Voice Search

What Is Voice Search?

Voice search is an automatic speech recognition system (ASR) that allows users to perform searches online by verbally asking questions into a voice search-compatible device.

Instead of typing out your question manually, you can simply speak it and get an immediate answer.

Devices that are compatible with voice search today include smartphones, AI home assistants, computers and even TVs.

Voice search takes advantage of speech recognition to understand a user’s query and deliver an answer by reading it out loud.

Voice search has become increasingly popular as devices like the:

  • Apple Home Pod
  • Google Nest
  • Amazon Echo

…have become common devices in people’s homes.

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Why Is Voice Search Optimisation Important?

Voice search optimisation is important because it allows you to reach more people with your content.

It caters to the growing number of users who want fast and convenient search methods – no matter where they are. Optimising for voice search improves your website’s user experience and potentially boosts search traffic.

Research shows that the usage of voice assistants is expected to grow significantly.

Year U.S. Voice Assistant Users
2017 79.9 million
2018 103.9 million
2019 115.2 million
2020 128 million
2021 132 million
2022 123.5 million
2023 125.2 million

The result will be more people using voice search to get answers online.

Optimising for voice search now puts your website in a good position to capture this audience.

How To Do SEO For Voice Search

Here’s how to do SEO for voice search:

1. Target Voice Search Keywords

Voice search keywords are primarily longtail keywords.

The key is identifying natural language phrases and questions that people will likely use in spoken searches.

Here are some examples of voice search keywords:

  • “What’s the best Italian restaurant near me?”
  • “How do I change a flat tyre on a bike?”
  • “What will the weather be like tomorrow in London?”
  • “Where can I find a 24-hour pharmacy?”
  • “How do I make homemade spaghetti sauce?”

The user typically starts with question words like:

  • Who
  • What

  • Where
  • When

  • Why
  • How

Voice search keywords will also have a conversational tone and be more specific than traditional text-based search terms.

2. Make Your Website Load Fast

Voice search is all about speed.

The AI assistant needs to be able to get the answer and read it out immediately. That means that voice search devices prioritise faster-loading websites in their responses.

Make sure your website loads quickly – especially on mobile devices.

3. Optimise For Local SEO

A lot of voice searches are location-based.

This is good news for local businesses. Optimising your site using local SEO best practices will naturally mean you get featured in voice searches.

Include location-specific keywords on your site and create a Google My Business listing.

Ensure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) details are consistent across your website and elsewhere online.

4. Implement Speakable Schema

Implementing speakable schema markup indicates to AI assistants and search engines which parts of your website are suitable for voice search.

Think of speakable schema as a way of helping devices understand which parts of your content are suitable to be read out loud.

Use the RankMath Pro plugin to implement speakable schema on your website quickly.

5. Capture Featured Snippets

A lot of voice searches are answered by the AI assistant just reading out the featured snippet on Google.

If you want to get featured in voice search answers, you need to capture as many featured snippets as possible.

Answer key questions in your content with direct and concise answers. Make it easy for search engines like Google to understand your response.

Your tone should always be authoritative and trustworthy.

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