The results of the 2020 Voice Search Ranking Factors for Local Business study are in. This year’s study gives a detailed overview of exactly what it takes to rank well in voice search across a variety of voice assistants.

With Google research indicating that almost a third (27%) of the global population now uses voice search on their mobile device, there’s never been a better time to put your voice SEO strategy into action. Here’s what we’ve learned from this year’s research:

Target the right voice assistants

Although there are numerous voice assistants on the market today, the 2020 Voice Search Ranking Factors study concludes that the tri-opoly of Siri (Apple), Google Assistant and Alexa (Amazon) represented the vast majority of users with 36%, 36% and 25% of market share respectively.

The study notes that while marketers are recommended to focus their efforts on these three systems, each of the three employs a very different algorithm so voice SEO efforts may need to be segmented to be effective.

Voice assistants are getting smarter

The study found that voice assistants have evolved and now understand more than ever before. While 12 months ago, an estimated 35% of questions weren’t unanswered (according to Forrester Research) that figure has declined to an average of just 6.3% of questions unanswered today. There is a difference between devices though, with Google and Siri able to answer between 95%-98% of all questions, while Amazon can only manage to answer 67% of queries.

This is where results are sourced from

Google voice search results are taken from the local pack listings. This means that businesses wanting to boost their voice search results can do by focusing on their existing local SEO strategy.

Siri results are taken from Yelp. To improve voice search performance for Siri, you’ll need to consistently generate positive new online reviews on Yelp, respond to all new reviews, ensure your business is listed in the right category and have an optimised business description. Other actions, such as uploading images and providing as much detailed information as you can will also optimise your Yelp presence and therefore your Siri voice search performance.

Amazon’s Alexa results come from Bing, Yelp and Yext. Because Alexa is unable to answer almost a quarter of voice search queries, the Voice Search Ranking Factors for Local Business study recommends that no additional time is spent optimising for Alexa.

If you’d like to explore voice search SEO for your business, get in touch with us today.

Author Rebecca

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