only thing using them is Rank Brain and the search engines and Google search engine.
But these Geo locators are so insanely important for hyper local marketing. I have no. I cannot spend enough time telling our audience. Like it’s a really small little niggling detail, but if you really want to destroy local searches both from voice and from regular searches. This is stuff you need to listen to and tell your marketing partners that they need to do it for you. Location’s extension is merely adding a Geo locator code to your ad words campaign and now Google has like latitude and longitude related to the keywords that you’re using. Like each city, this now gives them a very precise understanding of what your service territory is. So that when somebody is searching by voice or any other method and says, I want a realtor in blank city and Google has three choices, two of whom they’re kind of assuming through their website, oh we think you’re going to service us.
And then one who said definitively and imprint by geo-location, no, we’re here. This is where we are. Google is going to serve up that person, not the two questionable results. So utilize your paid advertising and leverage it to get this geo-location stuff in. I mean, if you’re already spending money you should do it that way. And then I have one other tip as well guys. And again, I’m sorry, it does involve paid search. I don’t usually like talking about this stuff, but it’s incredibly relevant when it comes to voice search. So there is a way Google constantly says it’s not preferring its advertisers. But anybody that’s worked with Google for a long time knows that’s not really true. They prefer their advertisers in many different ways. This is one of the ways they prefer their advertisers. So many people don’t know this. Maybe even you don’t John there is actually a different page search opportunity on Google.
You have your content network, you have your like your email network. Like you can go through all their sites and then they’ve added on another network. You now can advertise directly to their hyper local search network. Also sometimes referred as local search ads. That’s where you get in front of the local search packet. It is a new, well new-ish search market that is different than their other search markets. But guess what, the local search market is more keyed into voice search from everything I’ve seen and understood. And the only reason that’s true is because once again it deals with this very large quantity of near me searches. What are your hours of operation searches? Basically all of that stuff is actually associated with the hyper local search results that Google does. And increasingly it’s like 80%. Like it’s going to be enormous part of their search volume.
So Google got out in front of everybody and made hyper local a thing. But really a lot of our searches, what we use Google for, like what I use Google for, what anybody uses it, what stores near me, what’s the best restaurant, what’s the best grocery store? Do I have an organic grocer in Van Huys? This is literally a search I’ve really done. Like so do we have these things here in this city? And that’s more and more what Google is dealing with, especially in hyper local. So I don’t think that real estate is going to be as impacted as other industries, but to say that we’re not going to be impacted at all, we’d be totally false.
Jonathon: Well I think it’s great. Before I was actually got a question before we go on more about what you’ve just said. Because I also think video, we’ve covered this by also of note is that if you have some good pages with good content then you put video on it as well. That combination of reasonably good written content with video aimed at a local market. It just dominates a lot of search. If you can do that combination. Do you think I’m on the right track there Robert?
Robert: 100%. I didn’t talk about it. I haven’t proven this yet. But I do think that Google’s Rank Brain is categorizing voice content. In other words, these podcasts video, like when do can read the data and understand that the data like you and I, we record this video and we throw it up on YouTube. This means that we’re getting I think an extra power. And I think that Google is starting to analyze the voice data. I don’t have proof. It says that this is true, which is why I don’t talk about it. But if you’re going to say, what is your gut instinct? My gut instinct is that Rank Brain is perfectly capable of analyzing voice data. And is just trying to figure out how to put voice data into the search.
Jonathon: I think it’s probably better because it was non-written content was a bit of a problem for Google, wasn’t it? It was a problem. They were trying to find a technology solution. Because I always knew. The other thing that they’ve for number years is really cracked the super local market. They could tell by their revenue generation and other factors that it was a market which they hadn’t saturated or dominated that still promised a great deal of advertising income to them. If they could crack it and they’ve tried a number of different layouts, renaming new technology combinations over the past six, seven or eight years. Haven’t they? Around the local search environment. Would you agree with that statement, Robert?
Robert: I would.
Jonathon: And I don’t think they’ve ever really been satisfied with their own solutions. So it’s been a market in a quite considerable flex, isn’t it? With a consistent pattern of changes from Google. And some of the others obviously Googled totally dominates it. But I think one of the great things, the great news for you, real estate agents is especially if you’re new or you’re in your second year. Is that there’s enormous opportunities that don’t necessarily have to cost the enormous amount of money either. Because really voice what Robert has been discussing is really goes, if you can get a reasonable website, put some key pages on.
Get your Google business page set up in the right way. And do some of the other things that we’ve discussed around local search. Then there was about a month to two months ago we did a series of three episodes just around local search. And Robert gave an enormous amount of information there. If you listen to those and you do what we’ve outlined also in this episode. You really can compete effectively against your regional large brokers. And also Zillow and some of the others or realtor.com. About getting reasonable amounts of traffic to your site. Can`t you Robert?
You absolutely can. And once again, I know that we keep banging on the same drum, but we got to. Because there is an overwhelming consensus that both voice content and video content are not only relevant right now. But kind of more relevant today currently. But they’re going to be even more relevant. And the amount of ways that we can produce this kind of content is just growing.
Like you have Instagram that joined the live Fray and now you can record video on Instagram. You can do the same thing on Facebook. You can do the same thing on YouTube. And with some of these services you can post this content on your website. And people in my experience, we often share like why you should do that. But here’s an interesting fact for everybody that’s listening. So I do a tremendous amount of video content. I have 70 videos on my website. John knows this, but I bet my audience does not. So I also have a whole bunch of blog posts on my website. I have probably about 50 blog posts, maybe 30. I don’t know. But inside these blog posts are these videos. And I take about somewhere between seven and 10 calls a week from real estate professionals. And guess what? Every single one, I’m not talking some, I’m talking about maybe one call out of every 25 does not say that they reviewed my video content.
The one number one reason over and over and over and over and over and over again that people say that they reached out is because not only did they like something that I said on one of my videos. They liked how I said it, but more frequently, people are just saying like, I resonated with the way that you delivered the message. It’s not just the message it’s how I delivered it, which is something that only can be done during video. It’s the only way or voice. Like somebody really find your voice appealing, which I have a hard time believing. If anybody’s going to find a voice appealing on this show, it’s going to be yours. But it’s like, I just think that we cannot say enough to all of you real estate professionals out there breakout that cell phone, start doing car checks, get used to it.
I don’t care if you’re talking to you, John and me. Oftentimes we’re talking to each other and only each other. It’s only been recently in these last numbers of months where the show is going nuts. Like where we’re doubling our audience and everything. But we worked at it for a long time. Talk to yourself, and John’s been at it a lot longer than me. I’m taking credit for his momentum and I shouldn’t be. He’s been at it for years, so you really, you might spend a while but once something like metastasis.
Jonathon: It is going to take a little while. But it’s not a ridiculous while. We’re talking between six months to a year. If you’re experiencing this to get a result instantaneously, you’re going to have to look at other methods to get those initial and we’ve gone through those as well. We’ve gone through what we discussed last week. Also doing open houses for other established agents. Using paid advertising if it’s necessary. I am not against paid advertising as much. I have my position and these are just views and positions are that I think that paid advertising has a place but so does organic as well. And it’s when you combine both together. And have a machine and approach the processes that we discussed with our guests last week. If you can get those together, you really build up a machine and you build up a system that generates real success. Thank you Robert.
Robert: And I’m not against paid search either. I just want to throw that out there. I do think there’s a place for it. I always think there’s a place for it. I love getting clients advertising in numerous forms of advertising. They’re using paid search. Maybe they using direct mail and they’re using organic. I just think that since organic is the only one of those strategies that is long term, it is not necessarily the strategy you have to engage first. But it should be like if you’re talking to a good digital marketer or good marketer in general, they’re going to think about it upfront. They may say, I am not going to do it for the first year. But they have it in their plan because they understand that it is going to be the kind of marketing that delivers the most cost effective, consistent results across all of their strategies over time.
And so that’s why I keep banging on the drum. It’s not so much do it now or does it exclusively or does it in any of those things. Absolutely not. It’s more like this should be your first consideration because it’s been proven over and over and over again. That organic market, content marketing, inbound marketing, it’s going to be way more cost effective for you than anything else. The only problem with it is it takes a while. That’s it. That’s the downside. Everything else is roses.
Jonathon: I see it as a way that you just transfer resources. If you go a little bit of money, you put it into paid. That gives you the time. When you start getting a bit of money in, you start to invest it in content and production. That’s going to build up organic. At some stage the organic, will get more results than the paid. You invest more in organic. You might keep a bit of paid going. As a long term investment, the organic is a much better investment in the medium. And normally if you switch off the paid it dies straight away. So understand that this doesn’t views and if you’ve stayed on the show. And I said we’re getting a lot more listeners and viewers. Obviously you realize that at what we’re saying here has truth to it and it will work.
It’s not jet science though. But they are a few things. You got to understand the fundamentals and then you just got to keep at it. And have a plan of action and keep to that plan. So because what happens is a lot of our agents, there are a lot of demands on your time when you start getting some clients. And it’s quite easy and understandable that you it has to be dropped. But what mustn’t be dropped is doing those videos. Doing a little bit of content writing. Building up your website that is important. Robert, how can people find out more about you and your words of wisdom and what you are up to?
Robert: Inbound real estate marketing. So it’s inboundrem.com. My website is always the best place to learn about me. If you wanted to reach out and contact me, you do it through my website. And if you want to learn more about what I do or what my philosophies are, I’ve got hundreds of hours of content there. So go check it out.
Jonathon: And if you want to listen to all the previous conversations we’ve had between me and Robert and our great guests. Go to the mail-right.com website. There are all the episodes on there with a full set of links and show notes if you want to find out more about Mail Right .And how our system can help you get calls and leads. I do a full free walk through, which you can book on the website. And it will be me showing you the Mail Right service and product and that that would take up about half hour of your time. And I think it’s going to be well worth it because it’s a great system. We will see you next week. Me and Robert will be having another discussion between themselves or we will another great guests sharing their knowledge with us. We see you next week folks. Bye.