The Truth About Voice Search

With voice search being the latest innovation in the world of digital search, Vizergy has received several questions and concerns from clients about being optimized for voice search.

Chances are, if you have searched for tips on preparing for voice search, you have been inundated with article after article leading with the same statistic, “by 2020, 50% of all searches will be conducted via voice search.”

This statistic is likely a scare tactic used by the author, alluding to some secret formula they have to ensure you rank at the top of voice search results. We are here to set the record straight. For starters, statistics can be unreliable unless the source is verified, and this instance is no different.

Like a classic game of telephone, this statistic has been taken out of context, recycled, repeated and overused. Originally used in an interview with then-Chief Scientist of the search engine Baidu, Andrew Ng, in 2014 and then referenced again in this article from ComScore in 2016, only a portion of the context was taken into consideration. To clarify, when Ng made the prediction that 50% of searches would be conducted via voice search, he was saying voice searches AND image searches. Image searches refer to taking a picture with your phone and then searching for a similar image to identify what it is.

What also seems to be lacking in the articles that reference this statistic is information about industries most heavily impacted by voice search. Granted we can only make educated guesses here, it is unlikely that hotel booking behavior will shift dramatically. Travelers rely on images, room information, guest reviews, and specific amenities to influence their booking decision. Too much information would be missed if travelers asked Google Assistant to book a two-night stay at a hotel near Magic Kingdom. Travelers will still need to shop, compare, and play an active role in their booking.

This isn’t meant to discourage hoteliers from making sure they have basic elements for voice search results. It is more so to let you know that if your property isn’t voice search ready yet, it’s okay. What does being “voice ready” entail? We’ve laid out five best practices any website should have.

  1. Content
  2. Context
  3. Stop Relying on Keywords
  4. Local Listing Consistency
  5. FAQ’s Page

For the full report & details on best practices, download the PDF here. Or read the whole opinion article, here.

About the Author: Trish Leighton

Trish is the Senior Manager of Search Marketing Services at Vizergy Digital Marketing and has been with the company since 2017. Having parents that both worked in the hospitality industry and working in hotel management in NYC herself, Trish has always had a passion for the industry. She started working in digital marketing in 2011 and found the perfect role for her combination of interests at Vizergy, where she started as SEO Manager. She now oversees both SEO and Online Media departments and lives in Jacksonville with her husband and three cats. When she’s not making sure Vizergy’s clients outrank their competition, she enjoys listening to true crime podcasts and exploring northeast Florida with her husband.

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