seo / content

is your website ‘voice search’ friendly?

Voice search and voice-assisted browsing is not a new thing.

Siri has been around since October 2011, helping Apple users out with their queries (and providing a few laughs). Then there’s Microsoft’s Cortana, the Christmas must-have Amazon Alexa as well as the Google Home all with one aim – to give you information when you ask for it.



UK voice commerce is expected to be worth £3.5bn by 2022 

72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say that their devices are used as part of their daily routines

22% of smart home speaker owners have made a purchase using their device, 85% of which accept the recommendation given

Voice search is rapidly becoming popular for one reason…it is much faster than typing in this new time poor generation. With years of development and accurately produced results, this has enabled the user to get an answer to most queries hands-free and quickly.

What does this mean for businesses?

Voice search capabilities mean that business owners have to look at their content and how they optimise their website. This falls in line with Google’s update called ‘BERT’ and their recent schema ranking tweaks. We have also noticed a change in consumer search behaviour with an increase in various, long-tailed keywords coming through.

BERT is a Google update that relates to the context in which content is written. This is a significant step towards supporting the intent update made last year. Google has said that BERT models can consider the full context of a word by looking at the words that come before and after it—particularly useful for understanding the intent behind search queries. – Ideal when using voice-search. 

How to optimise for voice search

A previous article by Yoast suggests that most voice-assisted searches are conversational with long complete sentences. They tend to start with how, what, where, when and why. For example ‘What is the weather going to be like today?’, ‘How many dollars would I get to the pound?’ so the simple suggestion is to make sure that you are planning content that answers questions in this way.

Local SEO is vital.

Customers that are asking about ‘where to find the nearest supermarket’ will have their location setting on; therefore local SEO is now more important than ever. 46% of voice search users look for a local business daily, of which 27% will continue to visit the website. (*)


History plays a role.

In a nutshell, the location of your machine and the your search history on each device (when activating a voice search) will determine the results. To put this into context for you, the results you receive when you ask for ‘interior design ideas for a small bathroom’ may be different if you are asking when you are in the office versus when at home. They may also be different based on what you have searched in between each search and which websites and pages you have spent time on.

Here are our top tips to get your site voice-search ready:

  1. Do your research. Keyword research is vital. Do not discount phrases with small search volumes. With this technology quickly emerging, we would expect longer tail terms to become common in the coming months.
  2. Make sure your ‘My Business’ page is optimised and updated regularly. Check the information is correct, add new photos and encourage reviews. All of this helps give your presence on Google and lets Google know that you are the business that they should recommend.
  3. Plan content tailored to voice search with conversational search queries (and answers) in mind.
  4. But beware of making your content too broad or, dare we say it, boring. Consider adding an FAQ page or adding content of this nature regularly either within blogs or as a stand-alone piece.



 Voice assisted searches are becoming more common so make sure that your website starts to tailor content to this technology.



The Typeface Group

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