Just 3.8% of Businesses Offer Correct Information in Voice Searches According to Uberall Report
- Uberall, a location marketing firm, analyzed over 73,000 business locations in the Boston metro area on 37 different voice assistant information directories and created a “voice search readiness” (VSR) score in order to evaluate business’ presence for verbal queries.
- From their study, Uberall concluded that just 3.8% of business had the correct information for voice searches and observed nearly 1 million errors about opening hours across listings on Google, Yelp, and Bing.
- The report identified 37 directories that feed voice search platforms with information and found that Google, Google Maps, Yelp and Bing were the most important services for voice users. Apple Maps has very little effect on optimizing for voice search queries.
- When looking at the 37 directories, dental offices had the highest average VSR score at 97%, while consumer protection organizations (0.20%) and congressional representatives (0.24%) had the lowest grades.
Uberall is a Location Marketing solution company that provides local business and public institutions with solutions to better their online presence. The company produced a Voice Search Readiness Report, and also conducted a Voice Search Survey to find out if people were adopting voice search and if it is even necessary for a business to optimize it at all. Uberall produced voice search readiness (VSR) scores from the 37 identified directories but also produced VSR scores from the most important services for voice users, which are Google, Yelp, and Bing. When looking at 73,000 business locations in the Boston metro area on Google, Yelp, and Bing, Uberall found that only 3.82% of business locations had no critical errors in their responses to voice search. Over 96% of all business locations are failing to list their business information correctly. Click here to download the full report.
The Biggest Finds
The average VSR score Uberall calculated was 44.12%, meaning the majority of businesses have not been optimized to an acceptable standard for consumer voice search queries. In addition, when businesses are found locally by customers, they are more likely to provide incorrect information like incorrect opening hours or addresses.
On average, dentists, health food, home improvement, criminal attorneys, and dollar store businesses were given a VSR score of 90% or higher. A common factor in businesses that scored the highest is that these businesses often rely on generating local search traffic and then generating that into foot-traffic to their physical address.
The businesses that scored the worst, on average below 2%, were consumer protection organizations, congressional representatives, business attorneys, art galleries, and wedding services. These services are common in that they often use word of mouth to generate business, rather than reaching out to consumers locally.
Almost half of all listings had errors in opening hours. Almost one-quarter of all listings had an error in location name. Almost one-third of all listings had an error in their website listed, and almost one-fifth of all listings had errors in their street address.
Voice-Search Must Become More User-Friendly Before the General Public Adopts It
Voice assistants and voice search for businesses is not going away. The data is very clear on that. However, the data also makes it clear that for voice search to become widely adopted, it first needs to become more user-friendly. In this report, Uberall included its findings from an external survey of 1,000 participants to find out if people were adopting voice search and if it is even necessary for a business to optimize for voice search.
The report found that usage of voice search was either frequent or not used at all: 21% of respondents use voice-search every week, but 57% of respondents never use voice search. However, when asked how open the respondents were to using voice search in the future, 52% were open to the idea, and only 30% were completely uninterested. In addition, 60% of respondents said they felt voice search will be important in the future. The report also found that the top reasons respondents were not using voice search were that they are not used to it (23.2%), they don’t feel that it is the most efficient means of search (19.7%), and they do not feel that it is accurate enough (13.5%). In the words of Uberall,
It is fair to say that voice search technology has to become more user-friendly before it wins the hearts and minds of the general public.
These findings complement Voicebot research findings, providing a more in-depth look at one of the most popular use cases of smart speakers, which Voicebot has found is only rising in adoption. Voicebot has found that “ask a question” is the second most popular daily and monthly use-case of smart speakers, only behind “listen to streaming music service. The Voicebot Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report 2019 found that U.S. Smart Speaker Owners rose 40.3% in 2018, climbing from 47.3 million to 66.4 million during the year. This increase means that more than one-in-four U.S. adults now have access to a smart speaker based voice assistant. Uberall’s Voice Search Readiness Report only proves that the mass-consumer adoption of voice assistants is inevitable, so you might as well prepare for it.
Uberall identified 37 voice search directories that directly feed into voice search platforms in order to test business information from over 73,000 business locations in the Boston Metro area. For reference, the 37 directories covered were:
- Google Maps
- Chamber of Commerce
- Judy’s Book
- U.S. City
- My Local Services
- City Squares
- U.S. Info Com
- I Global
- Where to
- Ya Sabe
- Palm Beach Post
- La Voz
- Mundo Hispanico
- Al Dia Tx
Data gathered was then analyzed and given a ‘voice search readiness’ score, a scoring platform based on the weighted importance of business information. The most important business information from most to least important was identified as:
- Opening Hours
- Phone Number
- Business Name
- Zip Code
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