Emerging Technology

How to Optimize Your Content for Voice Search

03 Jan 2019, Chloe Yeung

Closeup of Alexa Amazon Echo voice assistant

Did you know that one in six Americans use voice assistants? More than 39 million people across the United States own a voice-activated smart speaker, and that number is expected to continue to grow. If you haven’t already begun thinking about how to optimize your content for voice search, now is the time.

Like search engines, voice agents have their own algorithms and nuances, and they all have to be taken into consideration for a well-rounded voice search strategy. In order to prepare for the increasing amount of voice queries, Hero Digital conducted a study to evaluate how different voice agents rank results.

In this study, you’ll find results of a usage survey that looks into how the general population uses voice search in their daily lives. We also share our personal query tests across categories including local search, news, hospitality, recipes, video queries and general information. Through our own testing and research, we’ve come up with 13 important key findings and optimization tips for Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.

You’ve probably heard that when available, voice assistants usually pull their result from the answer box, or featured snippet, but that is not always the case. In our study, we’ve found that elements like the coded structure of your content, structured markup, and website ratings have all been important ranking factors for voice. For example, voice search results tend to favor content that’s been organized in an <ol> ordered list over <p> format, while featured snippets like both formats.

Beyond the SEO value of optimizing for voice search, this emerging technology has immense potential for improving the customer experience. Content optimization makes voice results more relevant, making the customer journey frictionless and even enjoyable.

Want to learn more about voice search? Read our full report on How to Optimize your Content for Voice Search.