Voice Search Basics: Definition and Importance

October 17, 2023
Victor Kasinec

Voice search refers to dictating either into a search engine or using a proxy to take spoken language and then searching. If you have ever used Siri to ask for directions, Alexa to order something for you, or Google Assistant to search online, then you have utilized voice search. According to PwC, 72% of the survey respondents have used voice search. These numbers will continue to grow as more people add smart devices to their homes and cars. 

Utilizing spoken search instead of typing can be a crucial timesaver. Dictating orally through Microsoft Word can help writers get ideas down and save finger strain. Email creation also follows a similar process. Other examples of ways voice search is used include: conversion rates, simple questions, weather updates, and reminders. The value of voice search is clear once you understand its potential uses.

Shifting Trends

The rise in voice search creates an opportunity for marketing teams as well as local businesses. For example, many cars made after the year 2018 have built in Alexa integration for hands-free searching. Some of these auto- makers are also creating their own voice-assistant. This is a major decision for car companies who are now competing with the likes of Amazon and Google to capture their part of the voice search market-share.

The integration of voice assistants like Alexa into automobiles signifies a broader shift towards a voice-driven future. It's not limited to cars; smart homes, mobile devices, and even appliances are adopting this technology. This trend underscores the need for businesses to adapt their marketing strategies. According to Statista, 63.43 million homes in the US are using smart-home devices. Many of these devices have built in apps and voice-capability. The overall rise in smart-speakers and voice search is also leading to location-based searches becoming more popular than ever. As consumers increasingly rely on these technologies, companies must invest in understanding and leveraging them to stay competitive. 

Local Search

When someone searches for ‘restaurants nearby’ the search engine uses local search packs and schemas to identify what is nearby to the search location. With the rise of smartphones and Siri, simple searches utilizing location packs with voice search are becoming a part of daily routine for drivers, deliveries, and tourists. Ensuring that your website and local business features are optimized for voice search is a necessity to survive. This means tailoring content to suit natural language queries and providing concise, relevant answers. You will also need to update the tracking of relevant phrases and keywords. 

Rising trends are showing less emphasis on keywords and more on full sentences and questions. Long-tail phrases such as “What, Where, When” are a good starting point for marketing teams who can then focus the direction of the content to better reflect these longer phrases. Updating FAQs are another step that can be taken to reflect the local and voice searches. This is important for marketing teams and content-creators to be able to identify and correct potential shortcomings in both content and landing pages. 

Creating local landing pages, updating Google Business Profile, and utilizing local business schemas are all ways to improve local search. Checkout Schema.org, to see a template that you can utilize today in improving your local search results. By updating your schema, you can help the crawling bots find your location and relay the information back to potential customers. This should also improve SERP rankings (Search Engine Results Page). 

The increasing importance of local search is linked with the rise of voice-activated technologies. As users depend on voice assistants for immediate information, local businesses must adapt their online presence to align with these evolving search patterns. These efforts are not only about attracting local customers but also about capturing the voice search market. Businesses are increasingly fighting for consumer attention. In this era of voice search, being found in response to "restaurants nearby" or similar queries can mean the difference between attracting potential customers and missing out on a significant share of the market. 

The rise of voice search marks a significant shift in how we interact with technology and seek information. With a majority of survey respondents already having embraced this technology, and with the continued expansion of smart devices in homes and vehicles, the adoption of voice search is now. Its applications extend to various aspects of daily life, from obtaining weather updates to setting reminders. Recognizing the possibilities of voice search and the need for businesses to invest and shift prior standards is apparent.

Voice search presents a dynamic opportunity for both marketers and local businesses. The integration of voice assistants into automobiles and the widespread adoption of smart home devices signify a broader trend towards a voice-driven future. As millions of households embrace this technology, it is imperative for businesses to adapt their marketing strategies to remain competitive. Emphasis on local search is crucial, given the increasing reliance on voice assistants for location-based queries. By optimizing content and embracing long-tail phrases, businesses can ensure they are discoverable in the evolving landscape of voice search. In this era, being accessible to users seeking immediate information via voice search can be the deciding factor in capturing a sale or lead. The transformation brought about by voice search is a call to action for businesses to adapt and thrive in this new era of search technology.

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