Voice Search Readiness study finds that, of the key directories feeding voice search platforms, Bing has the most errors
Research by Uberall, the location management solution for businesses competing to attract and win local bricks-and-mortar customers, has revealed that nearly half (48 per cent) of business locations listed on Bing contain key errors. The finding, which was uncovered in Uberall’s recently released 2019 Voice Search Readiness (VSR) Report – a comprehensive analysis of the online listings of 73,000 business locations – indicates that many businesses are underestimating the influence that Bing listings have on voice search rankings.
Bing is being ignored by businesses and brands
Although Microsoft’s Bing may not be the biggest search engine by volume, it is critical for search results from Windows, including via Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual, voice-based assistant. In addition, Bing’s listings also feed other voice search platforms, most notably Alexa. However, of the three key online directories for voice search readiness – Google, Yelp, Bing – Bing listings contain the most inaccuracies, with 35,095 total errors across all 73,000 business locations.
“Almost half of all Bing business listings had missing or inaccurate information,” said Norman Rohr, SVP of Marketing at Uberall. “This is a major oversight, not only is Bing one of the big three directories influencing voice search rankings, it is a key platform for search, full stop. Businesses should therefore take it more seriously and factor accurate Bing listings into their online optimisation efforts.”
Nearly 25 per cent of listings have name errors
After analysing 73,000 business locations across 37 platforms, totalling 2.1 million possible listings for each business information type – including opening hours, location name, address – Uberall’s research found that one of the most glaring business listing errors related to the location name. In fact, almost one quarter of all listings featured name errors or missing data.
“Most businesses would be horrified if they took out a newspaper ad only to find that their name was misprinted; yet it seems that this same attention to detail isn’t applied to digital directories, where nearly one in four contain mistakes or omissions,” said Rohr. “Getting the location name right may sound basic but it is absolutely critical. Users conducting voice search queries for local business information have almost certainly decided to visit the store with purchasing intent. If the name is wrong, the customer journey breaks down and sales are lost.”
Businesses engaging third-party suppliers most likely to be voice search ready
Across the 73,000 business locations analysed, only 3.82 per cent had no critical errors. Of those business locations with perfect citations on Google, Yelp and Bing, enterprise businesses were most likely to have completely accurate listings (39.1 per cent), followed by mid-market firms (36.4 per cent) and then SMBs (24.6 per cent).
The research also found that enterprises were most likely to use a third-party supplier to help manage their online directory listings. In fact, 93 per cent of enterprise locations that are voice search ready are using an external supplier to help achieve this.
“Our findings suggest that as the number of business locations increases, so too does the need to engage with a third-party supplier,” said Rohr. “Our study found that while 76.5 per cent of optimised business locations are using an external supplier, that figure rises to 93 per cent for enterprise locations. It is therefore extremely unlikely for brands with ten or more locations to reach voice search optimisation without a little help.”
The Uberall Voice Readiness Report 2019 is the first-of-its-kind and the most comprehensive analysis ever on Voice Search Readiness (VSR), providing clear and quantitative standards on voice search ranking factors for brands and businesses to follow. It is available to download here: https://m.uberall.com/uberall-report-voice-search-readiness-us-2019.