If someone 15 years ago had told you you’d be walking around with a robot assistant in your pocket today, would you have believed them? Today’s smartphones have virtual assistant technology (think Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant) built in, and more and more people are introducing smart devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home into their lives.

All of this new technology is affecting the way we search. If you’re not doing so already, now is the time to pay attention to voice search. Here’s why you can’t ignore it any longer.

1. Voice Search Will Only Grow in Popularity

Right now, 41% of American adults already rely on voice search. And according to comScore, that number will only increase in the coming year; by 2020, they expect that 50% of all searches will be voice searches.

Sales of smart home devices are also on the rise. According to RBC analysts, 52 million Google Homes were sold last year, accounting for $3.4 billion in revenue for the company. That revenue number is expected to double by 2020.

All of this means that voice search is becoming a more popular way to look for things. As more people acquire smart devices, an even larger swath of the population will have access to voice search technology.

2. It’s Still a Newer Technology

While voice search is rapidly gaining in popularity, it remains uncharted territory for a lot of local businesses. Now is the time for you to position yourself to lead in voice search — before your competition is even thinking about it.

There is always a benefit to being early to the party. You can win at voice search now and begin to develop greater insight into the strategies and tactics that work best for how you perform in voice search, allowing you to remain one step ahead of your competition as time goes on.

3. It’s More Limited than Traditional Search

Voice search is different from a traditional query in a search engine. When a consumer sits down at their desktop or keys in a query on their phone or tablet, the search engine results pages give them a number of options. They’ll see paid and organic search results, plus additional information like Maps results, Google My Business profiles, and even elements like rich snippets.

In contrast, voice search only presents consumers with one answer at a time. When a consumer asks their phone, “Hey Siri, where can I find a bakery near me?” Siri will present them with one bakery, and it’s not always the one that’s nearest or highest rated.

The exact algorithm that voice assistants use is not known, but local search is known to be a component, so it’s important that you’re taking steps to boost your visibility in local search. This gives you the best shot at being the first name on Siri or Alexa’s metaphorical lips.

4. People Use Voice Search on the Go

Think about why people are using voice search. When they’re driving and can’t look away from the road to type a query into Google, they’ll ask the assistant on their phone. When they’re just about to walk out the door and remember they need to pick up an item while they’re running errands, they might shout across the room at their smart home device to ask advice on where to go.

In either instance, these people are on the go and looking to make a purchase immediately. This makes them hot leads. They’re already intent on solving their problem today, so you want it to be your good or service that they turn to!

Perhaps you’ve been holding off on developing a strategy for voice search. The technology still seems futuristic, and it’s hard enough to find the time to deal with current initiatives without adding a new item to your workload.

But there’s a real benefit in getting serious about voice search now before it’s old hat. By being one of the pioneers of voice search strategy, you get out in front of the competition early, and if you’re smart about your approach, you can retain that lead in the long run.

If you’re looking for some help getting your marketing voice search-ready, give us a call. LOCALiQ solutions can help you get there!

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