Optimizing Your Content Strategy for Voice Search: The Guide

“Google, what time is it in Tokyo?” “Siri, find a plumber in my neighborhood.” “Alexa, tell me a story.”

Whether we’re using bluetooth in the car, talking into our Apple watches or relaxing on the couch, we’ve all had occasions to use voice search. And we all know how convenient it is, and how much safer it is for people on the go. 

Voice searches are different than written searches, and so the way you optimize for the former will naturally be different as well. Let’s take a look at how to develop a content strategy for voice search optimization.

What Makes Voice Search so Special?

The use of voice search continues to steadily grow. In fact, about 55% of smartphone users ask questions via voice search. There’s every indication that voice search popularity will only increase. It’s estimated that by 2024, the global voice-based speaker market could be worth $30 billion. As teens move into adulthood, they bring their love of hands-free interaction with them. For the younger crowd, voice search will be as common as a baby boomer looking in a phone book. 

Armed with this data, it seems logical to optimize your content strategy for voice search.

How Do Consumers Use Voice Search?

A good portion of consumers use voice search to shop. This might include researching products, checking for price differences and noting locations where products are in stock, in addition to actual purchases. Another popular use for voice search is getting directions or locating resources in a general location. This is especially helpful when using bluetooth in the car. 

What Keywords Are Popular in Voice Search?

Whereas with typed searches, the user may spend a little more time crafting just the right phrases, those using voice search tend to use and reuse a particular set of keywords. And they do so in a very conversational way. Question words – How, what where, why, when, who – tend to be used with great frequency. Descriptive words such as best, new and easy are also popular for voice searches. Location phrases like “near me” are other important keywords for voice searches.

Creating a Content Strategy for Voice Search: Pulling it all Together

If you want to get a higher search ranking and thus be more visible to consumers, you need to optimize your content for voice SEO. Let’s take a look at how best to do this:

  • Be conversational. As was mentioned earlier, voice searches are comparable to someone asking a question of another person. “How do I stop my faucet from leaking?” “Where can I find the best bagels near me?” “When is the next city council meeting?” These are examples of conversational searches. Crafting a content strategy to address these voice-specific searches will lead to higher SEO.
  • Think local. A large portion of voice searches involve looking for something in a specific location. Your content strategy can address this by including hyper-local and more regional keywords. In addition to a specific city, use the county, the state and any phrases common to that area; for example, “the tri-state area” or “the valley.” 
  • Do your own voice searches. How do you search for something via voice? How does it differ from when you type a search on your laptop? What words do you tend to use most often? We all learn by experience, so using voice search and noting your habits will lead to a clearer understanding of how to build a content strategy around it.
  • Stay up to date on voice search trends. This is a rapidly growing and changing element of online searches. More and more people feel comfortable using voice search, which will result in new statistics and trends. Just as you would for regular searches, be prepared to keep your SEO content strategy fresh and on the cutting edge.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel. Even as voice search popularity increases, typed searches remain popular. Don’t feel that you have to scrub your entire content strategy to adapt to voice search trends. However, conducting an audit of your content and noting areas where SEO can be enhanced for voice search will ensure that you’re covering all the bases. This will give you a greater chance of ranking high in searches and, thus, garnering the attention of more consumers. 

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