Uberall Study: When it Comes to Voice Search Readiness, SMBs are Ignoring Bing

Friday, May 3, 2019
Posted by Reagan Reeve

Study by location marketing technology leader Uberall finds that, among the top-3 directories (Google, Yelp, Bing) feeding voice search platforms, Bing has the most errors


A woman using her phone for Voice Search

Uberall, Inc., the location management solution for businesses competing to attract and win local brick-and-mortar customers, recently released its “Uberall Voice Search Readiness Report 2019,” analyzing 73,000 business locations across SMB, mid-market and enterprise. The report 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.


Key findings from the report include:


Bing is being ignored by businesses and brands

Although Microsoft’s Bing may not be the biggest search engine by volume, it is critical in search results from Windows. This is because Windows sites make up approximately 25% of all search queries in the United States and work invisibly behind many other apps – including Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual, voice-based assistant and Alexa. However, Bing had the most errors of the three major VSR directories (Google, Yelp, Bing), 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. “But it’s a key platform for search, period, as well as one of the big 3 for voice search. Businesses should therefore take Bing seriously and factor accurate Bing listings into their online optimization efforts.”


Nearly 25% of listings have name errors

After analyzing 73,000 business locations across 37 platforms, totaling 2.1 million possible listings for each business information type (e.g., opening hours, location name, address, etc.), one of the most glaring business listing errors was location name. In fact, almost one quarter of all listings featured name errors or missing data.

Mobile Phone Map Locations

“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.”

SMBs are the least likely to be voice search ready

Graph of businesses with perfect VSR citations

Across the 73,000 business locations analyzed, less than 4% – 3.82% – of business locations had no critical errors. When Uberall broke down the 3.82% of business locations with perfect citations on Google, Yelp and Bing by business size, enterprise businesses (39.1%) topped mid-market (36.4%), with SMB in last place (24.6%).

“SMBs made up the vast majority of the 73,000 businesses in our sample,” said Rohr. “However, they represented merely 24% of the top 4% of those with no critical errors. Our findings show that SMBs are the least likely to be voice search ready. It is our recommendation that SMBs look seriously at working with an agency to become VSR ready, especially as these services have become more cost-friendly, delivering a high ROI.”


For Uberall’s Voice Search Readiness Report 2019, visit: https://m.uberall.com/uberall-report-voice-search-readiness-us-2019.