Voice Search Is
• Everyone is talking
about voice search.
• At tech and marketing
conferences you can’t
turn around without
“by 2020, 50 percent
of all searches will be
To understand the importance of voice search in the
future you only need look at the amount of money
tech giants are throwing at it.
Estimates are that the tech giants are spending a
combined 10% of their annual research-and-
development budgets, more than $5 billion in total,
on voice recognition.
Voice Search Has Been Around For a While
• It’s no longer a novel concept.
• Marketing talk is now focused on
how to negotiate with Google’s
voice assistant, now powering a
billion of devices.
• Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and
Microsoft’s Cortana also assist
customers with purchasing
• Beyond home-based and mobile
voice assistants, there's also a brave
new world of ‘commuter commerce’.
• More than half of drivers (53.3%)
engaged with voice assistants while
• The majority uses assistants built
into the vehicle’s dashboard.
Voice Shopping is on the Verge
of Going Mainstream
• Home assistant sales are
• Yet Agencies & brands still are
trying to figure out how to
capture and engage with
those voice search visitors.
Voice Search is Changing the
Way Traditional Optimization
• Many SEO’s are finding
themselves shell-shocked by
a conventional search
scrambling to adapt.
• The good news is you are not
to late. You need to adapt
• However, the clock is ticking
which means the time is now
to better adjust.
To Me, a Voice Search Is Very
1. Takes a
3. Or, returns
What is Voice
Search Is Still Only
Great for Single
“What is the temperature outside?”
A voice device would respond
with some version of:
"It is 70 degrees Fahrenheit."
Today, Voice Search Fails at
doesn’t work for decision support.
Open-ended queries where we want
Google to help us make a decision
The query result in these cases
can be ambiguous and requires
“What’s the best Netflix series
My Point Is…
• Don’t base your marketing strategy on
the idea that, two years from now, no one
will find your products and services using
a browser. If you do, your marketing –
and particularly your search marketing –
• We’re visual creatures. When we have
choices, we want to see them.
• Focus on the fundamentals of SEO.
What Is Voice Search?
Voice search is a technology that allows users
to perform internet searches by speaking aloud
instead of typing into a search field.
This is extremely convenient when your hands
are otherwise occupied, or when you’re having
a hard time seeing the screen.
Why Is Voice
• The increase in reliability
and expansion of
have made voice
searches more common.
• With voice searches on
the rise, it can play a key
part in all of our lives.
VOICE EVERYWHERE ANYTIME
100 MILLION VOICE ACTIVATED DEVICES
The Voice Search
• Voice search isn’t “the next big thing.”
It’s already here.
• And when you dig deeper, things get even more
• 25 percent of all Windows 10 desktop searches are
done via voice.
Voice Is Going Mobile
20 percent of
Voice Is Making Itself Heard
has grown 35x
Who Is Using
• Stone Temple Consulting found that the
35–44 age group has the biggest number
• Users in the 25–34 age range were the most
comfortable using voice search in public.
Voice Search Is a Tool
We Use Every Day
41 percent of
adults, and 55
teens use voice
Voice Search – It’s Not Just
for Kids Anymore
Even older generations,
typically more resistant to
change and new technology,
are increasing their use of
Some of the reasons we’re
seeing this behavior are:
• Avoiding a tiny keypad
• A glaring screen
• The practicality of
• The benefits of smart home
The Practicality of It All
Makes Its Popularity
• The practicality, ease of use, and the
advanced directions and commands
that voice assistants can now perform
and understand have given it a
significant advantage in recent years.
• Amazon Echo skills have now increased
Hear Me Now?
• Smart speakers are the next refrigerator – every
home will have one. As more people search with
smart speakers, marketers will need to adapt.
Comscore expects that by 2020, 50 percent of
all searches will be made by voice.
Why Is Voice Search Growing
3 Main Drivers
Why is Voice Search Growing
your voice is
3.7x faster than
typing, says Bing.
• Faster searches equals
• It’s no surprise that more
people are using their voice
instead of a keyboard.
• Voice is perfect for mobile
searches. In fact, Stone
Temple finds that nearly
60% of mobile searchers
use voice search at least
“some of the time.”
• Finally, voice search is
• That’s probably why more
than half of respondents
in a 2018 Stone Temple
survey stated they use
voice search so they
“don’t have to type.”
Voice Search Is Revolutionizing
Voice search is so simple and
straightforward that it is changing
consumer behavior and our local
Voice search is here to help searchers
with anything they want without
their ever typing a single word.
People are no longer worried about
typos. So they don’t know the correct
spelling of quiche – they don’t care!
The Voice Search
As it turns out, searching with your voice
is very different than typing.
Specifically, voice search changes:
• How people search.
• When people search.
• And what they search for.
Where Voice Technology
interactions are changing how
we interact with machines.
“Smart speakers single-
handedly brought radio back to
the home,” according to Bret
Kinsella, founder of
The Voicebot Podcast.
“People are much less likely to
skip ads on Alexa. It’s more
inconvenient to tell your Alexa
to skip forward 30 seconds
than it is to just let the ads
play,” Kinsella said.
How People Search
• Searches are more
• Bing engineers noticed
something interesting –
voice search keywords
are significantly longer
than text-based searches.
Voice Changes How We Ask, Too
And voice searches aren’t just longer… they’re less like
In other words: they’re more conversational.
Google itself has stated that 70% of searches on Google
Assistant use “natural language.”
For example, let’s say you want to start making cold
brew coffee at home.
A few years back, you’d probably type a short keyword
like “make cold brew” into Google.
When you search for the same thing with your
voice, your query will be totally different.
Where People Search
search is so
it’s being used
more often –
and in more
places – than
People Are Open to
• These searches are happening in
places that you might not expect…
• A Stone Temple Voice Study learned
that people are significantly
more likely to use voice search in
public places – like a restaurant,
at the gym… and even in a public
bathroom – compared to last year.
Voice Changes How
People Get Search
• Google is slowly changing from
a search engine to an “answer
engine,” said Oliver Heckmann,
Head of Travel for Google.
• In fact, thanks to SERP features
like Knowledge Graph and
Featured Snippets, the number
of organic clicks has dropped by
37%, according to WordStream.
• Why? Because you don’t need to
visit a site to get your answer. It’s
right there in the search results.
Are Changing the
• Google is using this same answer-focused
technology to provide voice search results.
• For example, let’s say you wanted to know how
many calories are in an apple.
• Back in the day, you’d search for something like
“apple calories”… and be forced to sift through 10
• But with voice search, you can get your answer
read back to you within seconds.
• Optimize your
5+ word terms
• Sprinkle long
within your content.
Tip #1: Page Speed Is Very Important
• Google’s voice search algorithm
may use page speed as a key
• In fact, the average voice search
result page loads in 4.6 seconds
(which is 52% faster than the
• Therefore, if you want to rank in
voice search, make sure your site
loads as quickly as possible.
Tip #2: Secure Websites
Dominate Google Voice
• Google has stated that HTTPS can give
your website a “minimal boost.”
• The data suggests that HTTPS might
play an even more important role
in voice search than in desktop or
• In fact, they discovered that 70.4% of
voice search result URLs have adopted
Tip #3: Voice Search Results Tend
to Be Short and Concise
shows they want
are very brief &
Tip #4: Keeping Questions and Answers Short
One of the most interesting
findings is that Google tends to
answer voice search queries with
short, 29-word results.
For example, the Google Home
results for the query “are figs
good for you” is 29 words.
Tip #5: Content That’s Easy to Read and
Understand Ranks Well in Voice Search
Google’s official Voice Search Rater
Guidelines emphasizes “Elocution”…
• This is basically: “Was it easy to
understand the answer to your voice
• Needless to say, the simpler the language
used, the easier it is for Google to nail the
• It was found that the average Google
Voice Search result
was written at a 9th-grade
Write Content With Natural Language
• Voice searches are more
natural and less robotic than
• And you want to write your
content the same way.
• That way, when someone
Embed Long-Tail Keywords Into
• Voice searches are significantly
longer than keyboard searches.
• One of the most surprising
findings from Backlinko’s Voice
Search Ranking Factors Study
is this: Less than 2% of all voice
search results had the exact
keyword in their title tag.
• Instead, Google will pull an
answer from a page.
Tip #6: Add Google’s New
Google has announced new
markup aimed at news
publishers looking to get their
content into the Google
This new markup, Speakable,
enables publishers to mark up
sections of a news article that
are most relevant to be read
aloud by the Google Assistant,
including devices like Google
Title Tag Optimization Doesn’t Appear to Play an Important Role
on Voice Search SEO
Appearing in Featured
Snippets Appears to
Be Extremely Helpful
for Voice Search SEO
• Featured Snippets are
ideal voice search results.
They’re concise answers
pulled from trusted,
• 40.7% of all voice search
results came from a
Create Voice Search FAQ Pages
• FAQ pages are PERFECT for
• Why? Question keywords are
on the rise.
• Voice search results are
2x more likely to come
from a well optimized FAQ page.
Tip #8: Include “Filler” Words in Question
• You already learned that
question keywords are
on the rise.
• And when you optimize for
questions, make sure to
include “filler words.”
Tip #9: Longer Content Equals More Voice
The average word count of a
first page Google result is around
Voice search result pages tend
to be even longer, at around
A page with lots of content is
more likely to “match” a voice
Tip #10: Websites With Strong Link Authority
Tend to Rank Best in Voice Search
We all know that backlinks form the
foundation of Google’s desktop and
mobile algorithm. Backlinko analyzed
each result for its Domain Rating and
• And they discovered that the
average Domain Rating of a
voice search result was 76.8.
• Interestingly, the link authority
of voice search result pages was
significantly lower. In fact, the mean
Page Rating of a voice search result
was only 21.1.
• To help ensure accuracy, the voice
search algorithm may rely on domain
authority over page authority.
Higher Rankings Equals Increases
Likelihood of Being a
Voice Search Result
Research found a
between rankings and
being chosen as an
answer for Google
Specifically, it was
found that 74.9% of
Google Home results
came from a page
ranking in the top 3
for that keyword.
Tip #11: Optimize for
“Near Me” Searches
• Back in the day,
meant city and state.
• If you wanted to
find a dry cleaner
in New York, you’d
like this example.
Optimize Around Phrases
If you run a local business, you NEED to optimize around
terms that voice searchers use.
For example, if you’re looking for a salad place, and
happen to be near Fenway Park.
You would now search for “salad near Fenway”…
And get a list of salad places near Fenway Park!
Now Pay Attention!
This is where Advice Local Comes in
• 58% of consumers have used voice search to
find local business information in the last 12
• 46% of voice search users look for a local
business on a daily basis
• 27% visit the website of a local business after
making a voice search
• 76% of smart speaker users perform local
searches at least weekly
• 53% searching using these devices every day
• Consumers are most likely to perform voice
searches to find further information on local
businesses they already know about
• Just 18% of consumers have used smart
speakers for local voice searches
It’s All About The Data
Consistent, Accurate Data That is!
Voice Search is Here
Are You Ready?
Siri. Amazon Alexa.
If you asked any of
these digital assistants
where your business is
located, when it’s
open, or what you
offer, do you know
what they’d say?
• 58% of consumers have
used voice search to find
local business information
in the last year alone.
• Voice-powered services
have created a seismic
shift in how consumers
find information about
• Is your data accurate?
Tip #12: Correct Inaccurate or Missing Data
• Voice search results only give
users one answer, with less
context and fewer alternate
options than conventional
• It’s even more critical that you
eliminate incorrect information
about your business from the
digital universe before Siri,
Cortana, or Google Assistant
can find it.
Tip #13: Optimize Google
• Google’s real-time access to information
is changing the dynamic of local search.
• Along with reviews and user-generated
content, when properly managed, the
new questions and answers feature
can provide valuable insights that help
build trust and drive more customers
into your stores.
Use Your Dashboard
Check to See if a Business Is Voice Search-Ready
Cortana SEO – BING
• Unlike Google Assistant and Siri who rely on
Google search engine, Microsoft’s Cortana draws
web search results from Bing and Bing Knowledge
• Bing is often ignored by marketers, meaning lower
competition and higher chances for securing top
spots both in desktop and voice search.
• Use Bing Webmaster Tools to determine the
essential areas for optimization.
• Voice search also strongly correlates with local
SEO as the majority of users want to discover
products and services in the closest vicinity. To
secure a recommendation from a Bing-powered
voice assistant, it’s best to get registered on Bing
Places for Business.
Amazon Alexa SEO
• Alexa’s user base may be the smallest - but growing rapidly.
• In 2018 Echo was 67% of all smart speaker sales in the US
• Users turn to Echo whenever they need help with
• finding recipes,
• getting instructions
• or just receiving a quick answer to their query
• 70,000 actions
• including Yelp searches,
• calling Lyft or Uber
• ordering from Amazon Prime
Tip #14 Amazon Alexa SEO… Continued
• To perform content searches, Alexa relies
on Bing as well.
• They also pull data from YELP. Make sure
you are in both databases.
• Use proper Schema markups – Make sure
they are “Bing-Friendly”
• Alexa can also be told to pick and order a
product from Amazon. Prime shipping option.
• At the moment, Alexa can only handle orders
for Amazon Prime.
• Amazon’s Choice accolade. Alexa always picks
up Amazon's Choice products first. If none is
available in a given category, the algorithm
will pick the best-ranking product for the
voice query with "Prime" label.
Apple Siri SEO
• Siri relies on Google search results for the
majority of queries, except for location-based
• When asked to suggest a venue nearby, Siri
will crawl Apple Maps.
How to Optimize
• Use Schema.org markup to give more context
to algorithms about the content of your page.
• A bunch of new content-specific formats have
been added recently, be sure to check them
out and upgrade your pages.
Use Your Dashboard
To Get a Business Voice Ready!
The Time Is Most Definitely Now
• We will soon reach a point where those not investing in voice search
will begin to fall behind the curve.
• It’s an obvious opportunity for fast movers and early adopters – and
a cautionary tale for those still deciding when and where to invest in
The time is most definitely now.
• Just ask Siri...
• or Alexa...
• or Google...
• or Cortana...
• or Bixby...
Recap: How To Optimize For Voice Search
• Write content in a natural, conversational voice
• Focus less on keywords
• Focus more on semantic search
• Try to work more on user intent
• Provide an answer in a context
• Include longer tail keyword phrases to reach users
• Try to be concise where possible
• Integrate Structured Data in your web pages to help search engines
• Start working with SPEAKABLE property in schema.org to provide identification for sections that
are suited for audio playback using text-to-speech (TTS)
Run a FREE Visibility Report to See If a
Business Is Voice Search Ready!