Impact of voice search on SEO in 2020?

January 21, 2020 - Sukrala Times

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With each year seeing new technological developments that shift the bounds of business, working to take advantage of the new chances can be a threat in digital marketing. One of these transformations in the market has been produced by the widespread adoption of voice search technology and its effects on internet usage.

As a reaction, this has had an impact on search engine optimization, where following SEO best practices is essential for most businesses in the current era. Internet voice search could be set to confuse SEO conventions, so businesses would be well-advised to stay informed of the changes and plan properly.

The effects of voice on SEO:

Voice is, therefore, transforming our access to technology and the internet, but what effect is it having on search engine optimization?

Natural Language:

With improved and reliable voice recognition systems, voice technology is well adapted to follow everyday language utilize, so users can provide commands as if they were speaking to a human. For any areas of potential confusion, emerging technologies are seeking to correct the user experience. The 2018 Report show that 70% of English language voice searches were made in natural or conversational language.

Keyword Length:

Spoken language generally is not as concise as the written word, so queries will be longer than the three or four keyword searches more common to graphical user interface (GUI). Voice searches currently average 29 words in length according a report. SEO strategists will require to adjust by utilizing more long-tail keywords, with the added benefit that the longer the keyword phrases are, the higher the probability of conversion.

Question words:

Voice searches will more frequently consists of the question words who, which, when, where, and how, that are generally omitted in written searches. Marketers require to ensure content can deliver appropriate and relevant answers to voice search queries, and distinguish between simple questions and those that require more comprehensive answers. Queries that can be answered with very short responses typically would not generate traffic to a website because Google will generally provide the required information via featured search snippets.

20% of voice searches are generated by just 25 keywords. These consists of question words and other commonly utilized verbs like make, do and can, as well as key nouns and adjectives, consists of a recipe, new, easy, types and home. These can be worked into SEO strategies, and question-form queries can show user intent to a considerable degree. Marketers are therefore capable to optimize content according to questions of a higher value.

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Semantic Search:

As opposed to lexical searches that look for literal matches of keywords, semantic searches attempt to find the user’s intended meaning within the context of the terms utilized. This understanding can be assisted by user search history, global search history, the location of the user and keyword spelling variations.

Google’s RankBrain is an artificial intelligence system designed to perceive words and phrases in order to correct internet search outcomes. This independent thinking quality of RankBrain helps it take query managing to a more refined level. Hummingbird is another Google technology that helps natural language questions. It helps search result pages be more relevant based on context and intent, producing relevant pages to rank higher.

Local search:

Voice technology has brought an expanding emphasis on the utilization of local search. Customers are three times more likely to search locally when searching by voice. Research carried out over the last year shows that 58% of consumers find local businesses utilizing voice search, and 46 percent use voice technology to find information on local businesses daily. Marketing strategies should account for this change and optimize for near me questions.


Around 75% of voice search results will rank in the top three positions in SERP. Featured snippets are consists of in 30 percent of Google queries. These are extracts from any website on the first page of SERPs, and brands are provided credit in voice search as well as usual GUI searches. Brands only need to be on the first page to be utilized in featured snippets, rather than position zero.


E Commerce is especially impacted by voice, as consumers are much more likely to utilize voice to make purchases. Sixty-two percent of voice speaker owners have made buy through their virtual assistant, and 40 percent of millennials utilize voice assistants before making online purchases. Digital assistants – and the best methods to optimize for them – should, therefore, be a priority for online retailers.

Adapting to Voice Search:

With voice technology impacting SEO in multiple methods, here are a few recommended steps brands can take to adapt accordingly.

  1. Google Voice prioritizes quick-loading websites, so brands should secure images are optimized, files are compressed, response time is decreased, and the site is fully responsive.
  2. Content should be optimized with long-tail keywords that reflect leading queries utilized in voice search. Target on natural language.
  3. Featured snippets are summary answers from web pages that may be utilized in position zero. To optimize content for this, consists of identifiable extracts to be featured and make content simpler for Google to read by utilizing H-tags and bullet points.
  4. Structured data and schema markup give more information about a brand and drive traffic. They help pages appear in rich snippets, which will expand the chances of being the first result delivered in voice searches.
  5. Local information for your brand should be given to meet the expanded search volume for local businesses with voice – utilizing Google My Business will help.
  6. Expanding domain authority will help with search rankings – this can be improved by consists of high-quality links.

The effect of voice technology on SEO is certain. Given the great growth in the adoption and utilization of voice, the impact on businesses will be considerable. Those brands that can forecast and stay ahead of the changes before they appear will surely gain the advantages in years to come.

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