Ever wonder how many times a day someone says “Hey, Alexa,” or “Ok, Google”?

Exact numbers are tough to generate, but research shows that 40% of adults use voice search once per day—and that figure is only going up. Comscore predicts that by 2020, more than half of all queries will be executed through voice search! So, what does that mean for SEO? With a new platform of searching, will your brand still keep its relevance?

voice search optimization

The harsh reality for marketers is that voice search only serves up one result. There’s no long list to scroll through, or even a place for a pop-up ad. A question is asked and the user is given an answer-the single, best answer. And where does this answer come from?

The coveted. The only. Google. Position. Zero.

Now, if you aren’t familiar with position zero it’s that little featured snippet that Google will display in response to certain search queries, such as:

To rank for position zero your SEO basically needs to be as close to flawless as possible and your content needs to be the most relevant and up to date at the point of search. However, because voice search patterns are different than typed search patterns the focus shifts from SEO to VSO—Voice Search Optimization.

So, what can you do to make sure your VSO will help keep your brand on top? Follow these 3 suggestions to make sure Siri will be on your side.

  1. Be Specific

    People talk differently than how they text, and as Alexa and Siri become more and more human-like, people talking to them are becoming less and less filtered. This means long-tail phrases, more specific words, and more personalized queries are becoming prevalent. Previously, website content strategies were centered around using broad keywords that aligned with the simplistic search engine methods of the time. Now, with the added layers of complexity voice search offers, your website needs to have content that gets down to the nitty-gritty. So, don’t be afraid to have comprehensive content! You will have to be more defined if you want to be relevant.

    *TIP: If you haven’t started a blog, start one today! Blogs are often the perfect platform to get into more detail with particular content that is applicable to your audience.

  2. Be Findable

    Over 50% of voice searches occur while driving—which means more than half of all voice searches are geographically focused. If your company is dependent on customers coming in to a physical store to purchase your product, you better be on the map! If you don’t have a Google My Business account, make sure to set one up as soon as possible AND make sure it is regularly updated with the most recent information (picture, phone number, hours of operation.)

    *TIP: If your location is in a highly populated area with a lot of competition, positive reviews can make a huge difference. If there are 3 coffee shops on the same block, the one with most stars will be served up first.

  3. Be the Answer

    The number one format of a voice query is a question. Therefore, make sure your content is tailored around answering those questions. A fun tool you can use to start thinking about what questions people might have about your industry/product is Answer the Public. This question generator can help you see the hundreds of questions surrounding your keywords that could be great opportunities for thought leadership pieces or just general website content

    *TIP: Have a Q&A or FAQ Page on your website. What better way to boost your VSO than to have the questions and answers people are asking all in one simple spot!

So, don’t think position zero is unattainable! In fact, voice search opens up a whole new world of opportunities for businesses to be the answer to their customers’ questions. Including these simple steps in your website’s content strategy can have a huge impact on your VSO and put you at the top of the list just in time for Alexa to find.

Like Walt’s take on voice search optimization? Check out his previous fresh find on chatbot marketing here!