SEO for Voice Search

Written by: Jason Bayless | March 14, 2018

SEO changed a lot when mobile devices became dominant. After all, people use their smartphones in different ways and in different contexts than they use computers. Now that marketers have adapted to those changes, the SEO world is changing again.

Voice search is becoming increasingly popular. Rather than typing queries on a touchscreen or keyboard, users now speak their searches. This trend is resulting in different patterns of usage and results. In many cases, people speak in ways that differ from how they write.

In light of the increasing importance of voice search, it’s time to adjust your SEO strategy to make sure that your content gets maximum exposure.

Aim for “Position Zero”

The “featured snippet” feature of Google Search gives businesses a chance to get listed above the formerly prized number one slot. In addition to attracting the most attention on mobile and desktop screens, “position zero” plays a major role in voice search.

Google Home, the voice-only internet device, reads aloud search results from featured snippets. This means that going forward, companies that want to profit from the voice search revolution must learn how to win this vital position.

Adapt to user needs

Just as mobile search users have different needs and expectations than do desktop search-engine users, voice-search users have unique characteristics. For example, Google has already revealed that voice searches, more often than not, contain action queries.

Anyone interested in SEO, including marketers and business owners, must learn how to position their content to match the new breed of search. In other words, your content will need to match the way people speak as voice-only computing gains traction among consumers.

Master voice-based advertising

Let’s face it. With a trend toward screen-less computing, traditional display and PPC advertising will quickly become obsolete. Already, the new Actions on Google service give brands a chance to gain access to Google Assistant.

Google Actions are like scripts that allow users to ask Google to do things relevant to your brand. This gives publishers of podcasts, recipes, news and other content a chance to automatically have Actions automatically generate content for voice.

Optimize for questions

Conversational questions such as the famous “5 Ws” are typical of voice searches. SEO professionals and website owners will have to optimize their content in ways that directly answer these types of questions.

Generally speaking, optimizing for questions involves providing short answers and bullet points. You’ll also probably discover that formatting your content as answers can help you win more “featured snippets” positions.

As more people discover the speed and convenience, expect voice search to gain even more popularity. You should also expect that voice search technology will make the tool increasingly more accurate and valuable.

Now is a great time to integrate SEO for voice search into your strategy. After using the above tips to get started, you’ll likely discover other effective ways to make voice search work for you.