Optimize Your SEO For Voice Search

Optimize Your SEO For Voice Search


Voice search is here and it’s fast-becoming the de facto search method for your users. It’s time to get on board with voice search and make sure you’re doing all you can to optimize your SEO for voice search.

To really optimize your SEO for voice search, you need to start with the basics. This means starting on page one and learning what voice search is, why it matters, how people are using voice search, and then we can teach you how to optimize your SEO for voice search.

Yes, we know that there are lots of other articles out there that assume you know the ins and outs of voice search, but we’re not like everyone else. Our commitment to you is in giving you everything we know, this way you’re confident about talking about voice search and SEO with your colleagues and you can ask us better questions.

At any time, if you just want to cut to the end and get into the nitty gritty of SEO and voice search, just contact us. We’ll get back to you ASAP and get you started on optimizing your SEO for voice search.

What is Voice Search?

Voice search relies on voice rather than text to trigger a search. Voice search users ask verbal search questions towards their smartphone, smart speaker, or other digital assistant.

Instead of opening a Google search page and typing what is the phone number for Jo’s Pizza?, users now verbally ask their smart device to call Jo’s Pizza.

This changes everything. Notice that the language is slightly different and think of the expectations this places on your website content.

How Does Voice Search Happen?

When a user says something similar to:

“Hey Siri – call Jo’s Pizza”

“Hey Alexa – can you buy more batteries?”

“Hey Google – is there a Starbucks near me?”

These are all examples of how voice search happens. More often than not, voice search revolves around the user asking a question. They need directions, a phone number, groceries ordered, or a new bag of cat food.

Research is showing us that more and more people prefer asking their questions than typing them into their smart device or computer. Recent Google research highlights that 20% of searches done on mobile devices is done by voice search. By 2020, it’s expected that 50% of search volume will be voice search.  (Hint: 2020 isn’t that far away. You really should contact us to learn how we can optimize your SEO for voice search.)

How Is Voice Search Being Used?

Thanks to the power of Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Alexa, and many other digital assistants, voice search is being used for every search question possible.

No this is not an exaggeration. People prefer to ask their questions than type them. This allows them to ask specific questions and queries, resulting in the one exact answer they want.

Instead of a typed search for pizza restaurants that returns multiple pages of pizza restaurants, a quick question asked of Google Assistant: Call the pizza restaurant closest to me – results in immediately satisfying the user.

Here are some statistics on how voice search is being used:

  • Mobile voice-related searches are 3X more likely to be local-based than text. (Search Engine Watch)
  • Nearly 50% of people are now using voice search when researching products. (Social Media Today)
  • Customers use Amazon Echo for many purposes, with one-third using it as an information provider responding to questions and over 40% as an audio speaker for listening to streaming music. (CIRP)
  • One in five consumers (19%) have made a voice purchase through Amazon Echo or another digital home assistant, and another third (33%) plan to do so in the next year. (Walker Sands)
  • 43% of users cite that using voice search is quicker than using a website or an app. (Katherine Watier)

In other words, people want answers and they want the answers to come fast, to be correct, and relevant. This is the power and beauty of voice search. The key for you is in optimizing your website and SEO to take advantage of this user demand.

How To Optimize SEO For Voice Search

To optimize SEO for voice search, you need to do the following:

  • Learn about featured snippets. A featured snippet is the highlighted summary answer to a user’s question. To be effective the featured snippet must answer a specific question, be written in plain language, and be concise. Voice search often relies on the featured snippet to provide a fast and effective answer.
  • Get your local SEO 100% correct. Because 39% of voice search users want specific business information, your local SEO must be optimized. Make sure your contact information, hours, address, and other business details are up-to-date on your website and all social media channels. Update your Google My Business Page with your contact information, hours, etc.
  • Improve your website speed. Voice search hates latency. Review your website structure and make sure it is optimized for speed. Remember that most users have limited patience for slow-loading websites. Test your website on a variety of mobile devices to ensure it is loading quickly and properly.
  • Know your users. You need to do your SEO research. You need to know how your users are using your website, what they’re searching for, how they’re searching, and how often they find what they’re looking for. As our very own Kevin Hawke, COO and Partner at KNOW Agency highlights in this Hypepotamus article – you need to learn how to use Google Search Console. Read How Voice Can Help Users Find Your Startup to learn more insights from Kevin (hint: you won’t be disappointed).

Along with these basics (yes, these are the basics) of SEO for voice search, you also need to learn about longtail keywords, searcher intent, speech patterns, and mobile-ready websites. Yes, this is a lot to digest and understand and exactly why wanted to start with the basics of voice search.

Now that you understand how huge voice search is and why it’s so important – you understand why you need to optimize your SEO for voice search. If you want to learn more about voice search, SEO, or want to talk about your digital presence – drop us a note.

You get lots of awesome perks when you work with KNOW Agency. Not to mention that we’re damn smart, love challenges, and want to work with other smart people (yes – you!).

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