What is Voice Search – And why is it important for SEO

voice search for seo

Voice search seems to be all the rage these days. People have grown tired of typing and find it easier to simply ask their device to find something for them. Even beyond phones and computers, “smart speaker” or “home assistant” devices now allow you to shout out a phrase and search from practically anywhere in your home.

What is Voice Search?

Voice search, also called voice-enabled search, allows the user to use a voice command to search the Internet or a portable device. You can use a voice search to make search queries, request information, launch programs, search for files, and voice dial. Two of the most popular mobile assistants, Siri and Cortana, both use voice search. A rapidly growing form of voice search comes from “smart speakers” like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, pictured below. Smart speakers are used for home automation and voice search. With a variety of technologies that specialize in voice recognition, the probability that there are more on the way is high. The sky seems to be the limit for voice search.

google home vs amazon echo


Why Voice Search is Important for SEO?

In May of 2016, Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated that 20 percent of mobile searches from their app and Android devices were voice searches. The increase in reliability and expansion of technologies available have made voice searches more common. With voice searches on the rise, it may play a key part in local internet marketing.

How to Optimize Your Business for Voice Search

Use Commonly Spoken Informal Language

When optimizing for voice search, the use of informal language will help users in finding your business. People often ask questions like, “Where is the best ice cream in St. Louis?” Using optimized informal language like, “best ice cream restaurant in St. Louis” can help your business be found with relevant voice searches. As an example, we asked Google Home about NAP Consistency. It found its answer on our website and cited us as the source.

Q&A or FAQ Pages

Question and Answer pages are an easy way to add common informal spoken language to your website. Form questions and answers in a conversational tone that people would use in a voice search. This will give you assistance in optimizing for this special form of search.

Website Crawl

Building your website to be easily crawled by bots in addition to matching the sitemap submitted will ensure the correct information is given to search engines. This will help bots to understand what your business does, consequently helping you to be found for relative voice searches.

Near Me

When you use the phrase “near me” in a voice search, results will be formed based on your physical location in relation to the business. This form of search exemplifies the importance of claiming and optimizing your business listings on Google My Business, Bing Places and the other forms of online business directories. Choosing the correct business category on your listing is important for search engines to match you to relative searches. Websites like MOZ Local can help verify your listings and most of all improve your NAP Consistency.

Mobile Friendly

One of the most important parts in optimizing for voice search is having a mobile friendly website. With the majority of voice searches coming from mobile devices, a good mobile experience is crucial. If the site is difficult to navigate on a smartphone, it causes a negative user experience on the increasing number of mobile and voice searches. Finding out if your site is considered mobile friendly by Google is easy, follow the instructions we have listed here.

SEO Stands Strong with Voice Search

While the increase in voice searches will cause a change in SEO, making small changes will go a long way to improving your success with voice searches. We encourage our clients to write their content in a way that they would describe it to perspective customers. This will be an advantage for voice search because most of those searches are formed in casual spoken questions and not short keyword searches. When writing the content for your website, think of questions that people may ask related to your businesses product or service. In addition, looking at your Google Analytics can also show you queries that are bringing people to your website. Use this information to optimize for voice search.

If you need help optimizing your website for voice and other forms of search, give us a call so we can discuss the best options for your business.