Back in December, I wrote a blog about what the use of voice search means for digital marketing. In that blog, I shared some helpful tips like considering conversational keywords and putting a focus on Bing, which could help your business as the popularity of voice search rises. However, a recent study from Uberall analyzed 73,000 business locations in one of the largest voice search studies ever created and found that only 4% of business locations are “voice search ready”.
The study asked roughly 1,000 consumers about their voice search usage, where 43% of consumers identified themselves as voice search users, with 31% of survey respondents saying they use voice search to search for local businesses with some regularity.
What Does “Voice Search Ready” Mean?
The study identified 37 directories that feed voice search platforms, which include all the major virtual assistants. These include Google & Google Maps, Bing, Yelp, Facebook, and Foursquare, as well as several directories that have much less direct consumer traffic. They compared business listings across all platforms are complete, accurate, and consistent with the following information – address, hours, phone number, business name, website, and zip code.
Because the voice search queries typically pull data from your local directories listings, poor local SEO optimization will result in poor voice search readiness.
The accuracy of each business’s listing would define how “ready” they are for voice search – and identify how likely a user is to be able to correctly find your information through a voice search on their device. Using these criteria, they assigned a score of 1 to 100 to each business and found the average VSR shore was 44.12 – below average.
Voice Search Errors
Since more in-depth purchase decisions typically require more research, it makes sense that voice search is typically used to search for local business information such as nearby stores, opening hours, addresses, or phone numbers.
Having your business information listed accurately may seem simple but can be more complicated then it typically appears. For example – at one point, some of our listings had our business name as “Atilus Web Design”, while some had “Atilus Digital Marketing & Web Design” or some simply had “Atilus.” Even though we know it all refers to the same business, this could lead to inaccuracies in our listing and the wrong information getting pulled into voice search.
The study identified the top areas for errors or omissions as – opening hours, websites, business name, and street address. As you can imagine, a user searching and getting the wrong information could be extremely detrimental to their interaction for your business. While users can usually identify the right information by going to your company’s website or physically searching on their mobile device or computer, the inconvenience could lead them chose a competitor that is voice search ready over you.
What Can My Business Do to Get Voice Search Ready?
To get your business voice search ready, start with the four big players in the local SEO space – Google, Facebook, Bing, and Yelp and make sure you are managing your listings and filling them with accurate information.
At Atilus, we provide local SEO services where we can manage your listings across all directories and ensure everything is consistent and complete, in addition to all our other web design and digital marketing services we offer. If you want to learn more about working with us to get your business voice search ready, contact us today.