Ok Google, How Do I Optimize for Voice Search? Part 1

Voice search is not necessarily a new concept – in fact, the Google Mobile app had a “search by voice” feature for Blackberry and iPhone back in 2008. What is new, is the increased usage of voice search features as well as how sophisticated voice search has become in the past few years.

According to a study by MindMeld in 2015, voice search grew dramatically just in the past year, with 41% of participants saying they started using voice commands on their smartphone within the six months before the survey was done.


The growth of voice search isn’t surprising. It’s easier and faster than text input, and everyone is looking for a way to become more efficient. The voice search market is growing rapidly, and much of that growth can be attributed to the improvements to the voice search programs, apps, and tools entering the market every day. Google’s voice command app, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa are some of the most popular, but as more competition enters the market, the more these brands will have to improve their programs to keep up. Some major improvements that have recently entered the voice search market are:

Compound Queries – if you ask a question, you can now follow up that question with another about the same subject. If you ask “Where was Madonna born?” you can follow that up with “What year was she born?” and voice search tools will understand that you’re still referring to Madonna. Voice search will also answer questions based on what apps or searches you are using.

Based on Location – if you are in a certain location and ask “Where is City Hall”, the voice search will assume you mean based on your current location.

Based on Your Information – You can ask voice search “What’s my address?” or What’s my IP?” and the search will understand that “my” refers to you.

One caveat is that most of these contextual voice searches are currently restricted within the same program. So if your searching on Google, use the Google Voice search tool or Google Now. Google is also taking things one step further, and is working on what’s called “conversational shopping”. So in the future, you may be able to hit the button and say “Order me a large wonton soup from the nearest Chinese restaurant” and it will be as easy as that.

All that being said, voice search is moving fast, and businesses need to make sure that they’ve adjusted their SEO and SEM strategies to align with voice search.

In our next post we will share tips for incorporating voice search into your strategies.

Have questions that can’t wait? Contact us here.

By MassLive Media Marketing Staff