Voice Search: The future of SEO

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The SEO industry isn’t new but it changes as frequently as technology develops. Just a few years ago digital marketers began anticipating the rise of mobile search and how best to keep their clients enjoying stellar SEO results. Today, voice search is the preeminent, emerging trend that has digital marketers brainstorming in conference rooms ways to keep their clients’ websites on the first page of Google.

Anticipating the latest trends helps businesses stay competitive in an increasingly digital marketing landscape. It also helps your website adapt to Google’s ever-changing algorithms.

Here’s what you need to know about voice search and how it affects SEO.  

The Rise of Voice Search

Voice search is about more than just Siri. There’s Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant, too. From voice-activated technology running music and movies in a person’s home to PCs and mobile devices, voice-activated assistants can help someone pick the next film they watch, choose a new burger joint to dine at, or locate a new dentist

According to Forbes, voice search is not a soon-to-die off fad. It’s here to stay. Consider the following statistics for proof:

  • Voice-powered devices with platforms like Siri and Alexa accounted for $1.8 billion in revenue for companies in 2017. Projections estimate this number will swell to $40 billion in annual revenues by 2022.
  • About 50% of people who own devices with voice assistants use them at least once a day and approximately 20% of these people use their voice assistants for online shopping.
  • By 2020, up to 30% of web surfing will be based on voice search

 

Voice Search: When and Why

Now that we’ve established the importance of voice search and its rise in popularity, let’s evaluate when people use voice search and why.

Today, the most common time people utilize voice-activated searching is when they are driving. A whopping 52.8% of those with voice-activated devices use them while they’re in their cars. Voice search is also popular when people are multitasking including working, watching TV, and cooking.

As for the why, many people use voice search to find local businesses and learn about their services. About 46% of daily voice-activated searches are looking up local business information.

A majority of voice searchers are looking up retail and service-oriented businesses. Restaurants and grocery stores come in at the top of the most common businesses found by voice search. Other popular businesses looked up by voice search include medical/dental practices, legal offices, mechanics, driving and delivery services, hair and beauty-based businesses, and clothing stores.

What Voice Search Users Look For

In a nutshell, voice search users are looking for contact information like phone numbers and addresses. They are also searching for hours of operation and directions.

Here’s the breakdown of the results voice searchers want ranked by their volume in percentages:

  • Addresses – 45%
  • Directions – 45%
  • Phone Numbers – 45%
  • Business Hours – 44%
  • Order Takeout – 33%
  • Direct Calls to Businesses – 33%
  • Reviews – 29%

Voice searches are just the beginning. After a search, users will take additional steps if interested in a business’ services. About 28% of voice searchers will call the business they are looking at while another 27% will visit the business’ website. Another 19% will physically visit the business’ storefront or office, and the remaining voice search users with either look for more information about the business (14%) or research a competing business (12%).

Having a solid web presence complete with easy-to-find information on services, hours, phone numbers, and addresses is key to converting web searchers into potential patrons or clients. Since a hefty portion of voice search users visit a business’ website and read reviews, it’s important to have mobile-friendly websites and legitimate reviews from satisfied customers/clients. Without these marketing elements, you risk losing potential clients to your competitors.

If it’s time to tune up your website, correct inaccurate phone numbers and hours of operation, and amp up your digital marketing strategy, give our team a call for a consultation. We develop customized digital marketing solutions for businesses of all kinds throughout the United States.