Voice Search is convenient and increasingly in demand. Is your website voice friendly?
In our high-speed, multi-tasking culture, fundamental shifts are happening in the way we interact with search technology. Today, mobile devices are the source of 60% of all online searchers. As voice-to-text technology has improved on smartphones and other devices, so has adoption of voice-based commands.
In their research recap “Prepare for the Voice Revolution” PWC reports the majority of survey respondents said searching online with voice assistants—like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa—is easier, more convenient, and faster than speaking to a human or texting on a phone.
Although younger mobile-first consumers are driving adoption, PWC states, they aren’t using the tech as frequently as their 55+ counterparts. Older folks who enjoy the ease of accessibility are more likely to use voice to search for information, products and services. Overall, 71% of all survey takers preferred using voice commands rather than typing into a search box.
Survey: PWC asked their audience a number of questions related to search:
The New Way
Use your voice assistant to search for something online.
The Traditional Way
Physically type your question to search for something online.
Read the full report.
To see all PWC findings, see The Impact of Voice Assistants on Consumer Behavior.
How frequently are/were you using your voice to do the following:
Search for something that I’d normally type into a search engine
As a quick question
Check weather or news
Set a timer or reminder
Send a text or email
Check traffic or navigation
Add items to shopping list
Buy or order something
Control other smart devices
Of course, 40% of searches still come from desktop/laptop browsers. Nothing the trend, e-commerce companies are adding voice search capacity to their website’s search bar. Unfortunately, the customer experience for voice search on a desktop or laptop poses unique challenges compared to voice search performed on mobile devices.
Challenges for voice search on non-mobile browsers
Unlike smartphones that have microphones and speech-to-text translation built in, certain web browsers don’t support converting voice commands into something that the browser can use. Without that translation, voice search won’t return results.
To create a consistent and trustworthy experience on our customers’ websites, we make sure every consumer coming from any browser can easily perform a voice-based search. To make it work, we leverage artificial intelligence built into our enterprise search tools to convert speech to text first, and then use the converted text for search. It all happens behind the scenes so consumers enjoy the same easy search experience they’re used to having on mobile devices.
The future for voice search is bright.
Advancements in natural language processing, increased use of smart devices, and companies’ ability to become “voice search friendly” are helping consumers grow in comfort with the technology. Just like traditional search has moved from “key words” to complete sentences, we imagine that voice search users will move beyond simple requests—like weather and sports scores—to more complex searches in the near future.
By all measures, voice search is moving from novelty to the norm. Demand will only continue to grow as consumers of all ages and abilities embrace the convenience. Get ahead of the demand and create a more user-centered interface with this simple upgrade to your site’s search capabilities. Is your company ready for “the voice revolution”?