What Is Voice Search?

Adam Steele
Feb 16, 2024
what is voice search

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“Hey, Siri,” “Okay, Google,” and “Alexa” mark the dawn of a new era where microphones are taking the lead, and keyboards are taking a backseat.

Welcome to the realm of voice search—a new era of technology that isn’t a future prediction; it’s happening right now.

A staggering 50 percent of US consumers use voice search daily, and this trend shows no sign of slowing down. So much so that seven out of ten consumers prefer to use voice searches to conduct searches over traditional typing. From convenience to speed, voice search revolutionizes how we access information and engage with our devices.

To get you up to speed with everything new in the voice search space, in this guide, we

  1. explore the question, “What is voice search?”
  2. delve into its workings, its implications for the world of SEO,
  3. and why, as its popularity skyrockets, we all need to sit up and listen.

What Is Voice Search?

Voice search works just how it reads. It’s a speech-recognition technology that allows users to search the internet by speaking out loud into a device’s microphone rather than typing into a search bar. If you are new to voice search, imagine the hands-free convenience of asking your phone, “Where’s the nearest pizza place?” or your smart speaker, “What’s the weather like today?” That’s voice search, making your interactions with your devices far more effortless and frictionless than using a touchscreen keyboard.

How Does Voice Search Work?

So, like, when you speak, how does your device know you’re asking for a pizza restaurant rather than a store to buy the raw ingredients? This is where Natural Language Processing (NLP) comes into play. NLP was developed to allow your device to interpret, understand, and respond to spoken language in a meaningful, helpful, and relevant way.

How does this work?

When you speak to your device, it records your speech. The audio clip is then sent to a server, where it converts the soundbite into text. This is where the NLP steps in. It analyzes the text and determines your search intent.

So, let’s say you ask, “Where’s the nearest pizza place?” the NLP understands that probabilistically, you’re likely looking for a pizza restaurant, not a supermarket that sells flour, tomato sauce, and pepperoni. Once this distinguishment has been made, the server then sends the interpreted query to the search engine to fetch the relevant information, which is converted back into audio and read out loud by your device.

Learn more: SEO glossary 250+ terms explained.

Why Is Voice Search Important (to SEO)?

For us SEO nerds, here’s where things get very interesting. As voice search grows in popularity, it’s having an impact on people’s search habits. Why? People interact with voice assistants differently than they do search bars. For instance, while a typed query might be “Weather New York,” a voice search is more likely to be longtail, meaning 6-7 words rather than 3-4, perhaps something like “What’s the weather like in New York today?”

As a result of all this, search engines are evolving to understand these more conversational, natural language queries. As such, you should be ready to pivot and shift your SEO strategies to match this new field of play.

How Voice Search Influences SEO Strategies

Voice searches, in terms of spoken results to a search, often yield only one answer. Unlike traditional search results, where you have a page full of options, voice search requires a single, definitive response. This is changing how businesses optimize their online presence, pushing them to aim for featured snippets or “position zero” on search engine results pages—the source of information often used to answer a searcher’s query.

The importance of local SEO has also skyrocketed. Many voice searches are location-based, with users often appending their queries with “near me.” Ensuring your business appears for these searches is key to tapping into the growing pool of voice search users.

How to Optimize Your Site for Voice Search

Optimizing for voice search isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula—it’s a medley of strategies that holistically address the unique aspects presented to us by voice-based search queries.

Keyword Research for Voice Search

As voice searches are typically in question format, keyword research should also align with this trend. Long-tail, conversational keywords that answer who, what, where, when, why, and how questions are crucial.

Site Structure and Content Development

An organized site with clear, well-structured content will likely be picked up by voice search. Consider creating FAQ pages that address common queries in your industry. Not only will this cater to the question-and-answer format of voice search, but it’ll also boost your chances of securing that coveted “Position Zero.”

Structured Data Optimization

Structured data, or schema markup, helps search engines understand the context of your content. So, by providing explicit clues about your page’s content, you enhance your website’s visibility for relevant queries—boosting your chances of being the go-to answer for voice searches.


And given that a significant portion of voice searches occur on mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website is non-negotiable. From responsive design to quick load times, ensuring your site is easy to navigate on a mobile device can go a long way in optimizing for voice search.

The Future of Voice Search

If you’re under the impression that voice search is merely a passing trend, think again. With smart speaker ownership growing and giants like Google, Apple, and Amazon constantly refining their virtual assistants, the future of voice search looks more promising than ever.

Voice Search Trends

The coming years are set to witness a profound shift towards more interactive, personalized voice experiences. There’s an ongoing move towards understanding the emotional context of voice queries, enabling responses that resonate more deeply with users. We’re also likely to see a rise in voice commerce, with users becoming increasingly comfortable purchasing using voice commands.

The blending of voice and visual elements in smart displays will also elevate the user experience, enabling voice queries to produce rich, visually engaging results. As artificial intelligence becomes more advanced, voice assistants will better understand accents, dialects, and languages, making voice search more accessible globally.

The Importance of Local Listings in Voice Search

As we hinted at above, local listings are emerging as a critical aspect of voice search. With a significant portion of voice searches being local in nature—think “best Italian restaurant near me” or “nearest gas station”—ensuring your business is optimized for local search becomes essential.

A robust local SEO strategy involves maintaining accurate, consistent information across all listings, garnering positive reviews, and leveraging schema markup to provide search engines with comprehensive data about your business.

In the realm of voice search, being locally visible isn’t just about reaching customers—it’s about reaching customers at the exact moment they’re looking for your services. And with the exponential rise of voice search, that “exact moment” is happening more frequently than you might think.


The rise of voice search is more than just a trend—it’s a technological shift rewriting the rules of online interaction and user engagement. And with the future of search moving towards more human-like interactions, having an SEO strategy that caters to this evolving landscape is more critical than ever.

That’s where Loganix comes in—our suite of SEO services is designed to help businesses like yours navigate the changing tides of the SEO world and stay ahead of the game.

🚀 Ready to make your business voice-ready and SEO-optimized? Contact Loganix today, and let’s embark on the voice search journey together. 🚀

Hand off the toughest tasks in SEO, PPC, and content without compromising quality

Explore Services

Written by Adam Steele on February 16, 2024

COO and Product Director at Loganix. Recovering SEO, now focused on the understanding how Loganix can make the work-lives of SEO and agency folks more enjoyable, and profitable. Writing from beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.