Here are a few stats all marketers should know about voice assistants as they evaluate how and when to include voice first tactics in their marketing strategy.

Usage of voice assistant is widespread, with nearly 50% of Americans using voice assistants via smartphones, dedicated devices or other devices. Most usage is occurring on smartphones today. Only about 8% use voice commands via standalone devices. Source: Pew

Usage of smart speakers is expected to grow exponentially as voice search grows. Voice searches are expected to be 50% of all searches by 2020.  Source: Comscore

Smart speakers are used mostly to play music, ask a question or check the weather. Other top uses are set a timer/alarm, find a recipe and listen to news/radio. Source:

Amazon and Google Assistants control approximately 80% of the smart speaker market today. Amazon is the leader, with 40.7 million monthly users of Amazon Echo and about 60% of all smart speaker users. Google Home comes in second with 18 million users. Source: eMarketer

Google has an accuracy advantage that will likely help it close the market share gap. The Google assistant is close to 5x more likely on average to know an answer than Alexa. Google’s superior accuracy is not surprising given its history of being a search engine. Google also wins on the smartest voice assistant on mobile over rivals Siri, Alexa, and Cortana.

Google obviously plugs into the Google search network, which has all the resources that Google has including all the history of search,” 360i Dentsu’s Calladine said. “It’s why Google has become the most popular desktop search engine. I think that’s the main advantage of the Google Assistant is it’s one its part of the whole Google ecosystem.”

Source: 360i, Fast Company

Voice optimized content, experiences, and campaigns will be critical to competing effectively in voice searches. Key steps include:

  • Identify what potential questions your target audience has about your organization, product or service.
  • Understand what language will be used to ask those questions and creating content to address.
  • Take into consideration the phrases and words used for the same query might vary for different segments within your target audiences (e.g., Hispanic millennial, white baby boomer).
  • Ensure your customer experience is optimized for the channel (e.g., smart speaker only query, a smart assistant on mobile to a mobile-optimized site, and smart speaker to smart TV).  

Some useful voice SEO resources:

  • Voice searches tend to be more conversational, personalized and longer than text driven searches. Google offers insights on how natural language searches differ here and personalization of search queries here.  
  • Hubspot profiles what it takes to rank for voice search including page speed, authority, response length and other key factors here.
  • Search Engine Land offers effective voice first content strategies including use top trigger words like who, how, what, where, best, where, why and when here.

Are you evaluating and experimenting on how to integrate voice into your marketing mix? Reach out, I would love to hear what you are up to. Our next post will highlight how organizations are using voice first commands to reach and engage their target audiences.

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