5 Local Strategies to Capitalize on Voice Search

Man Using Internet Voice Search Technology On Mobile Phone

Voice Search is the hottest new topic on every marketer’s list – and it’s not even that new! The ability to search via voice commands has existed in technologies like Siri, which debuted as an iPhone 4S feature all the way back in 2011. Microsoft’s Cortana had actually been in production back in 2009, though it was demonstrated publicly for the first time in 2014.

And yet it wasn’t until this year that we really saw the explosion of voice search as a consumer trend. The Local Search Association’s Greg Sterling shared at our Local Search Summit conference this April that in a recent study, researchers found that 60% of people had begun using voice search within the last 12 months.

The improved rate of accurately captured voice commands, coupled with the rise in voice-controlled personal assistants, have developers and consumers hopping on voice search technology faster than you can say “Ok, Google!” Just take these recent stats for starters:

  1. A study from Northstar Research reveals that 56% of adults use voice search because it makes them “feel tech-savvy.” – Search Engine Watch
  2. Google released stats that show 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search – (through Google search, Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana, for example) — at least once per day. –  The Washington Post
  3. The use of search queries starting with “who,” “what,” “where” and “how” has increased by 61%. – Entrepreneur
  4. Voice chat is also becoming increasingly reliable as technology improves. In fact, two years ago word error rate was over 20%, but current speech recognition word error rate is as low as 8%—a huge leap in a short amount of time. – Search Engine Journal
  5. The hands-free capability is the main draw; 51% of all respondents say they use voice assistants while driving. – Business Insider


More than a fun trend or even a more convenient way to search, voice is fast becoming the method by which consumers solve their immediate, local needs.

Google data shows that 94% of smartphone users search for location info and 82% of smartphone searchers use a search engine when looking for a local business. With mobile driving local search, voice search technology has the potential to shape the way local businesses are found from search to sale. It’s up to local search marketers to ensure that their location data is clean, optimized, and accessible to these new search engine technologies.

How will your brand overcome the challenge of adapting SEO strategies that capture the unique intent behind voice searches?

Looking to learn more local SEO strategies to drive results? View the takeaways from our latest webinar with Digital Marketing Depot: “Local Strategies to Capitalize on Voice Search”