5 Local Strategies to Capitalize on Voice Search

Man Using Internet Voice Search Technology On Mobile Phone

It’s 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 for a while. Technologies like Siri, which debuted as an iPhone 4S, go all the way back to 2011. Microsoft’s Cortana was in production back in 2009. However, 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 the 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


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 has the potential to shape the way local businesses are found. It’s up to local search marketers to ensure that their location data management is clean, optimized, and accessible.

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

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

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