Voice search is becom­ing more com­mon with devices like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Google Assis­tant. Com­Score says that by 2020, 50% of all search­es will be done by voice.

Price­wa­ter­house­C­oop­er sur­veyed 1,000 peo­ple and found that voice tech­nol­o­gy is, in fact, the future. The sur­vey found that con­sumers ages 18–64 heav­i­ly use voice tech­nol­o­gy in their day-to-day lives. With the rise in voice tech­nol­o­gy, it is clear that we have to start chang­ing the way we inter­act with con­sumers. Search trends and SEO are begin­ning to adapt, and if you want to keep up your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing has to evolve.

Here are five voice search strategies to help get you closer to the top result:

Featured Snippets

Fea­tured snip­pets are box­es that appear above the search results that are designed to answer the user’s ques­tion with­out them hav­ing to click on a link. When asked a ques­tion on a voice assis­tant device, it will read out the fea­tured snip­pet that gives the best answer — the one in posi­tion zero. The best way to be fea­tured is to cre­ate con­tent around a spe­cif­ic query that is under­stand­able and infor­ma­tive.

In order to cre­ate the best answer, you have to know who your tar­get con­sumer is and under­stand what their needs are. One great way to find out if your con­tent is rel­e­vant is by look­ing at the “peo­ple also ask” box on the search results page. This will help you antic­i­pate what infor­ma­tion peo­ple are search­ing for.

While opti­miz­ing a par­tic­u­lar page on a clien­t’s site for a fea­tured snip­pet, one study found that get­ting that fea­tured snip­pet led to a 516% increase in ses­sions on that clien­t’s web­page. Although you want to make sure your snip­pet is infor­ma­tive, you can also add some pro­mo­tion­al mes­sag­ing that brings atten­tion to your busi­ness.

Google gives users a list of pre­de­fined head­ers to select from for Google Ads. We rec­om­mend pair­ing the spe­cif­ic product/service you are adver­tis­ing with the appro­pri­ate head­er, as Google will acknowl­edge these head­ers dur­ing a voice search. For exam­ple, for one of our enter­tain­ment clients, we chose to use the head­er titles “shows” and “dance” since we were pro­mot­ing their upcom­ing broad­way shows. When these head­ers are trig­gered dur­ing a voice search, Google will read off the dif­fer­ent shows our client pro­vides.

Long-Tail Keywords

Anoth­er dif­fer­ence in the way peo­ple search using voice is that they often use longer, more spe­cif­ic phras­es. Instead of typ­ing in “movie times,” they will ask, “What are the movie times for the the­ater near me?” There is often less com­pe­ti­tion for long-tail phras­es, so it is more like­ly that you will be seen.

Long-tail key­words often lead to high­er con­ver­sion rates than one-word key­words. One rea­son is that when you are cre­at­ing a more spe­cif­ic key­word you know exact­ly what the user is look­ing for. Anoth­er rea­son is that you are often tar­get­ing peo­ple who already know what they are look­ing for, which means they prob­a­bly have intent to make a pur­chase or use a ser­vice.

For one of our med­ical clients, we iden­ti­fy com­mon trends and use them to cre­ate key­word phras­es. When cre­at­ing their ads we use phrase match key­words, which allows our ad to show even if some­one adds some­thing before or after our key­word. For exam­ple, when we used the key­word phrase “spi­der vein treat­ment near,” it picked up any search query that used that phrase — even when they added some­thing more spe­cif­ic to it.

Long-Tail Keywords

Conversational Language

When some­one talks they often use a more nat­ur­al lan­guage than they do when typ­ing into a search engine. It’s almost like they are hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with their voice assis­tant. There­fore, when you are writ­ing your con­tent for voice search­es you need to make sure you are apply­ing lan­guage that your con­sumer would be using.

Key­word stuff­ing will not help you with voice search. You have to make sure you are using clear and nat­ur­al-sound­ing lan­guage. You will have a bet­ter chance of being the first response if your con­tent best match­es the search.

Anoth­er way we adjust to con­ver­sa­tion­al lan­guage is by using broad match key­words. This tac­tic allows your ad to show when peo­ple use sim­i­lar key­words and terms or close vari­a­tions.


Voice assist is now acces­si­ble wher­ev­er you are. There­fore, it is impor­tant that you have a mobile-friend­ly web­site. The best way to lose a poten­tial cus­tomer is by not being eas­i­ly acces­si­ble on all devices.

Anoth­er thing you need to be aware of is your website’s speed. This is a big fac­tor for SEO and ad users often aban­don a search if it takes too long to load. Google states that 53% of users will leave a page if it takes longer than three sec­onds to load.

We have seen cam­paigns not work because of poor­ly designed web­sites that don’t work on mobile devices. That is why we rec­om­mend our clients use respon­sive web design. This approach allows you to opti­mize your web­site for desk­top as well as all kinds of mobile devices.

Answer Question Queries

It is impor­tant to under­stand cus­tomers’ intent so that you can pre­dict what ques­tions will be asked. Key­words are not as impor­tant as seman­tic search and cre­at­ing con­tent around a ques­tion. Voice search queries often ask a ques­tion char­ac­ter­ized by words like who, how, what, where, why and when.

When cre­at­ing con­tent for our clients’ web­sites, we antic­i­pate the ques­tions and search­es our tar­get cus­tomers will be ask­ing. For one of our oth­er med­ical clients, we designed the con­tent for their web­site to answer any FAQ.

Unlike typ­i­cal search engine results, voice search­es only present one result. This fact makes it even more impor­tant to ensure that your web­site is rank­ing first on the search engine results page (SERP). With new devel­op­ments in tech­nol­o­gy appear­ing dai­ly, this is the chance to grow your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. These tips will give you a good chance of achiev­ing results in 2020.