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illustration of a blog post: The Future of Voice Search: Optimizing Content for Voice Assistants
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SEO 9 min read

The Future of Voice Search: Optimizing Content for Voice Assistants

Sarah Edwards photo

Written by Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Kat Sarmiento photo

Expert reviewed by Kat Sarmiento

Sr. SEO Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 19 Jul 2023

The rise of voice assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa has been pronounced over the past decade. Statista predicts that by 2024, nearly 8.4 billion voice assistants will be used for voice search around the globe. 

Voice assistants can help with a myriad of tasks, like checking the weather, setting timers, and providing directions. While consumers don’t use them as much for internet searches, that’s changing. People are becoming more accustomed to using voice assistants, and the technology that powers search via voice assistants is improving.

Marketers with an eye on the future are smart to consider content optimization for voice search. That way, they ensure that clients stay aware of their brands, whether they find those brands via an online inquiry or voice assistant.   

Content Optimization Strategies for Voice Search

Multiple content optimization opportunities are available for marketers who want to ensure clients can find them through voice search. Here are a few to consider so your company stays ahead of competitors.

1. Optimize for Local SEO Opportunities

A restaurant dish on a ceramic plate

If your company has a physical storefront, you’ll want to ensure that people in your community can easily find you during a voice search. To do so, claim your Google Business Profile and fill it out entirely, including your address and the products or services you sell.

Many people use voice assistants in their cars, especially when driving. Since their focus is the road ahead of them, they can’t type out queries on search engines. Instead, they’ll turn to Siri or another voice assistant and ask for help to find what they’re looking for.

For instance, if the consumer is looking for a nearby Japanese restaurant, they might ask their voice assistant for options. If you own a Japanese restaurant, your business will come up in the results as long as you’ve filled out your Google Business Profile.

Content optimization for local SEO should also incorporate your website. Make sure your website contains information that a voice assistant can easily pick up, like your address and what you have to offer your customers.

2. Incorporate Questions into Your Content

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Someone using a voice assistant to find information will likely ask questions rather than use short keywords. Questions sound much more natural than a one- or two-word statement, and voice assistants are trained to incorporate questions when looking for answers.

For instance, a consumer who wants to know the movie times at their local Regal Cinema might ask, “When’s the next showing of the Indiana Jones movie in Louisville?” They’re not likely to use a command like “movie Indiana Jones Louisville” since that would be grammatically incorrect. 

Savvy marketers can consider the questions that would lead a customer to their content and sprinkle them in to increase the chances of appearing in voice results. For instance, if the company creates a blog on the health benefits of running, they might include questions like:

  • How many calories can I burn jogging for one hour?
  • Is running on a treadmill safer than running outside?
  • How fast should I sprint to see the most benefits?
  • Should I eat before running or wait until afterward?

All of those questions are relevant to someone interested in running. By including them in your content headlines and text (and providing the relevant answers), voice search assistants will see your article as an authority with the most information. 

3. Take Advantage of Long-Tail Keyword Opportunities

Long-tail keywords have long been hailed by SEO marketers and for good reason. They’re more likely to attract customers looking for answers to specific questions. They also help decipher a consumer’s intent. Like questions, they provide a little more detail about what the person is looking for in their search.

A long-tail keyword typically consists of three or more words related to a topic a person is interested in. It can be in the form of a question, or it can consist of only terms. In contrast, a regular keyword is just one or two words and isn’t framed as a question.

For example, “raincoat” is a primary keyword. There’s no way to tell exactly what the consumer is looking for. They might plan on shopping for a raincoat or want a definition of what one is. Other customers might wonder what the benefits of raincoats are or whether snow jackets or raincoats are best for cold, wet weather.

A long-tail keyword would provide more details about the person’s raincoat search. Someone who used voice search for the term “children’s raincoats near me” or “cheapest online raincoats” will receive much more relevant results than someone who only says “raincoats.”

Content optimization for long-tail keywords involves understanding the meaning behind a person’s search and providing information that directly addresses it. 

A keyword research tool like Semrush can help uncover long-tail opportunities for your blog posts and articles. Once you include them, you’ll increase the chances of your content appearing in someone’s voice search query.

4. Understand Your Goals for Voice Search

When information from your blogs or articles appears in voice search, the assistant will vocalize the pertinent information and provide a few links for more details. However, you can’t guarantee that the consumer will click on the link provided. People often perform a voice search when they’re on the go and don’t have time for reading. 

If your goal is to get more traffic to your website, content optimization for voice search can help, but other methods may be more effective. Other common marketing goals, like brand awareness, client leads, and sales, may jive more with alternative strategies such as paid advertising.

That doesn’t mean that voice search is useless to brands. It provides its own set of advantages, especially if you are ahead of your competitors with it. Local companies can significantly benefit from voice search when potential clients hear of them through voice assistants. Just make sure you understand your goals before you make it one of your primary marketing strategies.

5. Consider Adding FAQ Sections to Your Content

FAQs are brief sections of questions and answers that usually appear after a lengthier article, blog, or landing page. They’ll include natural language questions followed by short, concise explanations that are less than three sentences long.

Including FAQ sections in your posts can increase your chances of appearing in voice searches. It has other benefits, too. For instance, Google search results now include featured snippets, which answer questions related to a consumer’s query. Capturing a featured snippet will increase your rankings in the search results and ultimately drive more traffic to your website.

Some companies use specific markup, known as schema, to highlight any FAQ queries that appear on their website. Schema tells search engines what the content is and how to display it. 

Think of schema in terms of bolding a few keywords or using a headline in a long-form article. FAQ schema can shorten the time search engines need to spend hunting down the answers to someone’s question.

If you decide to incorporate FAQs into your content, keep the answers brief. A summary is quite enough. Save the detailed information for your articles.

6. Don’t Ignore SEO Optimization for Web Traffic

Three tiles spelling out SEO

While the use of voice assistants is increasing, they won’t be replacing traditional search anytime soon. People will still turn to search engines for in-depth answers to their questions. You’ll still want to pay attention to your website’s on-site and off-site SEO to ensure you continue to rank in the top results for your chosen keywords.

Deploying a combination of voice optimization and traditional SEO tactics will ensure your website appears in both places. Paying attention to factors like your site’s loading speed, keyword usage, and navigational ease can all help.

Other factors, like your domain authority and backlinks to your site, are also critical. Voice search tends to prioritize sites with higher domain authority and backlinks since these signal that the website is credible and authoritative. Work on creating a website that others naturally want to link to, and you’ll find your content optimization efforts pay off.

Voice Assistants Are the Future

While the use of voice assistants still trends below traditional search through desktop and mobile devices, people are becoming more accustomed to using them. The technology behind them is also improving, making them more useful for customers.

Marketers who recognize the future of voice search and prepare their content for it are more likely to see results from their strategy. Incorporate our suggested strategies to ensure your website is optimized for voice technology.

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Sarah Edwards photo

Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed