We’re living in a voice-activated world, with Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana making it into more consumers’ homes—and pockets. But while the onslaught of voice search is well-established, there has been a comparatively little exploration of its impact on local businesses.
To rectify this, we set out to explore how consumers use voice search to discover, contact, and find local businesses. In a recent survey, a panel of 1,012 US-based consumers was asked to share their experiences and opinions when using voice assistants and smart speakers.
Here are Statistics that you should definitely know if you’re running an occupation, especially a dental business. It also throws light on why considering voice search optimization for your business is essential.
- 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information in the last 12 months
- 46% of voice search users look for a local business on a daily basis
- 27% visit the website of a local business after making a voice search
- 76% of smart speaker users perform local searches at least weekly—with 53% searching using these devices every day
Now, looking at the survey results on the use of voice search among the crowd, here is what we derived from them.
- Have you used voice search to find information for a local business in the last 12 months?
- Age group split: Have you used voice search to find information for a local business in the last 12 months?
3.Gender split: Have you used voice search to find information for a local business in the last 12 months?
- 58% of consumers used voice search to find information on a local business in the last 12 months
- There’s still room for voice search to grow: 25% of consumers haven’t yet tried local voice search, but would consider it
- Smartphones are the most popular tool for voice searches for local businesses—with Smart Speakers being the least commonly used
Most Popular Voice Search Tools for Local Businesses
– Smartphone (56% have tried)
– Desktop/Laptop (28%)
– Tablet (26%)
– Smart Speaker (18%)
With a potential 82% of consumers willing to use voice search locally, businesses need to make sure they are both easily discoverable in voice search results and supplying the information consumers really need.
With smart speakers dominating headlines, we were surprised that the proportion of consumers who have used smart speakers for local business searches was so low (18%). However, this is actually in line with the one in six Americans who own a smart speaker — suggesting that the chatter around Alexa, Google Home and the like is louder than its actual impact.
The real story for voice search right now is more about portability. Far more consumers are relying on their smartphones—with 61% of men and 50% of women using their phones for local voice search in the last year.
- How frequently do you use voice search to find information on local businesses?
– 46% of voice search users search for a local business daily, with a further 28% searching once a week
– 74% of smartphone voice search users search for local businesses at least once per week
– 76% use smart speakers for local search at least weekly—with 53% searching every day
Smartphones are the most used voice search tool — but among users, surprisingly not the most popular. We’d expect the ability to make searches on the move would only add to the frequency of voice searches. Perhaps this could be down to people feeling less inclined to ask a question in public?
Those using smart speakers are the most likely to make local searches daily (53%). Just 18% do this less than once a month. This frequency could be for a multitude of reasons. Are owners excited to test out and play with their new toy? Or, could the privacy of a search at home mean consumers ask more frequent questions?
When looking at those aged 18-34, they clearly favor smartphones above the other types of voice assistant — with 81% using these at least once per month to look for businesses near them. This is followed by tablets (65%), then desktop/laptop (63%).
We also see that men are more likely than women to use local voice search frequently across the different devices. This is in line with research from Stone Temple Consulting, that found that men were 1.59 times more likely to use voice commands than women.
- In which circumstances would you use voice search for a local business?
– Consumers use voice search to find local businesses’ phone numbers, addresses, directions and opening hours
– 33% say they’ve ordered a takeaway using voice search
– Consumers are open-minded to trying different voice-assisted functions
Consumers clearly use local voice searches for many reasons, but our survey finds they’re most likely to have performed searches to find further information on businesses they already know(such as address, directions, and phone number). Searchers are less likely to use the technology for business discovery purposes.
Looking for review ratings isn’t particularly common yet, but it holds a lot of potential with 47% of consumers saying they might in the future. This could be down the varying capabilities of different voice search technologies when it comes to reviews and ratings.
33% of consumers have called a local business using their smart speaker, making it all the more important for details to be correct online. Our recent Local Citations Trust Report found that 36% of consumers called a wrong number for a business because of incorrect information displayed online, so it’s critical for local businesses to check their online business listings are accurate to avoid this.
Behaviors are still forming around voice search, so it’ll be interesting to see if the proportion of consumers using these features grows over the next few years. Will consumers change their mind about what they’d ‘never do’ when functions become more commonplace?
- What is the typical next step you take after making a voice search for a local business?
– After making a local voice search, 28% call the business
– 27% visit the website of a local business after making a voice search
– 19% will visit the business after making a voice search
Whether it’s by visiting the business or contacting them by phone, a combined 47% of consumers get in touch with a business after making a local voice search.
In our latest Local Consumer Review Survey, we found that 27% of consumers contact or visit a business after reading a positive review—far fewer than those using voice search.
Of course, when comparing the two, those looking at reviews are likely to be in a different part of the buyer journey (research or consideration) than those making a voice search. As we’ve seen above, voice searches for local businesses are far more likely to be for people who are already aware of a business and want to find specific information on it.
It’s interesting to see how many consumers go to a business’s website following a local voice search. For consumers wanting to continue their research, most voice assistants give options to send URLs and information straight to a linked smartphone. While questions have been raised about the ongoing necessity of local business websites, it’s evident that websites are still very important in the voice search journey.
For local businesses, there are clear opportunities around voice search. With Activate predicting there will be more than 21 million smart speakers in the US by 2020, it’s only going to become more important for local businesses to get their voices heard.
This very well explains why you should not delay optimizing your dental website for voice search. Get in touch with us to see better results.