As John Koetsier says: “Amazon ushered in a new era of voice-first computing in mid-2015 when it launched the first Amazon Echo. Four years later, voice-activated assistants on multiple devices have proliferated widely, but few local businesses are ready to take advantage of voice search. Only 4% of companies have correct, up-to-date information on all the key platforms.
Articles have been stating over and over that we need to prepare our business for voice search. In this blog post, I want to examine the recent voice search stats, why it is crucial for a business to prepare for it and how a business can prepare.
Why would a business prepare for voice search?
Koetsier clarifies why getting voice right is increasingly important. “Smart speaker use almost doubled in 2018, with fast growth continuing to 2020. And of course, nearly everyone has a voice-capable device in their pocket or purse.”
As a business, we have to prepare now, but we can take some time to make it perfect. According to Uberall, only 10% of us use voice search daily. Another 11% use it at least once a month and 57% of those that Uberall surveyed say they never use voice search. Still, those numbers are growing, particularly in cars, where using smartphones is generally illegal.
According to Jason Miller, research from Microsoft Bing sought to examine how pervasive the new way of searching is and the potential opportunity for advertisers and marketers. This survey of 1,000 consumers and 150 marketers found that Brits currently use voice search 2.4 times a day, rising to 3.8 times a day among young consumers aged 18 to 24.
Stated benefits include speed (44%), the technology’s modern feel (34%) and the sense it is less effort than text search (31%). What is more, a quarter of consumers (24%) say they would not be surprised to receive a targeted ad via voice search.
Add in the declining share of desktop search in favor of mobile search, and Koetsier deems continued voice search growth probable. Miller agrees: “This is not a short-term trend. This is the future of search and has the potential to enhance search significantly, in its current guise.”
Not convinced? Christo Petrov has 41 stats if you need more convincing that voice search is not just a fad.
Ejaz Ahmed says that the best part about the new development of voice search is the positive impact on local businesses. Voice search helps display locations and services closest to your location. If local businesses can make themselves compatible with voice search, they will start doing really well. This is not only true for local restaurants, but also salons, grocery stores, hardware stores, and multiplexes.
Why is voice search more attractive than traditional search?
Ahmed argues that voice searching offers a seamless experience if you compare it to traditional desk search. The flow of information is quicker, more effective and quite attractive. More than anything, it is an advancement of technology. Technology aims to provide information as quickly as possible. Compare typing to speaking. You can command Alexa even while getting dressed or preparing a meal. Can you type while doing the same? It leads to more productivity.
Where can you optimize for voice search?
Koetsier explains that 90% of “voice readiness” can be achieved on just three platforms: Google, Yelp, and Bing. Google feeds Apple’s Siri and Apple Maps results. If you get Google, you get Apple too. Other platforms include Facebook, Foursquare, Hot Frog, and Judy’s Book. However, even with 34 other directories and search platforms, they comprise only 10% of the voice search universe.
Ahmed explains that it might not even be that hard to optimize for this modern way of searching. You do not have to do anything radically different. Traditional SEO is still king. Indeed, there are a few tweaks that can be helpful for your brand.
He urges you to tailor your content to include words like ‘how,’ ‘why,’ ‘where,’ ‘best,’ and ‘new.’ Users who do voice searches are asking their voice assistants questions most of the time. Also, if you are a local business, it is necessary to have a local listing. All search engines use local listings as a priority for search.
Another major element required for SEO is featured snippets. The more concise the information about your brand, the more often will it pop up on voice search.
Voice search and SEO
I hope this has given you more background information on voice search as well as some tips to improve your company’s website. It seems like this type of search has been on the rise for a quite a long time now and that it smart to consider voice search when planning your marketing strategy for 2019. SEO tools can help you with that.