Marketing 6 min read

How to Optimize Your Content for Voice Search According to Google

Andrey_Popov /

Andrey_Popov /

With the latest technological advancements in natural language processing and artificial intelligence, the world can’t get enough of voice search and virtual assistants.

According to PWC, 65 percent of people between the age of 25 and 49 years old use voice-enabled devices at least once a day. In the U.S. alone, a Microsoft study early this year revealed that 72 percent of the 5,000 people surveyed have interacted with a voice assistant in the last six months.

To date, Alexa, SiriGoogle Assistant, and Cortana are among the most popular digital assistants used in making voice queries. However, the Microsoft study showed that Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant remain the most used AI personal assistants worldwide.

According to Search Engine Watch, Google voice search queries have increased by 35 times in 2016 compared to 2008. Based on the current trend and statistics, experts predict that by 2020, 50 percent of all searches would be voice searches.

In this video from January 2017, Moz is noticing the uptick in voice search but is unsure how it will affect SEO.

Since then, the numbers and statistics have gotten bigger. It wouldn’t be a surprise if voice search one day entirely replaces text-based searches.

Start Optimizing Your Content for Voice Search

As a marketer, you need to understand what voice search is all about. Here you’ll learn the basics of optimizing for it and also a bit about how it works technically.

After this article, you should be able to update and optimize your content for voice search. This will increase your page’s traffic and earn you more and more views as search continues to transition into the voice age.

Google’s John Mueller has already given people tips on optimizing content for voice search in one of his Webmaster Central Hangout on YouTube Live.

He warned about over-optimizing and provided details on what type of content is not suitable.

Following the release of Google Assistant’s screen-based UI for cars and Google Home speakers, Google also sent out notices to publishers about how to optimize their content for Google Assistant.

From limited voice commands and functionalities during its initial launch, Google Assistant has now proven itself to be an effective personal assistant.

Google has equipped its AI assistant with numerous features that allow users to do voice searches, control devices, and play content on Chromecast, to name a few. Early this week, Google announced that Assistant will now also serve as a news host for audio stories.

As tech companies like Google continue to polish their AI voice assistants, knowing how to optimize your content for voice search is necessary if you want to improve your search ranking in 2020.

Use Structured Data

Experts have always advised publishers to use structured data for their websites.

Google is continuously developing new features that take advantage of such a structure. You can start by making your content compatible with a voice assistant.

Mueller suggested that you need to show what your page is all about to help Google understand your page easier.

Make sure you use structured data for your pages to assist Google in figuring out which types of voice queries will match.

Consider Voice Snippets

Mueller further suggested thinking of how your content will fit into voice snippets. Consider how your content will sound like when spoken out loud.

Ask yourself. Does it sound okay? Is the content enough to answer the question?

Put simply, give Google the kind of information that will work great with a voice snippet.

Another great tip to keep in mind is to consider how your content is organized. Take, for example, content placed in a table format or a larger block of text. These might not work well with voice assistants.

If your content can’t be read aloud but still make sense, it’s not a good candidate for voice search. Consider revising your content and read it aloud until it sounds great.

To help you visualize, imagine that you have a question whose answer is a list of links or a table. That won’t work well with voice searches.

Publish Easy to Read Content for Voice Search

Time and time again, keeping the users in mind has proven to be the best advice for creating content. In the end, you are trying to answer their questions. You need to be concise but still, provide enough information.

In this age, where online search is shifting toward voice, easy to read content is essential.

Mueller suggests providing a direct answer to a question, then further making it evident that the paragraph contains the answer. This approach helps voice assistants to find your content easily.

Some voice assistants try to match questions directly to the content. They look for web pages that have titles such as “what is the largest country” and then read its first paragraph.

Avoid Over Optimizing Your Content for Voice Search

As stated at the beginning of this article, it is best not to over-optimize.

To give you an example: a web publisher wants to target voice search. He then proceeds to make single paragraph web pages.

For Google, this approach is overdoing it and only creates a site with short answers for a variety of questions.

This scenario results in a website with a series of pages that have a really low value.  They don’t have enough information since it only targets a single specific query.

This direction is very shortsighted when it comes to content optimization for voice search.

Instead, have an explicit or obvious shorter section of a longer webpage that answers a particular question. Use the most-searched-for questions when searching what answers to feature.


All in all, the big takeaways here are:

  1. Use Structured Data.
  2. Make content that sounds natural and intelligent when you read it aloud.
  3. Think of how you will deliver your content when you are targeting for voice search. Avoid a page full of links only or data presented on large tables.
  4. Create content that makes sense for the user and avoids over-optimizing for voice search.

Write Natural and Quality Content

Mueller encourages content creators to write naturally and to provide quality content.

Focus on making content that is easily understood by Google and other search engines. Check and double-check if your content is written in a manner that can be read aloud.

If you write naturally and aim to answer queries in a precise manner, voice can pick up your content.

Read More: Top 7 AI Writing Assistants For SEO Content Creation

First AI Web Content Optimization Platform Just for Writers

Found this article interesting?

Let Edgy Universe know how much you appreciate this article by clicking the heart icon and by sharing this article on social media.

Profile Image

Edgy Universe

EDGY is an SEO incubator, forecaster, and support center for deep learning, technological advancement, and enterprise-level end-to-end search programs.

Comments (0)
Least Recent least recent
share Scroll to top

Link Copied Successfully

Sign in

Sign in to access your personalized homepage, follow authors and topics you love, and clap for stories that matter to you.

Sign in with Google Sign in with Facebook

By using our site you agree to our privacy policy.