voice search SEO

SEO is one of the most important marketing tools of the 21st century. Less than one percent of people make it to the second page of search engine results. SEO effectively businesses to shirk the traditional duties of advertising, and instead put themselves in the way of success.

However, in the 2020s, it’s not going to be so easy. Advancing technologies like AI devices and voice search will no doubt affect search engine experience, and therefore affect SEO. The best businesses will be the ones that use this to their advantage.

This article will hone in on voice search SEO and walk you through the ways that you can go about optimizing voice search for business success, so keep reading below.

How It Works

At first glance, it seems unlikely that voice search SEO could be any different from standard SEO. After all, search engines like Google prioritize the best and most relevant results — why would they change the results they display based on the medium of search?

However, it all falls into place when you realize that Google doesn’t change anything when it comes to the content they prioritize, people do.

Talking vs. Writing

When people speak, they communicate differently than they do when they write. It’s been proven that people make use of more repetition, less complex sentences, and overall different words when they speak.

This is most likely due to the fact that people think more intellectually when they write. They have more time to alter their word choice and phrase themselves specifically. On top of this, people usually conduct voice searches when they’re on the go.

A Different Mode of Thinking

All of this means that businesses need to get further inside of their customer’s heads if they want to succeed in 2020. Rather than simply choosing keywords that relate to their business, business owners need to imagine the circumstances that customers would actually search for their products. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most important ways that people search differently with their voice, including questions, conversational phrasing, longer sentences, and on-the-go thinking.


People aren’t likely to search questions when they’re typing. If someone’s looking for a burger restaurant near them, they’re far more likely to search “best burger restaurant near me”, than “what’s the best burger restaurant near me”?

However, with voice search, it’s usually the other way around.

When people call up their vocal search programs, they usually have to address them — for instance, “Hey Siri” “Alexa”, or “Okay Google”. This puts the searcher in a more conversational and vocal state of mind. It tricks the brain into thinking that a real person is being talked to.

Because of this, the searcher is far more likely to speak to their search engine the way they would to another human being. You wouldn’t call up your friend about a night out and say “best burger restaurant near me”, you’d say “what’s the best burger restaurant around?”

Make use of keywords that have questions in them and you’re more likely to do well on voice search SEO.

Conversational Phrasing

This goes hand in hand with making use of questions. As long as your brain is being tricked into thinking it’s talking to a person, what would stop it from putting in other bits of conversational phrasing that you’d use to speak to your friends?

When using voice search, people might not just say “what’s the best burger restaurant around?”, but “can you tell me the best burger restaurant around?” or even use slang, such as “what’s the best burger joint near me?”

Consider that a searcher might take this even further and speak to their vocal search engine like a friend, saying things like “is there a good burger place around here?” or “hey where can I get a burger?”

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone using the above examples if they were typing into their search engines, but in the world of vocal SEO, these might very well be useful keywords.

Longer Sentences

As you can see from the above examples, voice search keywords tend to be on the longer side. This is almost certainly due to the fact that people aren’t capable of editing themselves as they’re speaking.

Keywords containing four or more words are known in the SEO industry as long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are becoming more and more popular as voice search is experiencing a similar rise in popularity.

Long-tail keywords also mean, big picture, that the world of SEO is becoming even more specific. People are no longer satisfied to see broad generalities that they can choose from. They want specific answers to their specific questions.

If you’re interested in the topic of long-tail keyword search intent, check out our article on the topic of long-tail keywords.

At the end of the day, the longer the keywords you’re going for, the more difficult the analytics are going to be to research. Work closely with a great SEO company to make sure you get the best keywords for you.


Keep in mind that many people who are using the voice search function to conduct their search engine searches are on the go. They’re likely in the car. How would someone sitting inside of a car, focusing on the road, think about getting the product/service they desire?

Likely, they’ll slip back into the conversational, long-tail style listed above. They may well make a few missteps, so you should cover all your bases for maximum vocal SEO.

Voice Search SEO Is Important

As you can see, voice search SEO is the next step in the development of SEO advertising. It works on the simple principle that people speak differently than they type, and so will use different keywords when they’re using their voice to search.

Make use of questions conversational phrasing, and longer sentences in your keywords, and you’re far more likely to succeed.

For more information on great SEO tactics and turning your business into a competitive force in the 2020s, schedule an SEO strategy session with us today.