Voice search SEO has become a viable business strategy as global sales of smart speakers rose to over 100 million in 2018.

The technology has given rise to the Amazon Echo and Google Home amongst others, all aiming to grab their share of the voice search market.

Voice search statistics

The voice search market is answering the needs of consumers who want instant answers delivered fast at their own convenience. These questions are being asked at home as well as when people are out and about.

Asking a question is a lot quicker than typing it out too – and you don’t need a spellcheck!

22% of voice queries are now for local content and 50% of these searches lead to a consumer visit within 24 hours. As a business owner, large or small, you should be asking yourself one question.

How Do I Optimise my Business for Voice Search SEO?

Google My Business Listing:

Make sure you claim and supercharge your listing. These are particularly powerful in the local search market. The most popular voice search queries are asking for directions or looking to contact someone. For example

  • Siri, please can you get me directions to a local coffee shop?
  • Hey Google, what’s the phone number of the local Chinese takeaway?

Your accurate GMB listing will put you in a prime position to be the answer to these types of questions. Make sure all your details are 100% correct and match your website. This includes your opening hours, contact details and exact location.

Local business statistic for voice search data

How Can I make My Website Voice Search Friendly?

 The language used to ask a voice assistant a question will be very different to the language used in traditional desktop or mobile search.

So, for example, if you were looking for a local Italian restaurant:

Desktop/mobile search: Local Italian restaurant

Versus

Voice Search: Can you recommend an Italian restaurant near me?

You can see that the voice search query is much more conversational. It’s a longer search term using much more natural, spoken language.

These are the types of terms you should try and add into your site content in a natural way.

  • Try to incorporate phrases like: Near me / in the town / city centre
  • Make reference to local landmarks and places of interest
  • Think about what your potential customers are asking and provide answers

You can use online tools such as Answer the Public which will give you lots of keyword question ideas designed to help your answer the questions your customers are asking.

The power of the Frequently Asked Question:

The FAQ page on your website has been waiting for this moment in the evolution of voice search. If you find it difficult to insert long term questions and phrases into your main website content, then where better to put them than a page full of questions?

Take these 5 quick fire questions that you can address on your questions and answers page whilst optimising your website at the same time

  1. Are we the most popular coffee shop in Sidcup?
  2. Do we have baby changing facilities?
  3. Are we wheelchair friendly?
  4. Do we cater for coach parties?
  5. What times of the day do we provide food?

These are perhaps things that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to answer ‘naturally’ on the main pages of your website but are ideal for being able to provide long form answers. They provide really great local SEO potential.

Bear in mind that the majority of voice search results returned are 30 words or less so try where you can to stay under that threshold.

This will increase your chances of your answer being the Featured Snippet too – also known as ‘Position 0’ on the search results page.

If you’re getting a lot of the same questions asked on your social media pages, review sites or in your actual place of business then answer them on your site. This is pro-active customer service, information providing and trust building all working together.

The Future of Voice Search:

 It’s been suggested that Google is fast becoming an “answer engine.” Amazon recently filed a patent for its Echo device that can analyse a person’s voice to see what emotions they are experiencing.

The big players in the industry are investing heavily. This usually means that there’s data to be had and money to be made.

As adoption increases so does the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning that will encourage growth.

Trust in the technology, along with accuracy of results and removing privacy concerns can also drive consumer confidence.

The great thing about voice search SEO is that it will come naturally to most people. It’s just common sense so don’t overthink it. It’ll also help your local search engine optimisation too.

Simply answer questions that people ask about your business – and make sure someone answers the phone when it rings!