Is Your Business Voice Search Ready?

A new report by location marketing company Uberall suggests that an astonishing number of businesses are almost definitely not ready for voice search, as they found only 4% of the businesses they analysed were voice search ready.

Why is Voice Search Readiness (VSR) important to your business?

Most of us use the internet as our first port of call to search for services and goods, and more and more of us are using voice searches to do so. The latest data on voice search from Google (May 2016) states that 20% of all mobile searches were conducted through voice and in the US, sales of smart speakers in Q4 2018 were higher than those throughout the whole of 2017.

When we use Google Assistant, Siri or Alexa to implement searches, they typically give just one search result as an answer, and if your business isn’t voice search ready, it’s unlikely to be the one!

Your business info needs to be accurate and thorough

Uberall’s 2019 Voice Search Readiness Report was based on their analysis of 73,000 SMEs, mid-market and enterprise companies. It resulted in a 0-100% score for voice readiness for each business, looking at factors such as missing and erroneous business information.

Their analysis revealed that only 3.82% of business locations have no critical errors or missing information across Google, Yelp and Bing—the most important directories for feeding voice search platforms—and that the vast majority of businesses are severely underperforming in voice search readiness. It also showed that out of the three categories of business considered, SMEs were the worst offenders as the least likely to be voice search ready.

By looking at the content of voice searches, Uberall determined that the top 6 most important elements of a listing were:

  1. Address
  2. Opening Hours
  3. Phone Number
  4. Business Name
  5. Website
  6. Postcode

Get your opening hours right!

Uberall’s analysis found that almost half of all business locations have missing or inaccurate opening hours—guaranteed to aggravate, confuse or frustrate your customers, particularly if they turn up expecting you to be open and you’re shut.

Ensure your correct web address comes up in searches.

Almost a third of listings had web address errors.

Make sure your business is where you say it is!

Almost a quarter of listings gave the wrong location, and nearly a fifth got the street wrong!

Five tips for better Voice Search Readiness

The report gives five pieces of advice to improve your VSR score. Here’s our quick summary:

  1. Start with Google, and ensure you have an accurate and complete Google My Business listing for each of your locations.
  2. Don’t ignore Bing and Yahoo; they power more voice search applications than you may realise.
  3. Leverage the help of a software service provider. Only 23.5% of business locations surveyed were reaching voice search readiness without a supplier whose business is to expand and improve their digital listings footprint.
  4. Keep your facts straight. Make sure your listings are consistent across all platforms and apps, including hours, location, phone number, name and website information.
  5. Use voice-friendly structured language; use the language on your listings and content that voice searchers will use when searching for you.

For more information on Voice Search Readiness and detailed advice on improving your VSR, read Uberall’s full report.

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