Data gathered by SCORE, an American small business mentoring organisation, found that more than half (58 per cent) of consumers used voice search to find local business information last year. Nearly half (46 per cent) of users searched for a local business daily, while a further 28 per cent searched about once a week.
Younger generations are more likely to use voice search than an older generation:
- 76 per cent of consumers ages 18 to 34 had used voice search to find information for a local business in the last 12 months; 15 per cent had not used it but said they would consider using it in the future.
- 64 per cent of consumers ages 35 to 54 had used voice search to find information for a local business in the last 12 months; 24 per cent had not used it but said they would consider using it in the future.
- 37 per cent of consumers ages 54 and older had used voice search to find information for a local business in the last 12 months; 33 per cent had not used it but said they would consider using it in the future.
Consumers are most likely to voice search for food-related businesses, with the top industries being:
- Restaurants/cafés (51 per cent of consumers)
- Grocery stores (41 per cent)
- Food delivery (35 per cent)
- Clothing stores (32 per cent)
- Hotels/bed and breakfasts (30 per cent)
Consumers use voice search to make reservations, check prices and inventory, and make purchases:
- 54 per cent make a restaurant reservation.
- 46 per cent determine prices of a local business’s products/services.
- 40 per cent ask which products a business has in stock.
- 32 per cent buy directly from a business.
- 27 per cent visit a local business’ website after making a voice search.
Top ways to optimise a business website for voice search include:
- Using natural language and multiple-word keywords.
- Adding questions and answers on the business’s website.
- Making sure the business’s location, hours and phone number are correct and visible on its website and search engine directories.
“Right now, more than half of consumers – and three-quarters of millennials – are using voice search to connect with local businesses, and the number is steadily growing,” said Bridget Weston Pollack, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy at SCORE, adding, “Given this strong consumer demand, we would recommend that businesses consider incorporating it into their marketing plans, or risk missing out on customers. We have free resources at score.org that can help, as well as experienced mentors ready to discuss this and other marketing trends.”