“Where is the nearest home improvement store?”
“What is the best rated salon in London?”
“Is there a good bank nearby?”
If you’ve ever asked your smartphone or another device any of these questions, you have used voice search to find local or other specific information. But exactly how big is voice search, and what does its use mean for local search marketing? Here are three stats to help you understand this search trend.
1. 41% of adults and 55% of teens use voice search daily.
That means about half the people you know have asked their smartphone for information at least once a day. Smartphones, connected autos, and devices like Amazon Echo all help people discover information about the world around them, including information about businesses and services in their local area. Many voice search users are multi-screening as well, with 38% using the feature while watching television.
2. 25% of Bing searches are voice based, as are 20% of Google searches.
Developing voice search technology is one more example of how search engines are making the search experience more relevant for their users, and the high adoption rates in the last five years (since Siri was introduced in 2011) prove it’s working in their favor.
While Google powers its own voice search technology in Google Now, other assistants, including Cortana, Alexa, and Siri are all running a Bing search engine in the background to deliver results to end users. This is definite proof that you shouldn’t be marketing on Google alone – and as voice search increases, so could the market share of Bing, local directories, and other search engines.
3. 40% of voice searches have local intent.
While voice assistants often deliver information about things like the weather, movie times, and general knowledge, 40% of voice searches are for local information. In fact, the most common activity is asking for directions to a physical location, followed by making a phone call.
How to Make the Most of Voice Search in Your Marketing
So, now that you know how common voice search is, how can you make sure you’re reaching people when they’re conducting voice searches?
Create natural language-based content on your website that uses keywords and phrases people use when conducting a voice search. One tip is to include common questions about your business with specific answers, since search queries starting with question words increased 61% year over year in 2014.
Optimize your business information on multiple search engines and directories including Google and Bing, and on sites like Yelp and superpages that can populate in organic search results.
Enable location extensions and local targeting options in your search advertising on Google and Bing, so your paid search engine ads can populate in maps and local search results.
What is your experience using voice search? Are you thinking about how it fits into your local marketing strategy?