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Why and how you should optimize your website for voice search


Not long ago the idea of talking to robots on a daily basis seemed like science fiction. Today, if we want to find out where a movie is streaming, catch up on the news or weather, or figure out how long to boil an egg, we simply ask Siri or Alexa or whichever virtual assistant we use.

Searching the internet with a digital voice assistant through devices such as smartphones, smart speakers and smart TVs is now an everyday thing. Because it tends to be easier and faster than using text, more consumers are bypassing typing queries and opting for the hands-free convenience and ease of voice search.

To reach and connect with these consumers, brands and marketers need to adapt their websites for voice search. This is no easy task, especially when you take into account that ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs) for voice search is more difficult than for text search. That’s why voice search optimization (VSO) is essential.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is Voice Search Optimization?

VOS is the strategic process of tailoring your website and content to rank higher in voice-activated searches. Unlike traditional text-based searches, voice queries are typically phrased in natural language, often featuring longer, question-based keywords.

VOS involves understanding how people naturally ask questions using voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant and then optimizing content accordingly in order to rank higher in search results when they ask a relevant question.

How Is Voice Search Different From Text Search?

While text search optimization and voice search optimization do overlap, there are fundamental qualities of voice search that make it unique from a text search on search engines like Google and Bing.

Voice search queries are more conversational than text searches. When consumers use voice to search for something, they speak similarly to how they talk in real life than when they type a query. In a voice search, you may ask: “How do I get to Nonna’s restaurant from here?” In a text search, you probably would type something like this: “Nonna’s restaurant directions.”

As voice search increases in popularity, search engines get better at deciphering the meanings of longer, more conversational queries and producing relevant results, pushing brands and marketers to make content that’s relevant to voice search users.

Why Optimize for Voice Search?

Voice search isn’t only the future; it’s already the present.

According to NPR and Edison Research, 62% of U.S. consumers aged 18 or older use a voice assistant on any device, and 36% of Americans own smart speakers. A recent study by UpCity and Pollfish showed that 58% of U.S. consumers aged 25 to 36 use voice search daily.

Voice search offers brands and marketers an opportunity to capture organic search traffic. By tapping into voice search, they can access new audiences who rely on smart devices to find brands and purchase products and services.

VOS improves a website’s overall search engine optimization (SEO) and SERP rankings. Since consumers frequently use voice search on their smartphones, mobile-friendly websites are a must. Google prioritizes mobile-friendly sites in its search results, so neglecting VOS can negatively impact a brand’s overall SEO efforts.

By optimizing for voice search, you can expand your reach and attract new customers who use voice assistants for information discovery, enhance your website’s SEO and increase its visibility in local searches, and drive foot traffic to your physical location.

Benefits and Challenges of Voice Search Optimization

VOS may be a new frontier for businesses to enhance their digital presence, but it’s not without its complexities.

It offers many benefits, from increased visibility in search results to a more intuitive user experience. However, it also presents unique challenges. Adapting content to match the conversational nature of voice queries requires a deep understanding of natural language processing, and the evolving landscape of voice search technology demands continual adaptation.

Here’s a quick look at the benefits and challenges associated with VSO.


7 Tips for Optimizing Your Brand for Voice Search

VSO is important for brands aiming to maintain relevance and visibility as our lives become more voice-activated. This requires a nuanced approach that goes beyond traditional SEO tactics. In this section, we provide seven strategic tips for brands and marketers to enhance their VOS.

  1. Focus on Question and Long-Tail Keywords
    Voice searches are longer, more specific and more likely to be full questions than text searches because it takes less time and effort to speak a query than to type it. To optimize for voice search, you need to research long-tail keywords, especially question keywords, and target them in your content. These keywords help attract high-intent traffic because they’re more specific to the user’s intent.
  2. Use Conversational Language in Your Content
    Voice searches are conversational, so you should give your content a conversational and more authentic voice and tone to meet users where they’re at. One way to make your content more conversational is to incorporate pronouns such as I, me, you and we in your blog and social media posts. Another way is to avoid jargon and overly technical language.
  3. Prioritize Local SEO
    Local SEO is the process of improving search engine visibility for local companies, primarily brick-and-mortar businesses, to target potential customers in nearby areas. The best way to improve local SEO is to create and maintain a Google Business Profile. This is the listing that appears when users search for something like “__ near me.” It tells visitors where the business is located, contact info, hours of operation, directions, and other useful information.
  4. Optimize for Mobile
    Since most voice searches are done on mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website is critical for VOS. Mobile devices generate about 60% of all internet traffic worldwide. Google factors mobile user experience into its ranking system, so to land in results for both text and voice search, brands must prioritize responsive design and make their content mobile-friendly.
  5. Improve Your Site’s SEO
    SEO is the process of optimizing a website to make it more accessible, crawlable and indexable by search engines. Among other things, it increases loading speeds (the speed at which the webpages on your website load), which improves user experience. SEO done well helps raise your website’s search engine rankings and increase its chances of landing coveted SERP features, therefore making your content more likely to be read aloud by voice assistants.
  6. Leverage Schema Markup
    Schema markup benefits your website’s on-page SEO and voice search SEO by helping search engines understand your content better. It’s a type of structured data or code that’s added to a website’s HTML, allowing search engines to provide more detailed results. Schema markup typically includes key information about a business or organization, such address, contact info, hours and reviews.

    By helping indexing bots understand your content, schema markup boosts visibility in search results. And when search engines see your site as more relevant, your website has a better chance of landing in voice search results.
  7. Continuously Monitor Your Performance
    Regularly track your VSO performance and adjust your strategy based on insights and trends. Keep track of your search engine rankings and SERP features for the keywords that you’re targeting and identify new opportunities for optimization.


Voice search optimization represents a significant shift in how brands approach SEO and online content strategy. By learning how to implement effective VOS techniques, brands can position themselves more competently in their markets. The key to success lies in adapting to the natural language patterns of voice search queries, staying abreast of technological advancements, and continuously refining strategies to enhance visibility in voice search results.

For more information about how VOS can help your brand rank higher in search engine page results and reach more potential customers, talk to us.

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