What is Voice Search Anyway?

What is Voice Search Anyway?

The phrases "Hey Siri," "Ok, Google," and "Alexa" are relatively new additions to our technologically-savvy world. Still, they are phrases everyone should be paying attention to, especially if they have any hopes of remaining relevant.

While these phrases didn't mean much of anything only seven years ago (when Apple first introduced Siri), they are now a part of our everyday culture. Nearly 1 in 6 Americans own a Smart Speaker, such as a Google Home, Amazon Alexa, or Apple HomePod. Because users can speak search questions much quicker than they could type them, voice search will only continue to become further rooted in modern societal ways of life.

With this in mind, any and every internet business needs to understand the impact voice search has on SEO. After all, SEO is vital when it comes to gaining more customers or a wider audience. To help you put two and two together, let's briefly review just that: voice search and its impact on search engine optimization.

Voice Search and the Impact on SEO

Voice Search is as it sounds – it allows you to search the internet for specific information using your voice rather than typing. For instance, when you say, "Ok, Google" to your phone and ask, "What does SEO stand for?" or ask Siri to find the nearest vegan restaurant, you're using the voice search feature on your device. Voice search is on either smartphones or Smart Speakers. However, voice search is becoming readily available on laptops and tablets as well.

How Does Voice Search Impact SEO?

How Does Voice Search Impact SEO?

Featured Snippets

For starters, studies have revealed that voice search results more or less favor the results that show featured snippets. If you’re not sure what featured snippets are, these are search results in Google that directly answer your search question, and therefore show first in the search results. For example, if you ask what day Christopher Columbus was born and a website precisely answers the question, Google will show that snippet of text (and a link to the site, of course) at the top of the search results. If you can rank in Google’s featured snippets, voice search may drive a massive amount of traffic your way.

Start with Why (or Who, What, When, Where, How)

Back in the day, people used to refer to books or one another for answers to their questions. Nowadays, however, Google is the place where everyone looks for answers. Especially as it relates to voice, searches tend to be question-based, meaning people usually start their search prompt with ‘how-to’, ‘what is,’ and so forth. It means that if you want to improve your website’s SEO, it might be a good idea to include these key terms in your title or body. If you can answer questions effectively, you’ll have a higher chance of gaining a larger audience via voice search.

Mobile or Nothing

Since a vast majority of voice searches are using a mobile device, it only makes sense for your website is updated for mobile browsing. If people vi