​The role of smart digital assistants such as Google Assistant, Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa is no longer confined to home automation; these are influencing businesses as well by fueling the concept of “hands-free, voice-based searches”. The convenience of voice-based searches vis-à-vis searches by typing keywords and questions is unmatched. It comes as no surprise that voice search and speech recognition have emerged as one of the most disruptive trends in the digital landscape. According to Google, 20% of the entire searches via mobile are voice searches and the percentage is likely to reach a whopping 50% by 2020.

As these voice assistants revolutionize the search experiences altogether, it becomes imperative for businesses to embrace the voice search technology to stay in the race. Those who fail to do so will probably lose business and visibility as potential customers will not be able to trace them through voice search. The answer of course lines in working on SEO strategies to optimize the website for voice search. So here are some tips on what you need to do, to be ready for this new digital phenomenon:

Start by understanding the difference

The first thing that you need to do is to understand the difference between voice search and conventional text-based search. Being conversational in nature, voice searches include variations of keywords. Accordingly, you need to tweak your SEO strategies and optimize your website so that it appears in the top of voice search results in addition to the traditional SEO results.

Have the right search keywords

Voice-based searches use long sentences and specific queries. The reason is that longer and more specific queries are easier to search while speaking rather than typing. This raises the need to reinvent target keywords with longer search phrases penned in natural language to ensure better ranking for the voice search algorithm.

Focus on mobile responsiveness

Mobile responsiveness forms the mainstay of a successful voice search strategy because most voice searches are done on mobile devices. Therefore, you need to ensure that the website mobile experience is well optimized in terms of speed and user-friendliness. A site that offers seamless navigation, fast loading time and excellent UX design will win the race.

Pay attention to local SEO

As compared to text searches, voice searches are more likely to be localized because people using smartphones generally search for local listing results, and the mobile device can recognize a variety of local factors (such as the location, weather and traffic conditions), which narrow down the searches for more accurate results. This means that you should pay more attention to the local SEO strategy and strengthen your presence on the local listings. Structuring the keywords around the 5 Ws (Who, Where, What, When and Why) is the best approach.

Recognize the natural speech patterns

Voice searches are conducted in the form of natural speech rather than being based on relevant keywords. The natural speech patterns are more contextual and conversational. This leads to a difference between what is typed and what is said, making it essential for marketers to recognize the nuances of natural speech patterns and their impact on search results.

Voice search technology is on the verge of explosion and adopting it is an important of making sure the business stays ahead of the competition. This is one trend that you cannot afford to ignore; rather, the sooner you do it, the better it will be for you!