SEO for Voice Search – How You Can Get Ahead of Competitors

by | Jul 16, 2018

Traditionally searches for information on the web have been conducted using typed out short-form keywords e.g. ‘Best Chinese Restaurant in Berkshire’. Typing a shortened version of a question you have is far quicker and easier to do than the whole question. However, it is predicted however that by 2020 50% of our searches are going to be conducted using speech. With this in mind we are now moving to SEO for Voice Search.

With the rise of voice-activated devices such as Alexa, Google Home, Podcasts, and Siri, we are turning more and more to consuming information passively. We can listen to a podcast while going for a run, taking a shower, or writing an email. Alexa can read out the next step of a cooking recipe while we have our hands covered with dough. We are able to order our food shop while we’re at our kids football match.

When Will It Happen?

In 3-5 years, I predict we will also be asking the majority of our currently typed questions using voice. It’s faster than typing it out on a keyboard, and allows us to consume content passively and multi-task.

With this in mind, many companies that deploy traditional SEO will have to integrate SEO for Voice Search.

More customers will want to find answers, make purchases, and consume content using mostly their voice, not having to type it out each time. This is not 100% always going to be the case, but it will be a sharp and noticeable difference.

Most of SEO for Voice Search is done on a mobile. Plus, queries are largely local, a great way for local based business owners to get a step ahead of competition.

At Zest For Media, I am working with detailed strategies to help my clients sit at the top with Voice Search SEO, and do it impeccably well, so they can take advantage of the gap in the market. Chances are that competitors haven’t cottoned on to this quite just yet, so there’s a real opportunity there.

How do I optimise my SEO for Voice Search?

Great question, and it hasn’t been set out by Google’s Guidelines quite just yet. But as I already know a thing or two about SEO, I have my hunches and suggestions. It won't be HUGELY different to how SEO is already done now, but it will involve you doing things slightly differently.

Longer Tail Keywords and Questions

If the future is based on voice, it’s going to be based on conversational speech i.e. how you would normally talk.

Where with traditional searching you might type a shortened phrase into your device e.g. ‘Best Restaurant in Berkshire’, with voice search you might say the longer question you want the answer to i.e. ‘What Is The Best Restaurant in Berkshire?’

Question Phrases are likely to make up the bulk of the searches. Words like Who, What, Where, When, Why and How taking prominence.

In their very nature these question phrases are longer than our current typed phrases, hence the name 'Longer Tail'. In the picture below, you can see 'Who' and 'How' are currently the most popular question phrases. Answering questions around these will be a great way to start appearing in search results. For example 'How To Get More Website Traffic?'

SEO for Voice Search Question Phrases


Bear in mind that different questions signify different stages of the buying process. For example, ‘where can I buy a new iPhone near me?’ is almost definitely in the buying stage, whereas ‘why do I need a new iPhone?’ is likely to be in the research stage. Creating posts and pages that coincide with the relevant buying stage, and takes them to the next stage, is a great way of doing voice search SEO.

SEO for Voice Search Question Phrase Degree of Intent


So when it comes to your voice search SEO strategy, your keyword targeting should be centred on answering that question. Meta Tags need to reflect the question, as does the alt text, and so on and so forth.

You could even create an FAQ’s section to focus on answering these long tail conversational keywords. By doing this, you can weave keywords in naturally, which is great for the user.

Utilise Google My Business

Google My Business has long been a goldmine for business owners looking to rank locally. It is a very cost effective way of businesses creating an online presence beyond a link on Google's search results.

Features such as Opening Times, Directions, Maps, Photos, 360 Views, Posts, and Services Descriptions have made finding and using local businesses easier for the general public.

Fully utilising this fantastic free tool from Google is a great way to get your SEO for Voice Search strategy really moving. To do this, just take half a day to fill in all of your business information and write up relevant posts to highlight your business wins and products/services. Doing this relatively simple task is a great way to start ranking locally and give yourself a bigger presence online.


How Can I Help With Your SEO For Voice Search Strategy?

I would love to take a look at your current SEO. To chat to me with absolutely no obligation, just send an email or visit my SEO Services page and let me know a little bit more about business and what you are looking to rank for. I can then take a look at your current SEO setup and make suggestions for improvements. Get ahead of your competition and starting thinking about incorporating SEO for Voice Search into your Marketing Mix now.

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