February 28, 2017

The Challenges of Voice Search

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Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins

CEO - Shout Agency
[email protected]


Voice searches are on the rise. Over 20% of searches on mobile apps and Android devices are now done via voice searches. As voice recognition improves, more and more searches will use voice search.

It is a progression from the natural language and search patterns that Google and other search engines have been working on for years to improve the quality of searches on the internet. Therefore, it is best to start addressing how to improve your results with voice search now.

Ttechnology continues to shape the way we interact with the world around us. One significant transformation that has gained remarkable traction is the advent of voice search. As consumers increasingly turn to their voice-activated devices to find information, make purchases, and engage with brands, businesses are presented with both exciting opportunities and unique challenges.

Welcome to our blog, where we delve into the world of voice search and explore the complexities it brings. In this era of conversational AI, understanding the nuances and overcoming the hurdles of voice search is vital for any organisation aiming to stay ahead in the competitive digital sphere.

The rising popularity of voice search can be attributed to the convenience it offers. With just a few spoken words, users can effortlessly search for answers, request services, or control their smart devices. From smart speakers to virtual assistants on smartphones, voice-enabled technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. As a result, businesses must adapt their digital strategies to accommodate this seismic shift in consumer behaviour.

However, alongside the immense potential of voice search lies a set of unique challenges that marketers and businesses need to address. As the medium shifts from traditional text-based search queries to voice-based interactions, search engines must decipher and understand spoken language accurately. This requires optimising content for natural language processing and context comprehension.

The limited screenless interface of voice-activated devices poses new obstacles for marketers aiming to deliver compelling visual experiences. Crafting engaging content that captures attention and effectively conveys brand messaging becomes more challenging in this voice-first environment.

Throughout this blog, we will explore the key challenges faced by businesses in embracing voice search, including ensuring accuracy in voice recognition, enhancing user experience, optimising content for voice search queries, and staying competitive amidst a rapidly evolving technological landscape. We will also share actionable strategies and best practices to help you navigate these challenges and unlock the full potential of voice search.

So, let’s embark on this journey together and discover how you can harness the power of voice search to connect with your audience, drive engagement, and propel your business into the future.

5 Ways to Address the Challenges of Voice Search

1. Natural Language

The first thing you need to do when preparing your website for voice search is to write content that sounds like how humans speak.

This is a huge departure from keyword-based search engine optimisation that dominated the field previously. In the early days of search engines, computers did not have the power or technological capabilities to interpret natural speech patterns.

However, as they have improved the accuracy of voice searches, the importance of writing content that works with natural language patterns increases.

To help with this process, you should create Q&A pages that answer customers’ questions just like you would in natural speech patterns.

2. Structured Data

Another way to improve your voice search marketing efforts is to use the Structured Data Markup Helper to improve your voice search marketing.

Incorporate microdata, schema, rich snippets, and other pieces of code to help search engines find the correct search patterns. Everything in the HTML of the website can affect the search results.

The challenge is to use structured data on every relevant page. It requires spending the extra time to create valid content for the search engines that can help them understand exactly how it relates to the voice searches they perform.

That is because structured data provides context to our personal searches. Since voice search is very context-based, this means that structured data helps Google interpret the exact meaning of text for voice searches.

3. Google My Business

Most voice searches happen when mobile users need to find a location on the go. Therefore, it is vital that local businesses have their information set up correctly on Google My Business and Bing Places for Businesses.

This means their name, address, and phone number (NAP) must be accurate. Having an accurate listing will improve the results from voice searches.

4. Mobile-friendly site

Since the Mobile Algorithm update a few years ago, it has been vitally important to have a mobile website. Otherwise, search engines will not send mobile search traffic.

That goes hand in hand with voice searches. This is because most smartphones and mobile devices have the best voice recognition technology available.

The first step to ensure you are set up with voice search SEO is to test whether your website is mobile-friendly. Google’s free mobile-friendly tool can tell you in a few minutes whether your site will work with mobile devices.

If you do not have a mobile site, feel free to contact our team at Shout to learn more about how to implement a mobile-friendly site today.

5. Analytics

Finally, review the Google Search Console to see how people find your website. While the search console cannot differentiate between voice and text search queries right now, this could change as voice searches become more predominant.

That is one of the biggest challenges in getting more voice searches. You cannot get exact measures of the analytics currently.

However, you can use the search console to determine what keywords or phrases people use to find you currently, so you can expand upon those results.

Additionally, you can use the Google 360 tools to get a complete picture of the search process.

Final Thoughts

Voice search marketing comes with a lot of challenges. From having a mobile site to providing the correct content on your website, voice search must be set up differently than traditional search engine optimisation.

Therefore, if you want to increase how often your site appears in voice search results you probably want to get some help from professionals who are used to working with voice search for traffic.

That is why we want to provide you with the opportunity to speak with one of our experts at Shout for a free initial consultation.

Book a free 45 minute consultation today.

    Book a free 45 minute consultation today.

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      As Founder and Director of Shout Web Strategy, Michael Jenkins is at the forefront of digital marketing. Since it’s inception in 2009, Shout has built a strong reputation as one of Australia’s leading strategic SEO agencies, assisting online businesses to formulate, implement and track successful marketing strategies. Michael is a respected thought leader and digital strategist, specialising in online strategy, corporate SEO, Google retargeting, email and conversion rate optimisation, and online reputation management. Follow Michael on Google+, connect with him through LinkedIn or visit the Shout Web Strategy website.

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