Over the past few years, the increased adoption of voice search and voice-first devices has changed the way people use the Internet and interact with their favorite brands. In fact, voice search has even become a preferred method to navigate sites for some users. With the increased use of the technology, it’s clear that voice search is a key part of a well-designed search interface, and businesses need to adapt to serve this growing user need.
So, what exactly does your business need to know about voice search? We’ll discuss the importance of voice search and some of the top voice search statistics for businesses, users, and the future to prepare you for what’s ahead.
Why Voice Search matters
Rewarding search experiences must meet and anticipate users’ needs to keep them satisfied and engaged. For any brand, investing in voice search now is important for a number of reasons, including:
- High user expectations – Due to constant innovations from large brands like Amazon, Google, and Netflix, users now expect cutting-edge technology in every interaction. As major brands expand and refine their voice search capabilities, other companies will need to do the same to offer users seamless, high-quality search experiences. It won’t be possible to tune voice search for your users overnight, so early investment is key.
- Growing user comfort with voice search – As people have used voice search on mobile devices, they’ve become accustomed to the technology and its benefits. This comfort means users will likely be able and willing to utilize this feature on more devices, interfaces, and sites. You need to be prepared to meet this expectation.
- Conversational queries replacing keyword searches – Voice search has wide-ranging effects on many areas, including traditional search methods. Because people are speaking into their devices to search, their queries start to mimic conversation, and these speech patterns have made their way into text searches as well. It’s essential for companies to know how to optimize websites and site search for these changes.
Voice Search stats you need to know
Voice search is steadily changing how users search and how businesses can respond to user needs. Of course, there are many voice search predictions, trends, and statistics out there. Here we’ve broken down the most essential stats into three different categories to provide some clarity into how your business and your users might be affected:
- Voice Search Usage and Adoption
- Voice Search for Businesses
- The Future of Voice Search
Voice Search usage and adoption stats
Why do these Voice Search usage and adoption stats matter?
Each of these voice search statistics strongly indicate that voice search is more than a fad—it’s a viable, valuable feature in people’s lives. While certain markets are certainly seeing voice search saturation faster than others, it’s important for all companies to pay attention to how users interact with the capabilities in order to best meet their needs.
Smart assistants and voice speakers, like Amazon Alexa, drive voice search adoption for consumers, who expect the same level of convenience during every brand interaction. Companies looking to create and maintain brand engagement should take notice of how the number of consumers utilizing voice search for research, customer service, and product purchases continues to rise.
Voice Search statistics for businesses
Why do these Voice Search statistics for businesses matter?
In order to remain relevant and competitive as a brand, companies will need to consider optimizing for voice search. We’re already seeing a growing number of organizations investing in the technology to drive both conversions and revenue, and these numbers aren’t likely to slow down anytime soon. That’s because the benefits of adopting a voice search strategy are impossible to ignore, as companies are seeing better user experience and lower customer service costs, among other perks.
We already know that consumers are ready and willing to utilize voice search for brand interactions, so the businesses that take advantage of this growing trend will be better equipped to meet customer needs. Acquisition poses certain challenges, but including voice search functionality can offer businesses a competitive advantage. Not doing so may put companies behind the curve, since many competitors are already adopting the feature. This makes it harder for non-adopters to compete, satisfy users, and ultimately catch up to user expectations.
Looking ahead: Statistics for the future of Voice Search
Why do these statistics for the future of Voice Search matter?
As brands look ahead, they’ll need to consider how to best meet the needs of their customers. With purchases and brand research shifting from brick-and-mortar to digital interactions, companies should plan for serving their users through their websites and apps. And as more brands invest more dollars into voice search, it’s important to be ready to keep up with the growing demand for a voice search function.
If voice search isn’t yet part of your organization’s strategy, you may want to consider taking a closer look at some upcoming trends and how they might pave the future for the feature.
2 ways to optimize for Voice Search
While the need for developing a voice search strategy is clear, understanding where to begin might be a little cloudy. If your company is looking to optimize your site for voice search, here are a few essential best practices to follow:
1. Focus on understanding user needs
Although some sites overly focus on SEO, a good voice search strategy should emphasize tailoring the site and its contents for natural language requests. Doing so requires understanding your users and their needs and how they search. Search analytics data can be a great resource to help you better understand user behaviors and search trends and find potential missed opportunities.
As voice search continues to develop, interactions will likely be more interactive rather than transactional, with voice-first devices becoming tools for exploration and discovery. Optimizing your site’s content to address your users’ overall needs will prepare you to provide a more interactive experience.
2. Make your search conversational
Users interact with voice search differently than they do text search, and often the input to the voice system is messy. Designing conversational search requires employing strategies that structure the input, including leveraging context, removing extraneous words or phrases, and overall reducing the digital haystack. These help the system respond to users faster with increased relevance.
Gain a Competitive Advantage with Voice Search functionality
Understanding and acting on where search is headed is an essential part of maintaining a great user experience. Algolia helps businesses provide a seamless experience with voice search that’s easy to implement and ensures the right results for users, every time.
To learn more about how voice is redefining search, how it works, and the ways in which businesses will need to optimize, check out Algolia’s eBook, The Next Tech Revolution Will Be Spoken.