We understand the reasons why voice search has become so popular.

It’s easy.

It’s convenient.

And it’s getting more technologically advanced as time goes on.

Voice search is also changing how marketers develop their search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. People talk much differently than they type and we must adjust.

Users tend to be brief – maybe even lazy – when typing into search bars, but they are more detailed and complete when speaking to their devices. If a user were to search for Italian restaurants in Manchester, they may type: “Italian restaurants Manchester.”

Voice search encourages a more detailed query, such as: “What Italian restaurant in Manchester is closest to me?”

Incorporating the way people actually speak into your content will increase your search ranking for voice search and, in turn, generate more traffic into your webpage.

Here are four ways you can adapt your SEO strategy to voice search.

1. Focus on Mobile

If your site isn’t already mobile friendly, the rise of voice search is just another reason to update your site/content to work with mobile devices.

According to a Hitwise report, nearly 60 percent of all searches come from a mobile device. The majority of mobile phones can access voice search tools such as ‘Siri’, ‘OK Google’ or ‘Cortana’, making it incredibly easy for users to voice search on the go.

2. Focus on Local

Search Engine Watch has reported that mobile voice-related searches are three times more likely to be local-based than text-based inquiries. Local searches can be spontaneous – “Siri, where can I get my car washed?” – and often times when we are already on the go.

With local searches becoming more popular with voice search, the potential for businesses to capitalize on local search is growing exponentially.

3. Use Long-tail Keywords

When users type to search they tend to use short, vague search terms as opposed to the longer, more detailed searches that come out of voice searches. Voice search revolves around those long-tail keywords.

Implementing a long-tail keyword strategy will not only increase your search ranking, but reduce costs if you are running paid search ads. Here’s how:

If you are running PPC, bidding on long-tail keywords that are very specific will cost less because the cost-per-click is lower since there is less competition.

4. Use The 5Ws and Hows

When we have a question, we usually ask it in question form.

“What Italian restaurant in Manchester is closest to me?”

The best way to adjust your content to adhere to voice search is to implement a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) strategy.  Address the frequent “who, what, when, where, why and how” questions that people ask about you in your content.

Implementing a FAQ strategy in your content will provide valuable information that your customer is looking for, and practicing those natural speech patterns and long-tail keywords will maximize its relevance.

For instance, an Italian restaurant in Manchester that fits the description you are looking for should include a line on its website that says: “We are a family-run Italian restaurant conveniently located in downtown Manchester.” The content is not only relevant (Italian restaurant in Manchester), but descriptive (family-run). We can already taste the homemade meatballs!

When you consider that 55 percent of teens and 41 percent of adults use voice search on a daily basis, not having an SEO strategy for voice search puts you behind the times and your competition.

Buon appetito!