pexels tony schnagl 5592260 1Voice search is more than just a trend since those who are optimized for voice search set themselves apart from the competition, especially when it comes to local search. Nevertheless, many companies underestimate the relevance of voice search and do not know how to best equip and prepare for the new search behavior of consumers. But let me tell you that spoken search queries are not a trend that will disappear from the scene tomorrow. Rather, smart assistants and mobile devices are driving it forward by becoming more and more part of our everyday lives - be it at home, at work or when we are on the move. Voice searches already make up around 15% of all searches with an upward trend. Hence, it is already worthwhile for companies to optimize their locations for voice search and to be voice-search-ready to gain the competitive edge.

Consumers often use voice search on the go

Most voice searches are currently carried out using the smartphone, in fact more than half of them. Only around a third use a desktop or laptop, just under a quarter use a tablet, and 5% said they use a smart home device like Amazon Echo for voice searches. An increasing number of consumers are also using voice search on the go and this is where it gets exciting for companies with regional locations as it holds huge potential for them. Consumers who use voice to search for a business, product, or service while on the move will most likely reach their destination and become customers.

Be one step ahead of the competition with voice-search-readiness

There is no question that voice search is still in its infancy. Consumers are sometimes bothered by the inaccuracy of the results and often not familiar using voice entries, but this will change. Technologies are developing rapidly and making voice searches more and more efficient and user-friendly. By providing detailed information about their business in the right places, completely and correctly, and by continuing the voice search optimization on their own website, companies also help to improve the user experience with valuable answer options for voice assistants. As a result, when consumers make an inquiry by voice, they become more visible and gain more customers.

How companies become voice-search-ready

More than 50 platforms are relevant for voice searches or smart assistants, but Google, Bing and Yelp are particularly important for voice-search-readiness, as almost all voice assistants access these platforms. Company locations that have complete and correct profiles on these three platforms can achieve a Voice Search Readiness Score (VSR Score) of 90% and are therefore considered voice-search-ready.

Simply make sure that your essential business information is listed correctly, such as opening hours or address, since this crucial for findability and a good user experience. Hence, provide the data of your locations in a uniform and complete manner across all relevant online platforms - above all on Google, Bing, and Yelp.

Companies can use various additional measures to prepare for the voice age, including, among other things, an optimized loading time of the own website and content that is specially prepared for search engines - such as FAQs. But also, own skills for smart assistants such as Alexa are part of it, with which companies make their offers a linguistic experience.

It is best for companies to start optimizing voice search as soon as possible to stand out from the crowd and win new customers, since currently just a few have recognized the potential of voice search and you can gain the competitive edge.

By Daniela La Marca