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Google introduced voice search in 2011, but it wasn’t a priority for search marketers at the time.

However, as speech recognition products have improved, people grow more comfortable with tools like Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home. 

It’s time marketers pay attention. 

Keep reading to learn:

  • How voice search differs from traditional search
  • How to optimize your website for voice search results

Voice Search Overview

In its early days, voice search required users to call a phone number and speak keywords to receive a web page with their search results.

Understandably, the clunky user experience didn’t take off. 

The original voice search did lay the foundation for the development of speech recognition technology that Google uses to power voice search on desktop and mobile. 

How Voice Search Is Growing

According to Google, in 2020, 27% of people online globally use voice search. Common queries include the best place to buy an item and researching products that won’t work. 

However, it’s the behavior of voice search users that should catch the interest of businesses. 

Google also reported that 60% of people who found a business with voice search then contacted that business using the “click to call” option. Furthermore, 62% of regular smart speaker users plan to buy something using their voice-activated speaker within the next month.

Voice search continues to grow in popularity, but it’s also a promising channel to drive traffic and sales to your business. 

Voice Search vs. Traditional Search

Consumers treat voice search differently than traditional search engine queries, which poses a challenge for search marketers. 

People who use voice search speak like they are talking to another human, rather than typing keywords into a search bar. 

Voice search keywords include more natural language phrasing, long-tail searches, and questions. 

Additionally, research shows that individuals aged 26-35 are most likely to use voice search.

Top Tips for Voice Search Optimization

1. Structure Your Content to Be Dialogue-Friendly

Your website needs to have relevant content to rank highly on Google’s search engine results pages (SERP). Since voice search queries lean towards conversational keywords, websites need to adapt.

So, to optimize for voice search, your website information needs to be dialogue-friendly. 

To optimize your website for voice search, you can add more frequently asked questions (FAQ) pages, and you can structure blog posts and website copy as if they’re answers to questions. 

Use resources such as to research commonly asked questions related to your product.

2. Target Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific keywords that people usually use when they’re ready to purchase something. However, people often use long-tail keywords in voice search as well.

When people speak, they use full phrases and questions, and these mean longer search keywords. 

So, when you conduct keyword research, you need to include long-tail keywords. 

Use the keywords to drive your content strategy, and remember to write in a conversational tone

3. Focus on Mobile-First Design

About 20% of adults use mobile voice search each month. The proportion of individuals aged 16-24 increases to 25%.

Most people already use voice assistants to make calls, play music, and navigate apps on their phones. So, it’s only natural they would use the voice-assisted search on mobile.

What does this mean for you?

Your website needs to have an excellent mobile experience. User experience is an essential element in search engine optimization (SEO) ranking.

To create a positive mobile experience, use responsive design.

Responsive web design automatically adapts your content and website layout for the different mobile screen sizes. 

4. Optimize Your Content for Local Results

Did you know that 50% of people who use local voice search to find a business also visit that day? 

Local searches are prevalent in voice search. Google lists “near me” as one of the most widely used phrases for voice search.

To optimize for local listings, make sure to update your Google My Business listing and include your location or region in your content and metadata. 

Voice search is no longer a novelty in Google Labs. It’s a significant search marketing channel, and it only grows from here.

If you want to optimize your website for SEO traffic, then you need to be prepared to create a website experience that works for voice search.
Ultimately, you need to share the most relevant content and create the best user experience that you can. For fast and reliable web hosting options, explore Bluehost plans today.

  • Machielle Thomas

    Machielle is a content enthusiast who has a passion for bridging the gap between audiences and brands through impactful storytelling. Machielle has also spoken at dozens of WordCamps throughout the years.

    Texas State University
    Previous Experience
    Brand Content, Content Marketing, Brand Lead, Operations Lead, Course Instructor
    Other publications
    Shopify, Contently
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