Voice Search: 5 Tactics to Rank Better

“Hey Siri, how does voice search affect SEO?”

“I’m sorry. I don’t know that one.”

Apple’s personal assistant may not be knowledgeable in cross-channel SEO strategies quite yet, but her outsized role in the company’s smart devices underscores the importance of voice search these days. Few businesses have the resources to rival Apple, but there are manageable steps any business can take to address this simple truth: Sales are being lost without a website optimized for voice search.


Voice is the Future

Before jumping into how to best leverage the power of voice search, let’s explore the brief history of the technology.

In 2011, Apple’s invention, Siri, was the first voice assistant to reach a wide audience. The next major advancement came in 2014 with Amazon’s Alexa. Today, virtual assistants are used in a wide variety of technology, including desktop and laptop computers, smartphones, smart speakers, vehicles, and home alarm systems.

Why should you care about voice search?

While voice search is still a newer technology compared to other tools on smart devices, it’s quickly become a part of daily life for many consumers. This means competitors will be in a better position to serve your customers if voice search isn’t a part of your business’ SEO strategy.

If you’re ready to become an early adopter, there are several ways to boost website traffic and sales. Take a look at these recommendations to optimize your site and business listings for voice search:


Optimize for local search.

If you’re hoping to increase your rank in voice search results, it’s important to claim online business listings, keep info up to date (especially in your Google My Business listing), and promptly respond to reviews. The more complete your online listings are, the higher they will land in search results. Google My Business,  Apple Maps Connect, Bing, Yelp, and TripAdvisor supply much of the data Siri, Alexa, and Google use for local business information.

Be sure to double check the address, phone number, and hours on your website correspond with the same information in your business listings. You can also draw more search-engine attention by incorporating location-related keywords into your web content and image tags.


Make sure your website is responsive.

Voice searches are most commonly made through a smartphone, and Google also uses mobile-first indexing, so a website that isn’t optimized for phones and tablets will be knocked down in the search ranking.

Keeping your website mobile-friendly requires using responsive design that automatically reformats and scales content for mobile visitors. This keeps things easy to read and prevents users from needing to resize, pan or scroll too much.


Improve page speed and load time.

A site’s speed and load time are crucial voice search ranking factors. There are plenty of tools to help evaluate and improve your website’s performance, but the best place to start is by following Google’s PageSpeed Insights.


Use simple words and short sentences.

Searches made by voice are often more conversational than typed queries. So, match that tone by using short sentences at an easy reading level. Siri, Alexa, and Google also focus on providing quick answers, so keep your writing concise to make it as attractive to the data crawlers as possible.


Incorporate FAQs into website content.

Voice searches typically begin with one of the five Ws (who, what, when, where, why) or adverbs like “close by.” To optimize content based on these tendencies, start by creating simple FAQs at the end of certain blog posts or service pages or by adding a comprehensive FAQ page to your website’s navigation. Collect research on how questions are being worded by using Google’s search field. Type out keywords relevant to your business (e.g., “custom engagement rings”), and see what Google suggests.

An added bonus: FAQs can also be presented by Google as a featured snippet at the top of the results page.


Alexa, how can Baer Performance Marketing help my business adapt to the changing landscape of web searches?

The Baer Performance Marketing team is well-versed and ready to develop a multi-pronged strategy:

  1. Evaluate the mobile responsiveness, speed and design of a website to improve both SEO and visitor retention
  2. Make sure all business listings are claimed, up to date and as complete as possible
  3. Identify what your target market is asking and develop quality content to quickly address those questions
  4. Stay informed and ahead of Google’s ever-changing SEO algorithms


If you want your company to rise to the top of both voice search and local search results, contact Baer Performance Marketing today! In fact, ask your phone to find us; those results will be right at the top, just like your website once you’ve had our help!