Voice assistants are becoming better and smarter by the day, entirely transforming the way people interact with their digital devices. If you missed the hype and haven’t optimized your website for voice search yet, you’re losing a fair share of your online marketing potential. To help you navigate the voice revolution, we took the time to digest the numbers and come up with the most essential voice search statistics. Check them out and dive into the digital future.
What this means is that a whopping 163 million smart speakers will be sold globally in 2021. And given the hunger COVID-19 has created for home entertainment, it will be no surprise if the number is even higher by the end of the year. But it appears that consumers were appreciating the technology behind voice-activated devices even before COVID. In Q4 2019, vendors shipped 146.9 million smart speakers, marking an incredible 70% growth.
Global smart speaker statistics reveal that China was the biggest shipper of smart speakers in 2020, with 58.9 million. The US came in second with 38 million, while only 18.2 million smart speakers were shipped to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Experts agree that voice search growth will continue to boost the global smart speaker market, particularly in Japan and Singapore.
Voice search stats for marketers show that voice search optimization can be insanely lucrative. So much so, that it has already driven more than $2 billion in sales worldwide. Numbers like this have prompted marketers to adapt their SEO strategy to voice search. After all, it is vital for revenue, sales, and leads alike, so if you haven’t optimized your website for voice search, start working on it today.
Stats on voice search indicate featured snippets are one of the vital factors for voice search marketing as they provide information for 40.7% of voice search results. Featured snippets appear in a box on the top of the SERPs and contain direct and to-the-point answers.
In case you are wondering how to optimize for voice search, studies show adjectives like ‘best’ or ‘easy’ or question words like ‘how’ or ‘what’ are the trigger keywords for 20% of voice queries. ‘How’ is ranked the highest with 8.64%, followed by ‘what’ with 5.01%, and ‘best’ 2.63%. Other triggers include ‘where’, ‘home’, ‘recipe’, ‘new’, etc. With voice search conducted not just for research, but for buying products, these keywords could be just the thing you need to spice up your voice search advertising.
This is one of the voice search facts that confirms a wind of change is blowing in the way people search. And if marketers want to keep pace with this audio-based interface and the new SEO demands it brings, they should start working on it now because voice search is here to stay. Should anyone need any more convincing, note that the 4.6 second SERP load time is faster by a solid 52% compared to that of an average website.
Voice search users increasingly look for local results. Data shows this search method was preferred by nearly 60% of users interested in local businesses in 2017. For professionals focused on creating an outstanding voice search marketing strategy, it would be helpful to know that 46% of these searchers look for a local business daily, 28% of which do it at least once a week.
This compares to 58% of non-parents who use them regularly to manage shopping lists. And it gets even more interesting: of the total people who own voice-activated speakers, 44% use their devices to order products almost weekly. The numbers highlight the growing popularity of voice-activated search and hands-free methods of getting information that make your life easier.
According to voice search user stats, just over half of Americans (52%) conduct voice search queries from their living rooms. This is not surprising, given that this is where folks choose to spend most of the day. Interestingly, stats also show that in 25% of US homes, voice searches happen in the bedroom, and nearly a quarter (22%) keep their voice search devices in the kitchen.
(Think With Google)
Recent voice search user stats reveal that 2018 saw consumers seek the help of voice search more than 250 billion times, according to the 2019 report from Voicebot. Voice search growth data is impressive. In early Q4 2018, the percentage of US adults that used voice search at least once monthly was around 25%. Just four months later, in early January 2019, that percentage went up to 33%. Additionally, 47% of consumers expect to further increase their usage of voice-enabled devices in the coming years.
A recent report by GeoMarketing reveals that 65% of people who own a Google Home or an Amazon Echo cannot imagine going back to the days before having a smart speaker. Owning a voice-activated speaker further feels like talking to another person or a friend for 41% of users.
Demographics-related voice search statistics reveal that the most likely group to perform a voice search once every day is people between the ages of 25 and 49 (65%). In the group of 50+ year-olds, 57% are likely to use them. Their share is slightly higher (59%) in the 18-24 age group. Data says Gen Zers, who are in fact the youngest, are credited with driving the early adoption of the technology.
The most significant percentage of Americans, according to voice assistant statistics, use voice-activated devices daily to check the weather and the news, while 33% do it to play music. Another 31% interact with voice assistants daily to send emails or texts, while 40% do so monthly as a way to control other devices around their home. 19% of US citizens use voice assistants for navigation or to check traffic.
Efficient choices help smart speaker owners be more practical in their everyday lives. Smart speaker and voice search facts reveal a quarter of the owners of such devices are most likely to use voice assistance when purchasing everyday household items. The second and third place belong to items within the video gaming and entertainment industries and apparel with 21.15% each. And finally, at 18.94%, games are the third most common purchase transaction of smart speaker owners.
(Search Engine Journal)
The top priority for 82% of voice assistant owners, according to voice search statistics, is to get fast and accurate replies when considering different options. This is closely followed by understanding diction and accent (81%), with relevancy of recommendations taking third place with a 75% share of users.
The content of your product description or review should be optimized for voice search as 22% of these consumers make a purchase right after they’ve completed the research. 36% of consumers meanwhile use voice search to add products to their shopping list, 30% use it to track a package, and 20% to rate a business.
Voice search might just replace traditional typing. Data says seven out of ten consumers prefer to use voice search to typing. Most of the time, they use their voice to perform basic tasks such as setting a reminder, playing music, or checking on the weather, even though there are much more advanced features, including controlling other smart home gadgets or shopping online.
Next to Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant is the second most widely implemented smart assistant in the world, and as of May 2019, it occupied 30,000 smart home devices. No one thought that having a Google voice-activated device could be so helpful, but numbers are slowly but surely growing. Back in January 2018, the number of smart home devices supported by Google Assistant was 1,500, and by October, it had spiked to 10,000.
Google’s speech recognition technology in US English shows an accuracy rate of 95%. The company’s mobile voice search is currently available in over 100 languages. The service applies machine learning algorithms, used to detect speech and return meaningful results. It is developing rapidly with the advancement of technologies, and since 2016, according to Google, 20% of searches on its apps and Android devices are performed via voice search.
Google voice assistant statistics confirm this feature is currently used by over 500 million monthly users who speak over 120 languages and now have long-form reading available. The trigger to get Google Assistant to read you an article is to utter the words ‘Hey Google, read it’ or ‘Hey Google, read this page’, and it will start aloud with a more natural and human-like voice, and it can do this in 42 languages.
(VentureBeat, First Site Guide)
Google Assistant vs. Siri statistics show that nearly half of US users favor the latter. This is probably due to the long-time presence of the iPhone on the smartphone market, although many think Siri is less capable than other voice assistants available today. Millions of Android devices meanwhile feature Google Assistant (29.9% market share); however, the capabilities and availability of this option are yet to be fully adopted by Android users. Alexa on the other hand is the assistant of choice of 18.3% of Americans.
Google Home statistics reveal that this speaker gets more than eight in every ten answers to queries right, earning it the winning position by number of accurate answers. For comparison, Amazon Echo’s score is 64%. Other entries on the list include Harman Kardon Invoke with just under six in ten correct answers, as well as Siri with just over five out of ten. A particular upside for Apple’s Siri/HomePod is its superior listening skills when stacked against the competition, enabling it to understand 99.4% of all queries correctly.
Google smart speaker and voice search statistics show that just under half (48%) of voice-activated speaker owners want to get personalized tips and tricks that would make their life easier, and 42% want to be informed about upcoming events and activities. 39% of consumers use a Google voice-activated device to find location information about a business, while 38% want access to customer service or support.
Google’s voice search statistics further indicate that the pages that appear as a result of the search contain 2,312 words on average. What this means is that even if your content is not optimized for voice search, having a solid SEO strategy supported by facts and numbers can make a huge difference. Another interesting stat is that content that has been highly shared ranks well in Google voice search. For example, the average result has had around 2,000 Facebook shares and 44 Tweets.
Nearly one-quarter of consumers today use voice assistants rather than a traditional website or smartphone app to conduct online searches. Amazon forecasts this share is set to grow to up to 40% of consumers throughout 2021. Millions of marketers around the world are convinced that voice search is where the future of marketing campaigns lies. This is further confirmed by Amazon data showing that 81% of users who have used voice assistants have done so through their smartphones.
Voice search trends indicate that voice-based ad revenue might reach $19 billion by 2022, mainly because of the growing number of voice search apps on mobile devices, but also because of the increasing number of users who find voice search a more convenient way of getting the information they need. And since scouting for information is directed at researching products to shop most of the time, projections are that voice-based shopping will top $40 billion by 2022.
Smart speaker and voice search statistics forecast that global sales of smart speakers and other voice-activated devices will surpass $30 billion by 2024. The US smart speaker market will play a major role in this, as projections are that a total of 55% of American households will own a smart speaker device by 2022, which will generate a 42% spike in usage compared to today’s household ownership numbers.
Back in 2016, when Google Home was introduced to the world, the tech giant’s CEO Sundar Pichai said that one-fifth of all queries across Android devices and Google’s mobile app were voice searches. This is the only official data released by the company in this regard to date. Unfortunately, there are no definitive numbers here, though forecasts from the most recent voice search stats indicate that currently around half of queries are voice-activated.
Since Millennials are more adoptive of new technologies, people aged 26-35 are most likely to use voice search as most are potential smart speaker buyers.
Siri scores highest on the virtual assistant popularity contest with a 35% market share. Research from 2018 shows 44% of smartphone owners in the US use Siri. When it comes to shopping though, Amazon’s Alexa is by far the most popular VA used by a whopping 72%. Google Assistant ranks second with 49%, followed by Apple’s Siri with 23%.
Voice search has a bright future. It is developing and improving at a fantastic rate, which means that very soon, it will not be anything new, even for the least tech-savvy on the planet. Will this optimize our work and lives? Of course. As our list of voice search statistics demonstrates, companies will be able to better understand what people need, value, and want, and this is an excellent opportunity to improve their market positioning, products, and services.
Sources: Canalys, TechCrunch, Statista, Web FX, Brafton, DialogTech, Forbes, Quora Creative, Oberlo, WordStream, Finances Online, Search Engine Journal, Voicify, Statista, DBS Interactive, VentureBeat, First Site Guide, Voicebot, ThinkWithGoogle, Backlinko, ClearBridgeMobile, TechWyse