What is the best voice search?

Voice search allows users to find information online through voice commands instead of typing. With the rise of smart speakers and voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, voice search has become increasingly popular and important. According to one source, nearly 55% of American adults now use voice search at least once a month. As more people adopt this technology, businesses need to optimize their content and sites for voice search to stay relevant.

Top Voice Assistants

The global voice assistant market is dominated by a handful of major tech companies. According to MarketWatch, Amazon’s Alexa leads the market with a 35% share as of 2022, followed by Google Assistant at 25%, Apple’s Siri at 15%, and Microsoft Cortana at 4% (Source). These top assistants are integrated into smart speakers, mobile devices, cars, and third party apps to enable a hands-free, voice-activated experience.

Amazon was an early pioneer in the voice assistant space with the launch of Alexa and Echo smart speakers in 2014. Alexa has grown significantly since then, now supporting over 100,000 skills that allow users to shop online, control smart home devices, check the weather, set alarms, play music and more using just their voice (Source).

Google Assistant arrived a little later in 2016, but quickly gained ground against Alexa due to Google’s strength in search, machine learning and natural language processing. Google Assistant is accessible across billions of Android devices, smart speakers like Google Home, and other IoT devices. It can handle complex queries, context, and multi-step tasks with increasing accuracy.

Apple’s Siri dates back to 2011, though it was limited to iPhone at first. Today Siri is available across Apple’s ecosystem including iOS, macOS, Apple Watch and HomePod devices. Siri’s deep integration with Apple’s hardware and software makes it very useful for controlling music, messaging contacts, setting reminders and more.

Microsoft Cortana was released in 2015 and integrated into Windows 10 devices, Xbox consoles and Microsoft apps. While Cortana has faded behind the top 3 in market share, it maintains a foothold among enterprise applications.

Voice Search Use Cases

Voice search is most commonly used on smartphones, smart speakers, and in vehicles. According to one report, 55% of voice searches occur on smartphones, 31% on smart speakers, and 14% in cars (Source). Smartphones like the iPhone and Android devices have voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant built-in, allowing users to initiate voice searches easily. Smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home are specifically designed for voice interaction and are increasingly present in homes. In cars, voice assistants like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow drivers to search without taking their hands off the wheel. Other use cases include voice search on wearables like smartwatches and smart displays. As more devices add voice capabilities, the ubiquity of voice search will continue to grow.

Benefits of Voice Search

Voice search provides several key benefits to users that make it an appealing alternative to typing searches. Some of the main advantages of voice search include:


Voice search is extremely convenient, allowing users to get information quickly without having to type. Users can access results hands-free by simply speaking their query. This provides a much faster way to search compared to typing on small mobile keyboards (Source).

Hands-Free Access

Since voice search only requires speaking, users can access information hands-free. This allows search to happen seamlessly while multi-tasking or being on-the-go. Voice provides accessibility for situations where typing may be difficult or impossible (Source).


Voice search increases accessibility for groups that may have difficulty with typing searches, like the elderly, disabled, or people with limited literacy. By removing the need to type, voice search makes information more accessible to more people (Source).

Challenges of Voice Search

While voice search technology has many benefits, it also comes with some key challenges that need to be addressed. Three major challenges with voice search are accuracy, security, and privacy.

Accuracy is still an issue, as voice recognition systems can struggle with accents, homonyms, background noise, and more. Per a 2024 report, Google has achieved 95% word accuracy but errors still occur in about 5% of searches https://www.sitesearch360.com/listen-up-the-state-of-voice-search-in-2020-and-beyond/. This can lead to transcription errors and incorrect search results.

Security risks pose another challenge. Voice assistants could be hacked or tricked into providing unauthorized information through spoofed voices. There are also concerns around transmitting private voice data over networks and servers.

Privacy issues arise given that voice searches generate personalized data profiles. Users may not want tech companies storing private voice data or using it for targeted advertising without proper consent. Protecting user privacy remains an ongoing issue.

While tech companies are working to enhance accuracy, security and privacy, these challenges need to be fully addressed for voice search to reach its full potential.

Voice Search Optimization

Optimizing web content for voice search involves several key techniques. According to Hubspot, some important tips include using natural language, focusing on conversational long-tail keywords, making content scannable, optimizing for featured snippets, and creating FAQ schema markup. The Semrush blog also recommends analyzing voice search results for keywords you want to target and optimizing site architecture. Lastly, Search Engine Journal suggests optimizing page titles and metadata, using list formatting, and optimizing for local search.

Overall, the keys are using natural conversational language, formatting content for easy scanning, optimizing for long-tail voice queries, and making content easily discoverable through voice search. This involves an audit of on-page content, site architecture, and metadata.

Future of Voice Search

The future of voice search looks bright, with predictions that nearly 50% of searches will be voice searches by 2022. As voice assistant technology continues to advance, new capabilities will emerge that make voice search even more seamless and personalized.

Some key advancements we may see include multi-step conversations, better natural language processing, and contextual understanding based on user identity, location, and preferences. Voice assistants may also become hands-free across more devices like cars and wearables.

These innovations stand to greatly impact search engine optimization (SEO). Marketers will need to optimize for long-tail conversational queries rather than just keywords. On-page content and metadata will need to focus on addressing user intent and natural speech patterns. As voice search grows, rankings may shift to favor brands that provide the most satisfying hands-free experience.

Overall, voice search represents an exciting shift in how people find information online. Businesses that can provide utility through voice search early on will have a distinct advantage as more and more searches happen conversationally. The future of search is voice-enabled.

Top Voice Search Queries

Some of the most common voice search queries fall into categories like local business look-ups, general knowledge, weather, music, navigation, and questions. According to research by Semrush, the top queries include:

Local business look-ups: “Find restaurants nearby”, “Where is the closest coffee shop?”, “Show me shoe stores near me”

General knowledge: “Who is the president of the United States?”, “How tall is Mount Everest?”, “What is the capital of Australia?”

Weather: “What is the weather forecast?”, “Will it rain today?”, “What is the temperature outside?”

Music: “Play hip hop music”, “Play some classic rock”, “Play jazz radio station”

Navigation: “Give me directions home”, “Navigate to the airport”

Questions: “How do you make scrambled eggs?”, “When was the lightbulb invented?”, “Can dogs eat chocolate?”

Understanding the most popular voice search queries can help optimize content to rank for voice results. Focusing on local, informational, music, navigation, and question-based intent matches how people naturally use voice search.

Voice Search Case Studies

More and more brands are optimizing for voice search and seeing great results. Here are some examples:

Walmart partnered with Google to optimize shopping for voice-enabled devices. Google’s case study found that Walmart saw a 2x increase in mobile conversion rates from voice searches.

The Home Depot optimized product titles and descriptions for conversational queries. After launching on Google Assistant, they saw a 3x increase in daily voice-initiated sessions. Semrush’s voice search study analyzed factors behind The Home Depot’s successful optimization.

TGI Fridays developed an Alexa skill that lets users find the nearest location and place takeout orders. In the first month after launching, the skill accounted for 8% of Fridays’ total online orders. As reported in Google’s case study, the skill helped drive new interest and engagement for the brand.

These examples show how brands of all sizes have uncovered new opportunities through voice search optimization. By crafting content for natural conversational queries, they’ve increased discovery and conversions. Early adopters are seeing substantial rewards as voice interaction grows more prevalent.


In summary, voice search provides a fast, convenient, and intuitive way for users to find information and accomplish tasks without needing to type or use a keyboard. The top voice assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri are becoming ubiquitous, enabling voice search in homes, cars, and mobile devices. Key use cases and benefits of voice search include hands-free searching, multi-tasking, accessibility, and personalized results.

However, voice search does come with challenges around accuracy, privacy, and search engine optimization. As the technology continues advancing, voice search will likely become an increasingly popular search mode. To optimize for voice, focus on using natural language, long-tail queries, and seamless connectivity across devices. With strong voice search adoption combined with thoughtful optimization, brands have an opportunity to reach and engage audiences in new and compelling ways.

In conclusion, voice search presents exciting potential for both users and brands when implemented thoughtfully. Tailoring experiences to leverage the unique capabilities and nuances of voice search will become increasingly important for providing optimal utility and engagement.

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