Voice Search For Local Business

In this day and age it’s very likely that by now you’ve had a crack of using Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft Cortana or even Google’s Home pod. Or perhaps you’re already using this software without even realising it in your home or workplace or even your car.

We are very much living in a voice activated society and this space is only going to grow as we press on into the future. Our voice activated world of assistants has proven time and time again to be helpful and create efficiencies, so it’s time your business took advantage of the technology as well!

A recent study undertaken by BrightLocal on US based consumer’s shares insights into how customers are currently searching for business through voice search. The study found a range of behavioural metrics that all point to the importance of not only being active in this space, but being on the front foot when it comes to making sure this is part of your digital marketing plan.

Let’s take a look at a snapshot of the findings:

  1. Number of voice search users:

During the past 12 months, 58% of respondents used voice search to look for information on a local business. Mostly, this type of search was performed on smartphones, likely due to the nature of the search (for example, being out and about or in the car). Interestingly, the study found that more men perform voice searches when compared to women but overall the high use range of users was aged between 18-34 years old. We can only assume that the number of people performing voice searches will continue to rise especially as the technology becomes more prevalent and user friendly as it develops. Now is the time to own this space, particularly while voice search is in a growth phase.

  1. Frequency of voice searches:

46% of the respondents used voice search every single day to look for and interact with local businesses. While overall 76% of respondents indicated that use voice search at least weekly. This is a reflection of a changing consumer behaviour in the way that people look for and engage with businesses. It’s far more efficient to perform a voice search than it is to begin a ‘traditional’ Google search.

  1. Frequently searched industries:

The study found the top searched industries to be:

  • Restaurants (51%)
  • Grocery stores (41%)
  • Food delivery (35%)
  • Clothing stores (32%)
  • Hotels (30%)

Now, that probably hardly comes as a surprise to you, given it’s very likely that those industries are high up on your own personal search lists too! The important takeaway from this insight is that the behaviour is deeply ingrained in ‘everyday’ search behaviour, meaning the potential for new clients in this space is HUGE. Particularly if you are in the restaurant or food delivery industry – these numbers should be bringing home the importance of voice search for you.

  1. Type of information searched for:

The type of information searched for using ‘voice search’ is very practical information such as a phone number, address, opening hours or a map with directions. The very nature of voice search entitles a user to quick and timely answers, so it’s not surprising to see that they need quick and easy to digest business information. While at the moment, users are mainly looking for business contact information, it’s very likely that down the track they’d start to ask for reviews and ratings as well. This should also serve as a red flag to all businesses out there – make sure all of your contact information is always up to date and in working order!

54% of respondents hoped that reservations would soon be a possibility through voice search. In addition, a number of respondents indicated that they’d also like some general information to be available such as prices and products. Again, this is all about continuing to streamline information and create efficiencies for customers. The easier they can find what they’re looking for, the easier they could turn into potential customers for you!

  1. The future for voice search:

The study found that after a user had completed a voice search, 28% would call the business, 27% would visit the website and 19% actually visit the business. The numbers are impressive and mean hundreds of customers could be actively engaging with you and your business if found via voice search.

According to Google behavioural statistics, more than 50% of all search across the world will be performed by voice by the year 2020. That certainly doesn’t mean you and your business can wait until then to get involved! Now is the time to own the space while it’s still an emerging technology.

Not sure where to start or how to dominate in voice search? Digital Junkies can give you the leg up that you need. Get in touch today and we can answer any general questions you might have or help you put together a voice search strategy for your business today.

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