Local Voice Search Optimisation

Voice search using Microsoft Cortana
Voice search using Microsoft Cortana

Why should a local business worry about voice search?

Research suggests that voice search is growing fast and here are some data points for consideration, based on research:

  • 58% of people questioned had used voice search to find a local business
  • 74% of people questioned used it weekly for a local business
  • 46% of people questioned used it daily for a local business

In a nutshell, the smartphone has given people a new tool and the trend is strongly suggesting that voice search is popular and growing more popular.

What do you mean by voice search?

Voice search is the process of speaking instead of typing questions or commands. There are three main types of dialogue with devices.

  • Discovery (Find, What)
  • Direct (Call, Directions)
  • Knowledge (Questions & Answers)

So, you can understand why people like it, especially as they get older and their eyesight deteriorates.

Think of it this way – systems and devices.

Systems (market share) for voice search

  • Amazon Alexa (25%)
  • Apple Siri (36%)
  • Microsoft Cortana (19%)
  • Google Assistant (36%)

Many people are surprised that Amazon's Alexa does not dominate the market share. This is because it does in the smart speaker market but not on other devices.

Devices (market share) for voice search

  • Mobiles, smartphones etc. (56%)
  • Desktops, laptops (28%)
  • Tablets, iPads etc. (26%)
  • Smart Speakers (18%)

You can add games consoles, smartwatches, cars, smart TVs, appliances to the devices list in future.

Data Sources for voice search

This is where it gets a bit more interesting and begins to make sense for local businesses. All of these systems and devices have to source the information from somewhere that they interrogate to answer the voice queries. The list below is where they source local business information.

  • Amazon Alexa (Yelp and Yext)
  • Apple Siri (Apple Maps, Yelp)
  • Microsoft Cortana (Bing Places, Yelp)
  • Google Assistant (Google My Business)

What do you notice from the list above? The most obvious observation is that Yelp supplies information to all of them except Google Assistant. The next most obvious is that only Google Assistant sources information from Google My Business. When you marry that up with the market share for Google Assistant (36%) you could argue that Yelp has a 74% market share in voice search.

In a previous article, we answered the question – what is a local listing? Yelp is a local listing as are Apple Maps, Bing Places, and Google My Business. We have advocated being listed widely and on important local listings (citations). Voice search is one of the reasons for that.


About MyLocal

We work with your website designer to improve your ability to be found in Google and other search engines. Also, to look good wherever you may appear online. We specialise in local SEO and most of our work is off-site. But there still needs to be some on-site work undertaken by your webmaster to complement what we do. If you would be interested in finding out more, please use the Contact Form on our website.


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