Is Voice Search as Popular as Everyone thought it’d be? 

Over the last few years, there’ve been lots of articles written about how marketers need to prepare their brands and tweak their SEO to accommodate the rise of voice search. There’s no doubt that there has been massive growth in voice enabled devices and technology, which can influence the way customers search for products.

But is everyone using voice assistants and using voice search to gather information as much as marketers predicted they would?

Well, the answers no. A recent study by HigherVisibility has produced some really interesting results, which shows that yes, brands should complement local voice search etc, but that traditional text search and SEO is still super important.

Declining Use by Consumers

When you look at some of the statistics in HigherVisibility’s study, it paints an intriguing picture. It seems that casual users of voice search are using it less. From 2017 to 2018, the amount of people that used voice search at least once per week declined from 27% to 21% and once a month, went from 23% to 15%.

However, those that use voice search at least once per day saw a slight increase from 22% to 23%. Which looks like there’s a core group of consumers that like voice search and use it frequently.

Have a lot of casual users made the decision that voice search isn’t for them and they’re happy with text search?

Voice search technology has improved though, with 37% of respondents in 2018, up from 26% in 2017 saying that speed was the most important factor in using voice search.

More Uses

The most popular format for using voice search in 2017 was the car with 53% of respondents saying they used it while driving – that’s declined in 2018, but could be because car manufacturers are using their own in-built voice assistants

What the data does show is people are using more formats for vice searches. 0.4% of people used voice search with family in 2017, up to 6% in 2018, which could mirror the rise of voice assistants in the home and people being more comfortable using voice search out loud. People are using it more for activities like cooking, exercising and in bed.

Demographic Changes

There’s a more varied demographic picture of voice search use in 2018. Older generations are using the technology more, instead of being confined to millennial users. Millennial users use voice search for more transactional reasons like times and locations and older generations are using it for assistance type commands. 

Final Thoughts

It’s clear that it’s still important to prepare and safeguard your brand for customers that use voice search. But the data suggests that it’s possible that there’s not going to be a massive explosion in the uptake of voice search in the next few years. It seems that the core group of people who want to use voice search are doing it because they’re comfortable using it and they think it’s easy to use – whereas casual users aren’t too enamoured with voice searches and assistants. This could be for lots of different reasons, especially emerging concerns around privacy and the collection of data.

It’s still worth investing in voice search SEO, but don’t neglect traditional text-based SEO either. For more advice, visit DOWO and chat to our team.