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Think With Google: 20 Percent Of Searches In The Google App Are Now By Voice

With voice as the 'new frontier' of SEO, brands need to explore how to get voice assistants to see them as the best option for recommendation.

Over 20 percent of searches in the Google app are now made by voice, according to a recent report from Think With Google —  a statistic that reinforces the need for businesses to think about how their data will be consumed and discovered in the age of voice.

This increased reliance on voice isn’t surprising in light of related trends: Voice-activated device usage has climbed 130 percent over the past year, and over 50 percent of Millennial (18-34) use voice commands once a month or more. Still, the top takeaway of TWG’s “future of marketing” report is that, while consumers will continue to rely on their smartphones in “micro-moments” to decide where to go and what to buy, the means by which they will seek this assistance is evolving, “from typing on devices to speaking to them.”

The Right Answers

But as Google’s Ben Brown put it last month, while people are enthusiastically “interacting with more and more different voices in our lives, everything about how [marketers approach] voice-activated assistants is going to be centered around: It’s got to be user-friendly.”

In other words, businesses need to be able to provide the answers that people want when they make on-the-go searches via voice — meaning that the data people most often search for (hours, address, and more) needs to be listed accurately and be ready for consumption by “traditional” search engines and intelligent assistants alike. And given that for every online purchase resulting from a search Google sees multi-channel retailers receive an additional 400 in-store visits, this “new frontier” for SEO matters immensely for brick-and-mortars in particular.

“[This really is] like the new SEO,” J. Walter Thompson’s Elizabeth Cherian told GeoMarketing at Cannes Lions last month. “Brands [need to get their] underlying data layer ready for consumption by these devices.”

How? “They need to look first at the idea of algorithm optimization,” Cherian said. “The question [to start asking] is, how do you build into your product and services such as the voice assistant sees you as the best option?”

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of GeoMarketing.com. A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.