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How to optimize my website for voice searches

How to optimize my website for voice searches

Voice searches allow the user to use voice commands to search for information using virtually any device, from mobile phones to the latest “smart speakers.” In this article, you will learn how this type of search works and how you can optimize your website to benefit from it.

I don’t know about you, but for me I already feel that the future we imagine in the movies is getting closer and closer.

Cars that fly and drive themselves, robots that do housework, and the option to have any question answered almost immediately.

For those of us who were born in the 90s, what we saw as a distant and very advanced future is already here.

Every day more and more people are doing voice searches on their smartphone or on their smart speaker, we have even begun to see how this voice command search tool is being used in cars with smart systems and even in household appliances.

The point is: voice command searches are here to stay and your use of them is only going to increase over time.

Like the consumer trend, every day it will go more towards purchases through speakers, smart watches, and many other devices connected to the Internet of Things.

To support what I say, here I present some recent data on the use of voice searches.

  • One in two smartphone users performs at least one voice search every day.
  • According to Google, by 2020, 50% of all searches will be by voice commands.
  • 72% of people who have a smart speaker use it as part of their daily routine.
  • In an SEO trends survey conducted in early 2019, voice searches came in third.

The truth of all this is that users want quick and easy answers . So every day we get closer to a world dominated by search and voice commands.

In this post, I am going to teach you how to optimize your website and your social profiles to appear in local voice searches, if you have a physical business, or how to make the content of your website appear in the quick responses of search engines and the Smart speakers.

Let’s start from the basics …

What is voice search or voice searches?

“Voice search”, “search by voice command” is a speech recognition technology that allows users to search or execute commands by simply saying a few words, instead of typing on the keyboard. .

The growing popularity of mobiles and other smart devices has caused interest in these voice commands to rise.

Some of the most common applications of voice commands would be:

  • Searches in engines like Google or Bing.
  • Ask for specific information such as the price of shares or the score of a football match.
  • Play music or videos.
  • Call a contact.
  • Make a purchase.

We could classify the different types of searches into 4 categories.

When a person performs a search by voice commands, they want to know something specific  like the time or the result of a match, learn how to do  something for example using a recipe, buy a product or service , or go somewhere .

In the United States and Europe, this trend of searching through voice commands is very present. In Latin America it is still beginning to emerge.

One device in particular has made this type of technology more present in every home: smart speakers, or “Smart Speakers.”

What are Smart Speakers and how do they work?

Amazon Echo Plus smart speaker

A Smart Speaker is an intelligent device, with an internet connection, that has speech recognition technology integrated. Therefore, this device is capable of processing what is being said, and allows it to act, either by giving a response or executing an order.

These devices have become very popular today, and there are a variety of manufacturers on the market.

Companies such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple are the ones that currently dominate the smart speaker market and lead in the development of artificial intelligence based on voice commands.

Companies like Apple and Amazon have even given this Artificial Intelligence a more human name. Siri and Alexa, respectively, are the names chosen for the speech and language recognition technology they developed.

These assistants, always waiting to receive an order, start working when they hear a keyword.


-Beep …

Immediately after the loudspeakers begin to record what the user tells them, they send it to the internet to be processed on the company’s server, the AI ​​decrypts the message and finally sends the response to the device.

The voice recognition services provided by these companies use algorithms that allow the system to become familiar with the type of words that the user uses most frequently in their communication patterns, and thus offer a more personalized service.

The most popular smart speakers and assistants at the moment are:

  • Echo from Amazon with Alexa built in.
  • Siri , built into all Apple devices.
  • Google Home .
  • Xbox , Cortana .

As you can imagine, this technology has already changed a lot the way we live and how we meet our needs thanks to the internet.

And it is precisely that, what we who do SEO, must understand: the world of search and organic results is changing (yes, again) and pointing more towards the personalization of results.

And why is this important? It matters too much, since not only the user’s preferred device will impact the search result, but also the search engine that is used and the region from where the search is carried out.

Understanding this, you can deduce that the results will never be the same for each person, for each device, and for each region.

Traditional Searches vs. Voice Searches

The differences between voice command searches and traditional text searches are going to have a big impact on the results and how the algorithm delivers the answers.

The first difference  is the search engine in which the query is made. In text searches, we are free to choose the search engine. While in voice command searches, the device that I own will determine the search engine I use.

Although Google remains in the number one position of the search engines preferred by people. Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana use Bing by default. There are more than 50% searches between Alexa and Cortana by voice command. That means that most voice searches are done on Bing, not Google.

The second difference is in what you are looking for. Studies conducted by Google show that there are still users who prefer to avoid voice searches for certain topics.

These studies also show user behavior and how they tend to use voice searches on quick questions and immediate responses .

Questions like where is the closest pizzeria and until what hours is it open? or how to get to the nearest supermarket? This is why local SEO is more important than ever in voice searches.

While, for other more sensitive and sensitive topics, such as health questions or legal advice, users still prefer traditional searches.

And the last, and perhaps most important difference between traditional and voice searches is how they are done. The tone, the intention, the way to structure the sentence, and the choice of words, varies according to the type of search.

When the user performs a voice search they tend to structure the phrase as a question . Using a few words and a more natural language, choosing words that reflect a conversational tone.

To optimize a site and its content for voice, companies and businesses will have to pay much more attention to the way their customers speak on a daily basis.

This will not only take into account the Long-tail keyword when optimizing, but also take into account the cohesion of natural language in the content and that it is of a quick response to the user’s search.

With that said, we can now move on to the practical; how to optimize my website and my content to take advantage of this emerging technology …

How to optimize for voice search and SEO

In this part of the post I will teach you how to optimize your website, your social media profiles, and your content to appear more often in the results of voice searches.

If you have a local business in your city, it makes perfect sense that you want to appear in one of the local searches. If, on the other hand, you have a purely online business, perhaps appearing in local searches will not be much of your interest, however, you can benefit by bringing local traffic to your website with these local lists.

1. Have a local business profile

If you don’t have a local business then you can skip this part.

The first step is to create, claim, or optimize your profile on Google my business , Bing places , Yelp, or yellow pages. As relevant to your region.

Remember that there are a lot of voice searches waiting for local results. And if you want your clients to find you fast and easy, share your contact information and location on your website and on other sites that list local businesses.

Make sure that all the information you include in your local profiles is EXACTLY the same as you have on your website. Without adding or removing a comma . Everything as you have it in one place, put it in the other. And choose the right business categories.

You can also add a description of your store, the products and / or services that they sell there, and if you can, some real testimonials.

As we have said, not all devices use Google listings to give their answers, some, like the Amazon Echo, use other services. In the case of the United States and Canada, they use Yelp or Foursquare. In the case of Spain or Colombia, the Yellow and Civic Pages.

And so, depending on the site that compiles the local business directory in each country.

 2. Improved loading speed of your version for MOVI l

Voice searches happen mainly on mobile devices. It is very obvious that your site has to be optimized for mobile.

A responsive design is a quick solution to this problem. And many WordPress themes already come with this feature.

To check if your site is optimized for mobile version, you can use this Google tool called Mobile-Friendly test.

Once you have completed the test, Google will tell you what things you should improve within your website so that the mobile version provides a good user experience.

But it does not end here. Now, we need to check the loading speed of our site.

It’s no surprise that in an ever-faster world, no one wants to wait for what they want.

To determine if your website is loading fast, you can use another free tool from Google called PageSpeed ​​Insights .

This tool will do an examination of your site, and will tell you how long it is taking to load and the things that stop it from loading fast.

Generally, the slowest things that slow down the face of a site are uncompressed CSS and Javascript files, uncompressed images, and server speed.

We can control and improve all of these. Just ask your programmer for help with the CSS and JS files, and if necessary, improve the quality of hosting where you have your website server.

3. Make your content “sound” more natural

It is key to optimize your content to appear as quick answers to questions that users may have, since when it is your content that answers those questions, you have a higher probability of gaining the trust and business of the user who made the request. question.

Remember the section where we talked about the difference in words that are used when performing a voice and text search?

Well, it’s time to apply that knowledge.

To give you an example, let’s say you have a bar where people sit down to have a drink and watch sports. A person doing a text search could put something like “Sports Bar in My city”, while a person doing a voice search would ask something like “Where is the nearest Sports Bar?”

You need to pay too much attention to the words your customers use to refer to your business. And when you know how your most frequent customers refer to you, you can start including those words in the content of your page.

What if, instead of referring to your business as a “sports bar”, your customers call it a “soccer bar”?

That is why it is important to do that research: what kind of words are my clients using to talk about my business?

This research can take you further, as by discovering more about your customers, you can find topics for a blog post in the most frequently asked questions they have.

4. Structured Data Markup, Rich Cards and schema.org

The markup language, or Structured Data Markup, arises thanks to several search engines such as Google, Yandex, Yahoo, and Bing, with the purpose of adding metadata to the HTML of the site that allows search engines to understand its content and purpose.

This information is not visible to the user , but it is seen by crawlers and helps them classify your content.

Implementing the Structured Data Markup will help the visibility of your website , since through this language we can tell search engines that on our website there are certain characteristics (companies, hotels, location, hours, qualifications, recipes, books, etc.) .

In this way, if a user searches on Google; What time does the supermarket open? This markup language can quickly tell the search engine, and therefore the user, that the supermarket opens at 8 AM.

By using this type of markup language, we improve the visibility of our site since we can appear in one of Google’s Rich cards or Rich Snippets.

Rich Snipets and Rich cards
Mobile results in Google with “Rich Snipets” and “Rich cards”

These are the results that add content and images in the SERPs and make it look much more eye-catching.

To test the status of your Structured Data Markup, you can use another free tool from Google called Structured data testing tool .

If you have not yet included this metadata on your website, I could recommend Schema.org


The world of SEO and digital marketing never stop changing . On the contrary, they evolve every day and with more speed. Making our work almost impossible.

And it’s funny, because when you ask an SEO what he likes most about his job, he will probably tell you that “it is always changing and evolving.”

So, it is difficult to stay current in this world of digital marketing, but there are changes to which you must adapt or risk disappearing. The voice search is a clear example of that.

If you improve the speed of your website and if it looks good on mobile devices, you will already have a large part won. If you add to that a strong presence in local search engines and content that speaks directly to the needs of your client, you will have the secret formula for success in this new world of voice search.

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