February 3, 2020 Last updated March 6th, 2020 1,762 Reads share

How to Optimize for Voice Search and Virtual Assistant

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

According to various estimates, as low as 4% of businesses with a physical presence are optimized for voice search and virtual assistant. That number is even lower in countries like the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

Based off of those statistics, your businesses probably falls in the other 96%.

And if this is true, then it’s a worrying situation, considering 40% of all search queries by adults in the USA are made with voice search. The trend only seems to be growing into the foreseeable future. Now, while these stats may seem like a blow to your existing search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, in reality, you can adapt voice search and virtual assistant optimization strategies adjacent to your current SEO strategy.

This includes using optimized keyword phrases (long-tail keywords) that better adheres to the voice search queries to scaling down the SEO strategy to include local SEO. Implementing these simple strategies can help you to jump out of those 96% unprepared businesses to the prepared 4%.

What Is Voice Search?

To put it simply, voice recognition is the next generation of technology where machines are now able to listen, understand, and respond to voice queries made by people. Today, voice searches are supported by many devices, including mobiles, laptops, computers, and virtual assistants. Over the past few years, the number of voice search queries made on Google platform has skyrocketed, which is why it’s now imperative to incorporate the technology into your digital marketing strategy.

Statistics to Know

Now, before we list the best strategies to optimize your business for voice search and virtual assistant, let’s have a quick look at the number of queries we are talking about:

  • Number of people in the UAE owning Virtual assistants (smart speakers) currently sits at 6 million
  • According to research by Digital Gravity, two-third of virtual assistant users use them to search local businesses.
  • The global shipment for virtual assistants saw 200% YOY growth in the last year’s Q3, with Amazon being the leading shipment company and Google following closely behind. This is mainly because of mainstreaming the benefit of virtual assistants for users.
  • According to one study bydigital advertising agency in Dubai, over 60% of users in the age bracket of 24 – 64 have a favorable opinion about virtual assistants and are looking to use them more often. Over 70% of owners of wearable devices say that they are looking to increase dependency on voice searches in the future. The same positive opinion for voice searches is shared by users of tablets and virtual assistant owners.
  • Over 50% of voice search users showed complete satisfaction with the results from virtual assistants; another 35% expressed neutral views with only 12% expressing a negative opinion about results.

Voice Search Optimization Strategies

We believe the statistics mentioned above are quite encouraging for you to start implementing voice search and virtual assistant optimization strategies in your business. So, let’s jump over to the best voice search optimization strategies in 2020.

Earn Featured Snippets

These are simply blurbs of text, which are an essential part of voice search optimization. Google algorithms use these snippets to deliver responses to user queries. You can enhance your chances to make your snippets Google preferred response against voice queries by:

  • Giving researched and straightforward responses to frequently asked questions in your industry
  • Coming up with related questions with long-tail keywords and addressing them in your content
  • Using simple and clear phrasing to answer common questions

Use Long-Tail Keywords and Queries

Using question-based and long-tail keywords is one of the most important strategies to implement to optimize content for voice searches. If you aren’t sure about the questions to made or keywords to use, you can use various online tools like (Answers the Public) to access high-relevancy phrases and question-based keywords for your industry.

Google My Business Profile Optimization

Google my Business profile is one of the most critical aspects for local businesses looking to rank in Google search engine. The same is true for voice search optimization, where you need to optimize Google My Business Page by adding localize information, images, and content into your content marketing strategy. Make sure that the information included in your Google My Business Profile is completed and accurate, to make it to the top response for voice searches. This essentially means that you need to continue your existing local SEO strategy, to also improve your voice search and virtual assistant ranking.

Ease of Readability

To put it simply, content with high readability scores are favored by Google Search Engine Algorithm for higher tanking. This is true for traditional search queries as well as for Voice search queries. Search engine algorithms find it easier to rank pages with structured content written in easy-to-read language. This also improves the chances of such material to be listed as preferred answers for search queries across various devices, including smartphones, tablets, and virtual assistants.

Fast Loading Times

Google has been advocating for faster loading pages for quite some time now, and the latest Google algorithm does take into account the load time of a web page to rank it in SERPs. This is even more important for ranking in voice search queries as it should ideally load in half the time as compared to displaying the web page. So, if you are looking to get ranked anywhere at the top of voice searches and virtual assistants, you need to ensure that your page is optimized for fast loading.

Content Length

According to studies by a leading digital marketing and web design agency Dubai, typical voice search results are limited to around 41 words. This may increase or decrease slightly for different devices; however, to get the crux, you need to keep your content length short and precise (think of providing a 2-liner brief answer to queries).



Backlinks have remained one of the more important aspects of traditional mobile or desktop search engine ranking, and the same is true for voice search queries. Just like traditional backlinks, you need to acquire high domain authority backlinks for your webpage to be able to rank in voice search results.

voice search – DepositPhotos


Danya Ayaz

Danya Ayaz

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