4 must-haves for voice search optimisation

Written by Phil Birss: Group CEO.
· 4 minute read

Thanks to Siri, Google Assistant, Cortana and more recently, Bixby, voice search is something that is only gaining in popularity. And with the emergence of Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple’s HomePod, voice search has even entered the home sphere.

Whether they’re at home and in need of a question answering, or they’re out and about looking for a local business, your customers are increasingly relying on voice search to give them the information they need. That means it’s never been more important to ensure you’re optimised for voice search.

Here are 4 must-haves to be in with a chance of climbing the SERPs for voice search.


1. Mobile, mobile, mobile


Every website should be optimised properly for mobile. But for voice search, it’s even more important. For people searching on the go, it’s pretty much a given that they’ll be using a smartphone, so no voice search strategy would be complete without incorporating mobile seo.

It’s essential that your site loads quickly on mobile to not only ensure a positive user experience (people don’t like to wait) but to also ensure you’re not penalised by Google in light of their recent speed update for mobile search. A quickly loading site will benefit your rankings and visibility, whilst providing a seamless transition from voice query to site visit.


2. Answer customer questions


Every website wants to be page 1, position 1 for their relevant search terms but now the goal posts have moved. Now, it’s not enough to be position 1, the aim is to be position zero. And the way to do that is with a featured snippet.

A featured snippet is an extract from a web page that Google has determined best answers the user’s query. This can be a short paragraph, a list of bullet points, a table of information or even a video. What’s this got do with voice search?

Well, according to research, up to 80% of answers on Google Home devices are drawn from snippets in response to voice queries.

To claim the coveted top spot and become a featured snippet, there are some things you can do:


  • Identify key questions and provide answers to them
  • Write in a conversational, human way
  • Provide the answer early on rather than leaving it until the last paragraph


featured snippet


3. Create “how to” content

Following on from the featured snippets, you need to create “how to” content as, according to econsultancy, “how to” questions were the most commonly asked questions by users on their voice assistants in 2017.

Focus on the questions and topics most popular and relevant to your business first. You can also use a HowTo schema markup to ensure search engines understand the intent of your content, increasing the likelihood of your pages being returned for voice queries.



4. Keep local seo in mind


Local seo and voice search are closely linked. Many people use voice search on the go to find local businesses. Research shows that restaurants, bars, hair and beauty salons, clothing shops and hotels are all included in the top 10 most searched for businesses when using voice.

And with the same research showing that 46% of people who use voice search, search for local businesses on a daily business, being optimised for local seo is a no brainer for any brand.

There are lots of different aspects included in optimising your site for local seo but you can start with your Google My Business directory listing.

local seo

Looking for voice search specialists in Manchester? Drop us a message and we can start discussing how we can help your business become fully optimised for voice search.