By Kathryn Butera
Senior Digital Ad Ops Coordinator
Searching for a local restaurant no longer requires unlocking a smartphone, opening a browser, and typing in a search query. Smartphones, home assistant devices, and computers are now equipped to answer any question using voice technology. Voice search is a rapidly growing trend that allows users to ask their device to perform a search. Devices like Amazon Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant pull this information from mobile-friendly websites and present users with the top result, also known as the featured snippet.
Voice searches are completed using simple, conversational language, which differs from the process of searching for a restaurant by typing in the Google search bar. You might ask a full sentence, like, “Hey Siri, where is a Mexican restaurant near me?” rather than searching “Mexican restaurant near me” using a keyboard. The use of voice search is rapidly increasing, providing businesses opportunities to capture consumers through this new digital marketing tactic.
Why Are People Using Voice Search?
Voice search is a time-saving option that many users are adopting. A recent study found that 19% of people use Siri at least once a day, and this figure is expected to multiply within the next few years. The popularity of voice searches can be attributed to reducing the number of steps to reach the number one answer for a query. Unlike a traditional web search, voice search reads only the top result, saving time by stating the best match for the question.
Thanks to Google’s ranking system, the result provided is guaranteed to have an optimal mobile user experience and contain helpful information. Users no longer need to scroll through options on a results page as they would with a web search, which saves time and produces the most advantageous response. Searching for new products and services has never been as efficient, and this technology will only continue to improve and become more popular.
How Are People Using Voice Search?
Users often reach for assistant devices and smartphones to search for local services. The queries are specific and conversational, using full sentences rather than shortening the search to brief phrases for a web search. Location-based searches such as “Where is an auto body shop near me?” and “Siri, find a movie theatre near me” illustrate long-tail keywords, an imperative aspect that brands should include in SEO tactics. Surprisingly, most U.S. businesses that have a physical location are not utilizing voice search capabilities, preventing search engines from capturing all results. With more than 20% of mobile searches now utilizing voice search, businesses have an opportunity to reach consumers in a new way.
How Does Voice Search Affect Businesses?
The increased utilization of voice search is setting off a chain reaction for businesses who are updating their SEO strategies to leverage these search methods. The Google ranking system favors Google business profiles with complete, accurate information and websites that are equipped with a seamless mobile user experience.
An example of a company that is taking advantage of the voice search trend is Purina, who answers general questions about pets. Alternatively, Domino’s allows users to place an order by voice to increase convenience and ease of ordering.
Voice search offers a unique opportunity for businesses to harness consumers, but a lack of SEO strategy will leave a gap for competitors to adapt earlier and grab valuable market share. With a projected 50% of searches being voice-driven by 2020, it is imperative for businesses to begin optimizing their digital marketing strategies by including voice search. Is your brand’s voice strategy ready?