When Google updates their homepage, switches how the search results are shown, or adds a stronger focus on voice search, as an SEO, I am never quite sure how it will affect my sites. Sometimes there is no change in our analytics, other times there is a slight bump and then there is doubling traffic month over month consistently for five months.
Some may know, I launched a personal finance website for the cannabis community a few years ago with my business partner. Through many phases, we settled on MarijuanaRates.com which is a free search comparison tool for consumers with analysis completed and delivered through editorial.
With cannabis not being federally regulated, banking can pose a challenge though each legalized state has come a long way with new merchant companies for the cannabis industry, to enable their service to be used in transactions; making it a bit safer for cannabis employees. Having a mainly cash business is a problem and hasn’t been fully solved, but there are many smart, determined individuals in the industry working hard to solve the dangers of this process. Also due to the federal laws, no paid search is allowed which means all our traffic is through organic rankings and outreach.
Voice Search Results
It was a Friday night in March, while I was discussing with my husband about how our traffic jumped up and couldn’t pinpoint the exact channel since it kept showing direct. He decided to “ask Google” about the prices of coffeemakers. Yes, we tend to have multiple topic conversations as we needed to buy a new one…. Google “gave” the answer about the Black & Decker coffeemaker price and visualize the lightbulb above my head turning on.
I screamed, “Ask Google How much is an ounce of Sour Diesel?” and BAM, Google’s answer to us, “According to MarijuanaRates.com…”
This went on for easily an hour, asking all different questions and I screamed with excitement. Our daughter thought something was wrong as I explained to her, No, it’s just mommy and daddy’s business doing something amazing!
We knew we had captured the Google Answer boxes months prior for much of our editorial pieces, but didn’t realize that when voice search began increasing, it also meant we were the site who gave the answer to the searcher’s query verbally! Not only in Google but all voice search in Siri, Bing and Alexa (yup we checked!).
In the past few months of monitoring our captured answer boxes, we have seen a few changes:
- Our featured image has been shown, then not shown, then shown again.
- Recently, Google is showing images from other sites but using our data and information for the answer.
- Originally the answer box was showing our charts aka rate tables for the answer and have switched to grabbing the actually written editorial as the answer. Not the rich snippet.
- Depending on the day, time of day, week, location; sometimes we hold the top ranking but Google doesn’t show the answer box.
- Sometimes the answer box will pull information from a different amount blog posting and then fix itself.
How do we use Google voice search in our SEO strategy? Continue to analyze what our community searches for and answer their queries through continued data acquisition, content creation and outreach. By working our cannabis business, where the main source of traffic has to be organically driven, taking the experience and knowledge and applying it has been the greatest gift to us.
We are grateful for the many users and visitors to MarijuanRates.com. With 20k+ sessions, 18k+ users and over 105k+ page views since March, we continue to grow as the cannabis community welcomed us and we continue to build more consumer friendly tools to help with their budgeting needs. We wanted to share from March to present day, we have a great community, who spends time on our site and visits many pages, getting their questions answered and we couldn’t be happier with the results.
If you are a business interested in advertising on MarijuanaRates.com, please contact us and we can discuss our packages.