Businesses are not ready for customers to use voice search in their apps or on their websites, mostly due to misinformation in business listings. A study released today found 978,305 errors just related to the times a company is open for business, accounting for nearly half of all locations analyzed.
The study, Uberall Voice Search Readiness Report 2019, analyzed 73,000 online business location listings from small and mid-size businesses to mid-market and enterprise businesses, to determine their readiness for voice search.
For the analysis, Uberall identified 37 directories that feed voice-search platforms. These are the most important in terms of readiness. The most important information for business directories to include is the business address, opening hours, phone number, name, website, and ZIP code. For the study, Uberall assigned a number to each piece of information to use as a score.
The top three platforms -- Google and Google Maps, Yelp, and Bing, respectively -- make up about 90% of Uberall's voice-search readiness score. Still, only 3.82% of business locations analyzed had correct information even on these three major directories. While Bing remains in the top three, marketers neglected the listing platform most.
And this involves more than retail businesses. The average voice-search readiness (VSR) score was 44.12%, according to the analysis. Dentists had the highest average VSR score at 96.82%, followed by health food businesses at 96.60%. In contrast, consumer protection organizations had a score of 0.20%, and congressional representatives at 0.24% had the lowest scores.
The average VSR score across the 73,000 locations analyzed is 44%. The average Uberall customer has a score of almost 96%. This means most businesses are failing to optimize to an acceptable standard for consumer voice-search queries.
Take Apple Maps, for example. While Apple Maps provides information to users, it will not help marketers optimize for voice-search queries in business listings, according to the study.
There’s still a lot of room for growth. Nearly 60% of those participating in the survey said they never use voice search. About 9.8% use it daily, and 11% use about one voice search per month.