Voice Search and SEO: How Smart Speakers are Changing the Game

2019/01/16 08:00

voice search seo

Smart speakers are more popular than ever but how should you be adapting your SEO efforts to meet voice search requirements?

Amazon first introduced smart speakers to the world in 2016 when they released the Echo speaker. Today, smart speakers are present in countless homes and are a normal part of daily life. Major brands all have products with a voice assistant and this trend is only set to grow as advancements in AI continue to take shape.

Smart speakers are just one of many innovations that have disrupted the world of digital marketing and voice search is now something that all marketers need to consider.

A Closer Look at Smart Speakers

A smart speaker is any device that has built-in voice control and has the ability to respond to the user.

The Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers are probably the most used smart speakers in the world, with sales skyrocketing by 187% in Q2 of 2018.

Where smart speakers were once mostly used for playing music, today, they are used for so much more, with countless people using them to search and shop on a daily basis.

A report by Smart Audio showed that close to 60% of consumers use their smart speakers to buy products for their households, just one of the reasons why voice search and SEO now go hand in hand.

Smart Speaker Search Volumes

According to voicebot.ai, the average smart speaker owner uses their device 2.79 times per day, while they only use the voice assistant on their smartphone 0.33 times per day. Another report showed that over 47 million adults in the USA owned a smart speaker, a number that will surely increase in 2019.

When we look at how often smart speakers are used in the day and how many adults own one of these devices in the United States alone, we can get an idea of the staggering amount of interactions that take place every day.

Pair this with the fact that consumers are still using voice search on their smartphones every day too and marketers can clearly see why their SEO strategies need to be adapted for this change.

Adapting Your SEO Strategy for Voice Search

smart speakers seo

Here are a few tactics that you can adopt to ensure that your brand isn’t missing out on the massive voice search market.

  • Organise your data using schema markup

The more you can ensure that your data matches voice queries, the better your SEO results will be. Using schema markup and structured data means adding additional code to your content to create a table of contents of sorts.

Structuring your data in this way will allow search engines to better interpret the information on your website and turn it into answers for voice searchers. Using structured data will also increase your chances of getting rich results, making it a good SEO tactic all around.  

  • Keep your page speed in check

Page speed is a very important SEO factor and a speedy website will increase your chances of appearing in voice search results. Use tools such as GTMetrix or PageSpeed Insights from Google to test your page speed and improve your site’s performance.

Once you test your page speed, you will be provided with suggestions on how you can improve it, making it easier to get this step right. Some suggestions include minifying your code, fixing broken links, optimising your JavaScript and compressing large images. Your hosting provider can also make a difference to your site’s performance so if speed is an issue, you may want to look at whether your provider is the best choice.

  • Work on authority and credibility

Domain authority and credibility make a big difference to your SEO efforts. Google wants to present searchers with credible information from a trusted source, so the more you can do to become one of those trusted sources, the better your site will rank.

There are a few different ways that you can improve your site’s authority. Creating in-depth content that consists of 2,000 words or more is one of them. Basically, the more value you can provide, the more users will interact with your content, which will be a green flag for Google that you know what you’re talking about.

Creating a good backlink strategy is another way that you can improve your site’s authority and credibility over the long term.

  • Use an FAQ format

Natural language processing and voice recognition software are evolving at a rapid pace, which means it’s more important than ever for your website and apps to be optimised according to voice requests and phrases.

When users utilise a voice assistant, it’s usually in a conversational style, which is why speakers such as the Echo have been updated to provide consumers with recommendations when they’re searching or shopping.

Using an FAQ format for your content will make it structurally suited to the conversations people have with their smart devices. This is not to say that all of your content should be in this format but if you can find ways to incorporate it, it will make a difference to how well you rank for voice search queries.

Optimising for Smart Speakers: Is It a Must?


This is not to say that you should rush into action though. This technology is fairly new and many updates are still being made, but it’s definitely time to start learning more about voice search best practices and to slowly start adapting your SEO strategy for voice search.