How to Optimize for Voice Queries. Google Voice Search simplifies and enhances the search experience, offering substantial advantages for businesses to expand their audience reach.

In this article, we will explore the ways in which Google Voice Search can be leveraged to enhance SEO efforts and boost online visibility.

Understanding Google Voice Search and Its Mechanism

Google Voice Search, also known as Search by Voice, functions as a virtual search assistant, enabling users to conduct Google searches through spoken commands rather than traditional typing.

To employ Google Voice Search, simply access the Google website or app and tap the microphone icon within the search bar.

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

You can also access it via Google Assistant on Android smartphones, Google smart speakers, and Apple devices if you’ve downloaded the Google Assistant app.

On these devices, you wake the feature by saying “OK Google” or “Hey Google.”

For example, here is the results page for the query, “Hey Google, how do I cook an egg?” on a smartphone.

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

When you issue a command or pose a question, Google employs natural language processing (NLP) and speech recognition to understand and interpret your request just as a human would.

This enables Google to grasp the intent behind your search and provide the most pertinent results, akin to when you manually input a query.

In most cases, Google will refer to organic content and furnish results that are similar, if not identical, to the query.

However, for certain queries, Voice Search will select the most relevant outcome and vocalize it to you, offering a completely hands-free experience.

So, why is it important to optimize your website for Google Voice Search?

Voice search is not a passing trend.

And the preferred voice assistant for a majority of users is Google, with nearly a quarter of the US population using Google Assistant in 2022. Additionally, Google powers Siri.

Furthermore, over 80% of results provided by Google Assistant originate from the top three organic search results on a search engine results page (SERP). This underscores the significance of optimizing for Voice Search to enhance your website’s visibility.

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

Because Google regards these results as the ones that most accurately align with search intent.

This implies that the content positioned at the summit of conventional search results is perceived as the most pertinent and authoritative response to a user’s query.

Now, let’s explore five techniques to optimize your website for Voice Search and improve your rankings.

1. Utilize Conversational Keywords Conversational keywords

encompass long-tail keywords and phrases that mimic natural human conversation.

As voice search mimics human interaction, targeting phrases commonly used in conversations increases your chances of matching search intent.

For instance, when conducting a text search for a nearby pizza place, you might type “pizza places near me.”

However, in a spoken conversation, you’d likely ask, “What are some good pizza places near me?”—the same way you’d phrase a voice search.

To optimize your website for voice search, consider how your keywords align with real-life dialogues.

An effective approach is to incorporate relevant “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “why,” and “how” questions into your content.

This approach helps you directly address user queries and assists Google’s search algorithm in delivering the best results.

Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool can be a valuable resource for identifying the phrases and questions people commonly search for.

To begin, enter a keyword related to your product or service and click “Search.”

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

The Keyword Magic tool will generate an extensive list of associated terms. To uncover the most frequently asked questions by users, simply click on the “Questions” tab.

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

The tool organizes the results based on search volume, with higher numbers indicating greater search interest. It also provides additional information such as:

  • Keyword intent: The reason behind the search
  • Search trends: The level of interest in the keyword over the past 12 months
  • Keyword difficulty (KD): The level of difficulty in ranking for the keyword

To identify conversational phrases to optimize for, look for keywords that exhibit high search volume and interest while having a low keyword difficulty.

Another efficient method to discover conversational phrases is to utilize Google’s “People also ask” feature. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Imagine you operate a pizza place. Begin by entering “pizza place [your location]” in the search bar.
  2. Scroll down to the “People also ask” section to find common questions and queries.
How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

Select one of the questions to explore how other brands are addressing these inquiries. This will also provide you with a list of additional questions for consideration.

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

Create a comprehensive list of all the pertinent keywords you discover.

2. Enhance Your Content

Enhance your content by incorporating each conversational keyword from your list and addressing questions directly.

For instance, if you aim to respond to the query, “How can I administer medication to my dog?”

begin by making the search query or a similar phrase the title of your blog post. For example, “Effective Techniques for Administering Medication to Your Dog,”

or take inspiration from the VCA Animal Hospital’s approach with “Giving Medication to Dogs,” as seen in the search results below.

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

Next, fine-tune your page headings.

Google relies on page titles and headers (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to gain insights into your content. The more informative these headings are, the simpler it becomes for the search engine to comprehend and evaluate your content.

When your title or header corresponds to the query, Google acknowledges the relevance of your page to the searcher.

For instance, in the previous example, VCA Canada employs the header: “How to Administer a Pill Directly into Your Dog’s Mouth?”

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

Google will articulate the second bullet point for individuals conducting a voice search.

However, it’s important to note that Google Assistant users will listen to search results rather than read them. Additionally, the typical voice search response consists of approximately 29 words, which serves as a reference.

Your response can be longer or shorter, but avoid unnecessary verbosity. Keep in mind that Google aims for efficiency when delivering responses to searchers.

Here’s another excellent example from the Veterinary Emergency Group, responding to the question, “How can I encourage my dog to drink more water?”

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

The header is closely aligned with the question, and the response is concise, contained within a single paragraph.

This straightforward approach to content aids the Veterinary Emergency Group in securing the featured snippet position on the conventional search engine results page (SERP).

Google Voice Search also vocalizes this content on both desktop and mobile platforms:

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

While employing relevant headers and providing concise answers doesn’t guarantee a top position in search results, it serves as an excellent starting point and enhances your ranking prospects.

Pro Tip: Incorporate established SEO best practices and familiarize yourself with Google’s E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) metric to uncover additional methods for improving your page’s ranking.

3. Integrate an FAQ Section

Incorporating a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section into your website offers another avenue for directly addressing your audience’s inquiries.

FAQs empower you to cater to search queries with diverse intents, providing clarity and resolving potential confusion about your products and services.

Moreover, when people search for information about your product, your FAQ response may become the one that Google selects to present. After all, you are the most reliable source regarding your own offerings.

For instance, a response from Headspace’s FAQ page ranks among the top three search results for the query: “How long does it take to experience the benefits of meditation?”

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

Your research on conversational keywords will provide you with an initial set of questions to address. To further enrich this list, delve into your customer service inbox and social media messages to identify recurring customer inquiries.

Strive to make your list as comprehensive as possible, leaving no question unexplored. If one person has asked it, there’s a good chance others are curious about the same thing.

For additional inspiration, you can leverage Semrush’s Topic Research tool to uncover common questions users pose about specific topics.

Simply input a keyword relevant to your business, and click “Get content ideas.

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

Click on any card to discover the most pertinent related questions. If these questions align with your brand or content strategy, consider adding them to your list.

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

Organize your questions into logical categories to enhance user and Google navigation. Common categories encompass:

  1. Shipping and returns
  2. Products or services
  3. Payments
  4. Bookings and cancellations
  5. Your account
  6. Privacy and security
  7. Promotions and discounts

When addressing frequently asked questions, adopt your customers’ viewpoint for the questions and your business’s standpoint for the answers.

While providing comprehensive answers, strive to maintain conciseness.

For instance, pet brand Chewy offers brief one- or two-sentence responses.

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

Keep in mind that Google Voice Search responses tend to be concise. If your answer to a general question is more concise than your competitors’, Google is more likely to select it.

4. Ensure Mobile-Friendliness

When Google indexes and ranks your website, it relies on the mobile version during crawling.

Considering that most voice search users access it through mobile devices, ensuring your site’s mobile-friendliness is crucial for favorable Google Voice Search results.

Furthermore, since Google utilizes the mobile version for indexing and ranking.

it’s essential to regularly assess your website’s mobile compatibility.

Google provides free tools to assist you in this endeavor.

If you’ve set up Google Search Console (GSC) for your website, log in to your account and access the “Mobile Usability” section.

This report identifies mobile-related issues, including those relevant to voice search queries.

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

Leverage these insights to address issues and enhance your website’s performance.

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

Our mobile SEO guide offers valuable tips for optimizing your mobile website. One effective strategy is to focus on keywords that align with voice search. As previously mentioned, question-based long-tail keywords are particularly valuable.

5. Establish Your Google Business Profile

A Google Business Profile (GBP), which is free, serves as a critical ranking factor for local SEO. Google relies on it to provide local search results to potential customers on Search and Maps.

Here’s an example of what a profile looks like:

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

Imagine you own a pizza restaurant, and a voice search user queries Google Assistant with, “What are the best pizza places near me?” or “What pizza restaurants are open now?”

Google selects the most pertinent response from the local pack, which is populated using data from your Google Business Profile (GBP).

Here’s an example of what the local pack appears like:

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

Hence, prioritizing a Google Business Profile (GBP) is crucial if you aim to feature in voice search results.

You can claim your GBP at no cost by following the steps provided on the Google Business Profile website.

Our Google My Business guide offers insights into setting up and optimizing your profile for local SEO:

  • Include your complete business name, address, and phone number (NAP).
  • Craft a detailed description outlining your product services, history, and mission.
  • Enhance your profile with images of your business premises, products or services, and team.
  • Keep customers informed with updates about new products or services and special offers.
  • Promptly request and respond to online reviews.
  • Populate your profile with frequently asked questions.
  • Highlight unique features such as service options or user accessibility.

While optimizing your GBP, it’s equally important to assess your presence on local directories like Yelp, Bing, or Facebook Business Pages. Google relies on these additional sources to verify the accuracy of your business information, so consistency across all listings is imperative.

You can simplify this process by utilizing Semrush’s Listing Management tool. After conducting an initial scan, the tool provides insights into your current online presence, total listings, listings requiring attention, and average star rating.

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

Following that, the tool will identify areas requiring improvement for your existing listings. Additionally, it will suggest new directories that you can target:

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

Here’s a revised version:

Expand Your Reach: Optimize Content for Different Languages

Multilingual SEO involves translating your website content into multiple languages, enabling both voice and traditional users to discover your site in search results.

Google Voice Search supports 119 languages, making it a potent tool for expanding your audience, especially if you’re considering or already operating in non-English speaking markets.

The ideal markets to target for multilingual SEO are those with significant search demand for your products or services. You can uncover these opportunities using Semrush’s Market Explorer tool.

To begin, click on “Analyze Category.” Then, choose your niche from the drop-down menu and click “Research a market.

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

Scroll down to the “Market Geo Distribution” section in the “Overview.”

How to Optimize for Voice Queries
How to Optimize for Voice Queries

That will give you an idea of which countries have high traffic potential. 

You can then translate your content into the dominant language of that country. For example, if you want to expand to Germany, translate your content to German. 

To rank for voice search in another language, the quality of your translation needs to be accurate. When Google reads your content, it should have the nuance and authority of a native speaker. 

So it’s best to use a copywriter and editor who speak the language fluently to translate and proofread your content. 

A human understands how to translate emotion and tone better than tools like ChatGPT and Google Translate, which tend to translate literally.

SEO With Google Voice Search in Mind.How to Optimize for Voice Queries.

Google Voice Search is the preferred method of using Google Search for millions of people. And its popularity will continue to grow.

So it’s something you can’t ignore if you want to stay competitive and increase traffic to your website. 

Follow the tips in the post and you’ll be well on your way to positioning your content as Google’s choice for voice search queries.

To keep improving, sign up for a free Semrush account. Our tools will help you find keywords that voice searchers use and optimize your site to maintain high rankings.

Read More: What Is Keyword Difficulty and How to Measure It