Voice search is growing at an increasingly fast rate, thanks in part to the increasing number of voice enabled devices in people’s homes and ever improving search results. 

The increasingly mainstream adoption of people searching via their vocal chords means that by 2020 around half of all searches will be voice based. And the likelihood is that this will only increase, meaning keyboard searches will be the minority going forward. 

So, with this in mind, how can you ensure your site gets a piece of the voice search pie? Well, there are a smorgasbord of things to do to ensure you can increase the chances of being utilised in voice search results and we’ve endeavoured to uncover them below.

There are huge opportunities in this realm, so read on and we will help you make the most of ensuring your site is set up for voice search SEO.

Mobile-Friendly Website is Key

It takes no stretch of the imagination to figure that mobile devices will be the source of a vast majority of voice searches, which means that if you are hoping to take charge of this portion you will need a responsive mobile friendly design. If you aren’t sure about how mobile friendly your design is, you can see for yourself at Google “Mobile Friendly” test, you can also have a gander at your mobile loading times and performance as well.

Consider User Intent

When your customers are looking for your site, what do they want to find? Are they looking to buy something, are they looking for information? 

User intent will let you know why the person entered their query into the box in the first place. Sometimes the intent is obvious in the query, like when they use the terms “buy”, “price”, “estimates” or “what is”. But many other times the true intent can remain obscure. 

Whether or not the intention is expressed, thanks to the Hummingbird update, you can expect Google to apply some intuition when providing context to the query. They do his by delving into the content of the site and ranking what is generally deemed most relevant to the terms. 

For example, I could enter the search query “World Cup Winners” and the Google search engine will understand that I am only interested in the most recent results as opposed to the history of most notable winners. 

Advanced search engines are getting quite good at discerning what humans are really looking for and you should keep this in mind to enhance the relevance of your website to these search queries.

Utilise Conversational keywords

Keywords have become a category all to themselves and the latest addition are called long-tail+ keywords. The “+” indicates the need for conversational phrase if you hope to grab these conversational voice searches. 

This means that your strategy for coming up with keywords will have to be rethought and begin to reflect real-life conversations terms and words your customers are using. Well, it is a good thing that you’ve been keeping track of customer’s most frequent questions and comments you receive from your customers because that’s where the terms you will need can be found. 

Start documenting these terms and ask yourself what other things your customers are saying a lot when they call the customer support hotline. Once you have collected a good list of words and phrases you are hearing from your customers, you will know which direction to move in creating new content for your site. 

Write the Way That You Speak

When a user is looking for something specific on a desktop or mobile, they use a written text that is abridged and bullet pointed in the query box, for example, “best pizza delivery [location]”.  But the same user would use a different search query when speaking into a voice search, for example “Who has the best takeaway delivery in [location]?” 

To make sure your content is making the biggest splash in the voice search rankings, you will want to pay attention to those long-tail keywords with natural spoken language. These will contrast greatly from the shorter and snappier keywords used in desktop SEO. 

Furthermore, find a way to keep your phrases as short and clear as possible. The 9th grade reading level is the best choice for voice search. This means that if you are touting some especially complex content, you will want to dumb it down into something everyone can understand.

So, what Questions do the Public Ask

Things get slightly more complex when you consider that it is not enough to use a keyword and then simply grow them into long-tail keywords. It is also important to consider what kind of questions will contain these keywords. 

You need to consider the types of questions your customers are going to ask if they will find you as the best answer. This must be examined right and left, back and forth. Then when you know what these phrases are – or better said, what these “questions” are —then you can include these questions in your content as much as you can. The FAQ page is a good place to find some ideas of what we are talking about. 

But, if you are looking for some very specific questions that your clients are asking, you can try this tool called Answer the Public. Here is where you can type a short keyword and then find some important insights on how these terms are used across the web. 

Get Featured Snippets

When discussing the topic of featured snippets and voice search, remember that 41% of all voice search answers come from the featured snippet. 

Also called position zero, or quick answers, featured snippets are basically just summed up answer provided from a webpage. You will find these featured snippets squeezed between the paid ads and the organic search results when you are using a desktop search. 

If you would like to increase your chances of attaining a featured snippet, you will want to provide a 29 word summary of your content above the fold. 

Here are some pointers on getting this just right. 

Make content that answers questions and keep your reading at an easy 9th grade level. 

Keep updating your content.

Make sure you have those questions marked up in <h2> headers.

Create interesting questions about your content that can be used to drive conversations

Local SEO

Make sure that the information you keep on your Google My Business Page is always correct and up to date. After all, if you want your clients to find you, you need to expect that they will be using this information to make this important connection. Same thing for details like opening hours, if your client will be planning a trip to your location you need to make sure they are going to arrive at the right time. 

Structured data markup

You can provide more information about your content and site by using structured data markup from schema.org. This is actually crucial to your site as it provides detailed descriptions of your website for the search engines who will decide what is there and what queries are looking for this answer. 


Site Speed

In July 2018, Google announced the arrival of Speed update and now that site speed is a factor with mobile searches it is important that you address the speed of your site, especially as it applies to mobile searches.  

Publish matching company data

Make sure that all the details you provide to any other directory or platform is also up-to-date and correct. This is the type of information your customers will be entering the query box and if they are getting the wrong information, you could lose relevance with the search engines.

Voice search offers website owners huge opportunities to grow their search traffic and win more visitors. It’s wide open right now and adopting some of the changes we suggest above will help you gain a piece of the pie. 

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

© SerpLogic 2023. All Rights Reserved.