Ioana Wilkinsonn July 5th, 2023

How to Optimize Your Website for Voice Search: Best Practices and Tools

Do you think optimizing your website for text search is enough to cater to voice searchers? 

If so, you’re in for a big surprise. 

Not only does text search function differently, but voice search users also perform queries on a variety of devices and for different reasons than when they search using text. 

What’s more, many users depend on voice search to conduct their queries more than text. In fact, 50% of the US population uses voice search features daily.

If you’re ready to account for voice search when optimizing your website, stick around to learn more about how it works and five best practices you can implement right away.

Aren’t voice search queries the same as text search queries? 


Voice search isn’t the same as text search. When a user searches for something using their voice, they speak to their devices in a conversational tone, closer to how we speak in real life. 

This means SEOs and marketers need to infuse conversational keywords into their websites to account for voice searches. More on this in a bit.

Is it easy to rank for voice search? 

Also no.

It’s not easy to rank for voice search, mostly because devices that allow voice search typically list one to three results for any given query. In other words, to land one of those top spots, you have to ensure your content is primed for voice SEO. 

While we’ll share some effective tips in this guide, don’t be afraid to reach out to an SEO strategist for additional support. They can audit your website to ensure you’re including the best tactics to cater to voice searchers.

What is voice search? 

Voice search means using your voice to search for something on Google or another search engine instead of typing your query directly into the engine. If you’ve ever used Alexa, Siri, or the Google Voice search on Android to look something up, you’ve completed a voice search!

The technical explanation? Voice search helps you search the internet through speech. Devices can recognize your voice via artificial intelligence (AI) and place the query into a search engine. From there, you’ll get one to three results depending on the device you’re using.

How do people use voice search? 

People use voice search differently depending on the device they’re searching on. 

For instance, voice searchers in need of a quick answer to an immediate problem, such as where to eat or how to change a tire, typically ask their smartphones. 

Whereas people at home who use smart speakers perform larger, more in-depth searches. This may include asking the smart speaker to play a song, shop for a product, or answer a trivia question.

Smart speakers statistic infographic.

Image Source

Then you have car speakers. With car speakers, voice search users typically ask about directions, local-based searches (such as the best store or restaurant in town), and addresses. 

Here’s a list of common voice search devices and the search engines they use:

  • Amazon Echo/Alexa: Bing
  • Google Home: Google
  • iPhone/Siri: Safari
  • Android phones and devices: Google
  • Google Assistant: Google
  • Microsoft Cortana: Bing

What is voice search optimization? 

Voice search optimization means applying SEO strategies to improve your site’s chance of appearing in voice search results. 

Your goal is to get your website in the “hands” of voice search technologies and virtual assistants so they can present it to voice search users with relevant queries. We’ll share five simple strategies you can use to optimize your site for voice search in the next section. 

5 simple ways to optimize your website for voice search 

And without further ado, here are some practices you can put in place to get your website voice-search-ready:

1. Focus on conversational keywords 

Here’s where text and voice searchers really behave differently. 

Text searchers use short and sweet queries, while voice searchers use full phrases and questions. 

For instance, if someone’s on the hunt for SaaS lead generation strategies and they’re performing a voice search, they may ask something like: “Hey Siri, please help me find some lead generation tactics for SaaS companies”. 

Whereas if they’re conducting a text query, they’ll usually stick with short and sweet phrases like “lead generation for SaaS” or “SaaS lead gen advice”. 

In other words, to rank for voice search, it’s pivotal to infuse language in your content that’s used in conversations between real humans — aka conversational language. 

Here are some quick ways you can pull conversational keywords:

  • Use a keyword-finding tool, such as WebCEO’s Keyword Suggestions to hunt for conversational phrases (these begin with question words, i.e., “who”, “what”, etc.)
  • Look for questions related to your niche inside of popular forums (simply examine the thread titles) — check out Quora and Reddit
  • Examine the “People Also Ask” and Google’s autocomplete suggestions for common questions
The People Also Ask section on Google.

Image Source

Once you’ve pulled your conversational keywords, use them naturally and relevantly throughout your site. You’ll also need to create content around them beyond just using them in your on-page copy. 

This may include content, such as: 

  • Blog posts 
  • Guides — think product comparisons, in-depth reviews, and ultimate guides on specific topics
  • Case studies 
  • An FAQ section 
  • A Help Center or Knowledge Base 
  • Informational videos 

2. Optimize for local search 

If you run a brick-and-mortar business or offer products and services to local customers, you can’t forget to optimize for local search. In fact, 16% of consumers mainly use voice search to perform local “near me” searches.

To optimize for local search, you need to create content that:

  • Is relevant to your local area 
  • Consistently tells people you’re a local business
  • Integrates local keywords 

Use a tool like Ubersuggest to grab local keywords and questions. These might include local landmarks near you as well as words and questions people use to describe the community you’re in. 

Another crucial strategy is including “near me” in your anchor text, titles, internal links, and metadata. This caters to voice searchers who ask their devices for help locating a particular store near where they are. Again, if you’re local, we can’t stress how important it is not to skip out on this easy-to-grab, low-hanging fruit!

3. Aim to capture Google-featured snippets 

Google displays its featured snippets at the top (or top right) of the results page, typically above the organic search results. These might appear as bulleted lists, paragraphs, numbered lists, or something else, like a text definition box. 

Example of a Google-featured snippet.

Image Source

If a featured snippet exists for a query, a virtual assistant will typically read it as the answer to the voice searcher’s question. But, to win over the query, you have to use some muscle to try to capture the featured snippet. 

While there’s no guarantee your content will be featured, here are some simple tips you can implement to increase your chances: 

  • Keep answers to common questions and queries between 54–58 words long
  • Use headings and paragraph tags to organize your page structure 
  • Include steps and instructions to help searchers solve their problems 
  • Always target question-based queries in your content
  • Take a definition-style approach when applicable 

4. Make sure your site is fast, optimized for mobile, and clearly portrays what you do

Optimize your site for mobile first and make sure it can pass a website speed performance test

Include media, such as images, charts, illustrations, and videos to help your audience digest what you do and who you help. This is especially important if you sell a complex product or service or if you sell something that needs a demonstration, such as software.

For instance, if you sell an AI text-to-speech tool, consider using a video presentation maker to craft an explainer video about who your tool helps and the problems it solves. This can help voice searchers quickly grasp how it works and where they can apply it at their jobs or in their personal lives. 

Pro-Tip: To account for the hearing impaired or for people who may be viewing your videos at work or without sound, consider using an AI subtitle generator to auto-populate captions in your videos.

5. Use schema markup 

Ask your website developer to add schema markup to your website’s HTML to help search engines provide more detailed results. 

This includes key business information, such as your:

  • Address 
  • Contact information 
  • Hours of operation 
  • Pricing 
  • Reviews 

While schema markup is invisible to human visitors, indexing bots use it to better understand your content. This can improve your visibility in text search results and voice search results as search engines will consider your site more relevant.

Wrap up 

And there you have it!

Today we answered some common questions about voice search and shared five best practices you can use to optimize your site for voice. 

Are you ready to cater to voice searchers and improve your site's visibility? Save this article for reference and begin putting these insights into action. 

That’s it, for now, marketers. 

To your success!

Featured Image by Sayan Majhi on Unsplash

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