Voice Search Optimization: How to Be the Information Source for Alexa and Siri

Picture of Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy

Creator and Co-founder

voice search optimization

Voice search is taking off, with over 4.2 billion voice assistants in use worldwide.

By 2024, that number is expected to explode to 8.4 billion devices.

That’s a lot of people using their voices to find information. 🗣️

So, if you’re not optimizing your website for voice search, you’re missing out on a big opportunity.

In this blog post, we’ll break down everything you need to know about voice search SEO. We’ll cover:

  • How voice search differs from traditional text-based search
  • The unique traits of popular voice assistants
  • How to use long-tail keywords and conversational language to make your content more accessible to people searching by voice

By the end of this post, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to optimize your website for voice search and start attracting more visitors to your site.

Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents:

What is Voice Search Optimization?

Voice search optimization is an SEO strategy to increase the chances of ranking for verbal search queries. With more people using voice assistants searching for information on the go, optimizing for voice search is crucial to having an impactful online presence.

FYI, voice search differs from traditional search, particularly regarding how queries are phrased.

  • For example, a user looking for a restaurant will typically type “restaurants near me” in the search box.
  • However, with voice search, they’re more likely to say, “Hey, Siri! What’s the best restaurant nearby?”

The main difference is that voice searches are longer and more conversational. While these slight nuances may seem insignificant, they make a massive difference in SEO, especially for competitive search terms.

Voice Search Devices and Their Impact on SEO

Our world is growing increasingly verbal. With devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, we’re seeing a rise in voice searches that are altering the landscape of SEO.

The reason?

These smart speakers offer convenience to users who want immediate answers without having to type into a search bar.

This has implications for businesses needing to adapt their SEO strategies for this shift towards vocal queries.

As a business, you can’t ignore the fact that voice search devices are taking over from traditional screen-based search devices. Doing so will cause you to become virtually invisible online.

Understanding how these devices work and their impact on SEO is key. So, let’s adapt and embrace this evolution together – because we all know that change is the only constant in our digital world.

Voice search optimization is no longer just a trend; it has become integral to any business’s online marketing strategy.

Why is Voice Search Optimization Important?

According to Statista, the number of voice search assistants (smart assistants) worldwide will reach 8.4 billion units by 2024.

That’s even more voice assistants than the world’s population!

And a study by PWC revealed that 71% of consumers would rather use a voice assistant versus typing to search for something online. And 36% of respondents said they’d rather use a voice assistant to shop than visit a physical store.

And those numbers are growing.

As a business, you can’t afford to ignore the rise of voice search.

You have to develop a voice search optimization strategy to help you capture every voice search query related to your product or topic.

Why are Voice Search Queries on the Rise?

Voice search has become increasingly popular in recent years, with 72% of people saying their voice-activated devices are part of their daily routine.

But why are voice search queries on an upward trajectory?

Here are 3 of the most significant reasons:

  • Convenience: With just a simple command like “Hey Siri” or “OK Google,” users can instantly access information from their favorite websites without having to type anything out themselves.
  • Ease-of-use: Since most people are already familiar with using their voices when communicating with others, they find it much easier than typing out queries on small screens or keyboards.
  • Faster results: Voice searches often provide faster results than traditional text-based searches because they rely on natural language processing algorithms that better understand user intent than keyword matching alone.

And with voice assistants becoming better at understanding and processing search queries, the adoption of voice search will only explode.

Tips for Optimizing Your Content for Voice Search

Now that you understand the importance of voice search optimization, let’s dive into some actionable tips to help your website rank higher in these searches:

1. Choose the Right Keywords for Voice Search

The first step to effective voice search optimization is to choose the right keywords for your voice search optimization strategy.

Since voice searches are typically more conversational and longer than text-based queries, targeting long-tail keywords in your content is essential. This will increase the chances of ranking high for specific phrases users might ask their virtual assistants.

Finding those perfect long-tail and conversational keywords can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. But it’s essential to optimize your site’s content for voice search.

Thankfully, with the right tools, you can uncover these hidden gems

When people speak into their devices, they use more natural language than when typing queries into a search bar. They’re more likely to ask full questions or use phrases that mimic how we talk in everyday life. That means traditional keyword research tools might not cut it.

To help with this, consider using tools like Answer The Public, Also Asked, and others. These provide visualizations of questions related to your seed keyword.

It’s like peeking inside the minds of potential customers.

You could also get valuable insights from forums and social media platforms where users discuss topics relevant to your business. This will give you an idea about what kind of specific queries they are making.

Besides these techniques, Google Trends is another tool that allows marketers to analyze changes over time in how certain terms are being searched. For a business, this is invaluable information.

The goal here isn’t just finding any old keyword but uncovering those golden nuggets: high volume yet low competition ones (long-tails). These make all the difference between visibility on page one versus getting lost in the sea of content on page 2 and beyond.

2. Create Engaging and Informative Content—with a Conversational Twist

The key to successful voice search optimization is creating high-quality, valuable content that answers users’ questions effectively. Producing helpful, researched content can help you become an expert in your field and improve your rankings.

For your content to rank for voice search queries, dive deep into conversational queries.

In voice searches, many people start their sentences with words such as “how,” “what,” “where,” etc., forming longer-tailed queries that provide context beyond short-tail counterparts.

This means your content must be built around question-based keywords and follow language people use in conversations.

So remember – keep things conversational while optimizing. Use complete sentences or questions as keywords, not just single words or phrases.

For instance, instead of focusing on “best pizza,” consider optimizing for the whole question: “Where can I find the best pizza near me?” This helps search engines better understand and match your content to voice queries more accurately.

The growth trajectory for voice search can be attributed mainly to breakthroughs in Natural Language Processing (NLP). It enables machines not just to understand spoken words but also to interpret their meanings accurately, especially in these days where artificial intelligence (AI) use has exploded.

This means search engines have evolved beyond just relying on keywords and can now comprehend complex phrases beyond simple commands while considering syntax nuances and regional dialects, too.

This means for your content to be voice search friendly, it must be conversational.

3. Optimize for Local SEO

Many voice searches have a local intent. This means people often use voice search to find nearby businesses or services.

This is why you must optimize for local searches.

Local SEO means improving the chances of your content being displayed on search results for location-specific queries. To do that, optimize your website with location-specific keywords and include relevant contact information like address, phone number, and operating hours. Other local SEO strategies include:

  • Optimizing your Google Business Profile: Google Business Profile is a free tool from Google that helps you influence how your business appears on Google properties like Google Shopping, Google Maps, Google Search, etc.
  • Leveraging local business directories: These websites list local businesses and their location and contact details. This makes it easier for you to appear in local search results.

Optimizing for local SEO is a great way to help you show up in location-specific voice results.

4. Incorporate Schema Markup

Schema markup, also known as structured data, helps search engines better understand the context of your web pages by providing additional details about its contents. Implementing Schema.org markup can make it easier for Google Assistant or other virtual assistants to display rich snippets from your site during a voice search result.

One of the most important schema types to use for voice search SEO is FAQ schema. Create FAQ sections in your content and implement FAQ schema to let search engines know that you’re answering questions frequently asked by users. This will help your content to be picked for voice results.

5. Mobile Optimization for Voice Search

The rise of mobile devices has brought about an increase in voice queries, too. Optimizing your site for mobile usage can significantly improve its visibility during a voice search.

You see, people often use their smartphones on the go and prefer asking questions verbally rather than typing them into the tiny little keyboard on their screens (trust me, it gets tiring). So, making sure that your website loads quickly and displays correctly on these smaller screens could mean all the difference between being visible or invisible in voice search results.

A few ways you can enhance mobile-friendliness include:

  • Improving page speed
  • Using a responsive design so content adjusts appropriately regardless of screen size
  • Reducing file sizes for faster loading times
  • Ensuring easy navigation with large clickable areas (because who likes pressing tiny buttons?)

Optimizing for mobile searches also includes formatting your pages and content in such a way that they’re easy to read on small screens. This also makes your content voice search friendly.

6. Try and Capture Featured Snippets for Your Keywords

Featured snippets, also called position zero, are the search listings that appear on top of search engine results pages (SERPs), usually after ads. These are given more real estate and contain a short blurb or bullet list that answers the search query succinctly.

Landing the featured snippet is essential to voice search SEO, as voice assistants pull answers from these when people search using voice commands.

This makes featured snippets a critical part of voice search SEO.

A few tips for getting the featured snippet include:

  • Implement schema markup
  • Use a table of contents
  • Use question-based keywords
  • Create the best piece of content on the subject
  • Ensure proper use of headers and subheadings

Besides helping you win at voice search SEO, landing the featured snippet also boosts your search traffic and organic clickthrough rates (CTR). It helps increase the ROI of your content marketing.

Remember, it’s not about reducing your rich and valuable content to oversimplified answers. It’s about providing clear, direct responses that satisfy users’ queries while still encouraging them to explore more on your site.

The Future of Voice Search Optimization is Here

With voice search devices becoming household staples, the future of SEO is quickly shifting. Our conversations with these smart speakers are starting to dictate how brands shape their content and develop their digital marketing strategies.

Traditional search engine optimization strategies don’t cut it anymore. You need to factor in voice search queries when mapping your content and SEO strategy.

As a brand, start optimizing for voice search now if you want to be relevant in the future. It will also help you find favor with Google’s algorithms since they favor voice search-friendly content.

Take the first step towards optimizing your website for voice search and unlock the potential of long-form content marketing to grow and scale your business.

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