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Voice search


Voice search, as the name suggests, allows users to express their query aloud, rather than having to type it into the search engine bar.

This tool is used in a number of ways:

  • To make a query in the search engine
  • To request specific and timely information, such as weather, time, etc.
  • To launch applications and programs
  • To search for content such as videos or music
  • To call someone or reply to a message

In addition, it can be used through three different types of devices:

  • Mobile phones with voice assistance
  • Computers also equipped with this assistance
  • Connected objects equipped with such features, such as Google Home

This voice recognition technology is booming, and is having an impact on the SEO of websites.

Internaute utilisant la recherche vocale

The different voice assistants

Google Assistant

Google Assistant finds results via Google search. It reads aloud the first results displayed in the SERP, whether they are Featured Snippets, local results, or traditional websites.


Siri relies on Google maps for local results. It is therefore important that your business is listed there if you want to appear in searches. Also, prior to 2017, Siri relied on Bing to provide results for voice searches, before switching to Google, which it now relies on.


Alexa is not as good as Google Home at answering complicated questions. It relies on both its own knowledge base, as well as that of Bing, to answer questions posed by users.


Cortana is a voice assistant based on Bing, Microsoft’s search engine. Although Bing has been overtaken by Google, it is important to bear in mind that Bing is the source of much of the traffic. Cortana is therefore a voice assistant that is not as well known as Siri, but is nevertheless widely used.

The value of voice search in SEO

Growing importance of voice search

Voice search is a way of querying search engines that has become increasingly popular in recent years.

This is partly due to the increased sophistication of voice recognition systems. For example, Cortana now has an error rate of 5.1%, which is the same as the error rate of a human.

In addition, voice assistance greatly facilitates the search process, making it faster and more accessible. Indeed, using voice search allows you to get a quick result to your question, without having to open your search engine to type your query. It has been proven that speech is 4 times faster than writing. Moreover, its ease of use makes it accessible to everyone, including the visually impaired.

Here are some figures to give you an idea of the success of voice search:

  • Almost 50% of internet users use voice search to buy products
  • 65% of 25-49 year olds talk to their voice assistants every day
  • 1.7 million French people use voice-controlled speakers
  • 52.8% of internet users use voice search while driving
  • 41% of adults use voice search

Its impact on the SEO of a site

This new search mode has completely revolutionised the Internet and the SEO of websites. Indeed, the objective of Google, and of all other search engines, is to classify results in order of relevance, in order to provide the clearest and most effective response possible to the user. However, the questions and keywords used in a voice search are not the same as those used in a written search, which has an impact on the results that Google will bring up first. The factors that influence the ranking of sites will not necessarily have the same impact on voice search.

Instead, the methods used to optimise for voice search will help your SEO in general. So the two are not totally separate, and it is interesting and a good practice to look at optimising your website from a voice search perspective.

Advice on optimising your website for voice search

Optimise the readability and accessibility of your content

Structured data corresponds to precise information about a content, defined in specific tags. For example, for the Allociné site, the structured data will be the following: film title, author, release date, etc. This structured data improves the readability of a site, both for Google and for users, by giving them important information directly.

The purpose of such data is to help Google, and other search engines, to identify the important information in your content so that they can provide it in response to a voice search.

In addition, increasing the responsiveness of your site is also important for ranking higher in voice search results. Just as with a traditional search, Google voice search favours sites that load quickly. It is therefore important to optimise the loading speed of your pages, and more specifically of your images and videos.

Focus on local SEO

Many businesses are creating their own websites and focusing their SEO strategy on local search. Many users tend to search for establishments near their home when using a voice search such as “Where to eat Italian in…?

Consequently, optimising your website for voice search will give you an advantage over your competitors by making your site stand out first in the results following a search of this type.

Adopting conversational language as a writing style

Voice SEO is based on conversational language. Indeed, 41% of people using a voice assistant feel like they are talking to someone close to them, or at least to a real person. People are therefore looking for conversational responses, and it’s these results that Google will bring up in the SERP.

You don’t have to completely change the way you write your content. Only the parts that directly answer the user’s question should be changed in order to be adapted to voice search, and to answer the question in a relevant way.

Tailor your content to longer queries

Searches are no longer made in the form of keywords, but in the form of complete questions. With voice search, you don’t search for “cheap restaurant Montmartre“, but “In which restaurant can you eat for cheap in Montmartre?”.

It is around these questions that you must build your response, and not only around simple keywords.

One way to optimise your content for long queries is to create a FAQ. This allows you to directly answer the questions your customers might ask, without over-optimising your content. You can either create an FAQ page, or add an FAQ section under each category on your website. This will help users and search engines understand your site better, and make your content more interactive.

Make your site mobile friendly

More than 7 out of 10 French people own a mobile phone. Mobile search accounts for more than half of all searches, and many are done through a voice assistant.

When the page takes too long to load, the user’s instinct is to leave the page and open another one. So it is in your interest to make your website mobile friendly in order to reduce its loading time and not lose your traffic.

Move to position zero

Position zero is a strategically important position to aim for in your voice SEO strategy. Indeed, during a voice search, the result displayed in position zero will be read aloud, and will thus reach more users. It is therefore essential to position yourself there.

Sign up to Google My Business

Having a listing on Google My Business is a good way for Google to find out more information about your business, such as its address, opening hours, phone number, etc. The majority of voice searches are local in nature. Having your business listed in Google My Business will help position your business when a voice search is performed.

What are the early stages

Voice search is a new tool that is not yet fully integrated into SEO strategies. However, there are steps to be taken beforehand that can help you to learn about this technology and use it to your advantage in your search engine optimisation.

Analyse relevant keywords

You need to come up with a list of relevant keywords, contained in the questions your customers might ask, that should be included in your content. To do this, it is worth doing voice research yourself for your brand. This will allow you to put yourself in the shoes of one of your customers and understand and identify the questions you need to answer in your content.

Analyse your audience

Analysing your audience is the essential step in finding the right keywords to position yourself on. Indeed, analysing your audience will allow you to know the way a person looks for your product.

To do this, brainstorm with your team, where everyone gives their ideas from their point of view. Read social networks, look at forums: analyse the way your customers express themselves.

Analyse the competition

Obviously, you need to analyse your competition. This will allow you to know who is already present on your voice search queries, and how they have managed to position themselves at the top of the SERP.

In addition, analysing your competitors will also allow you to identify keywords on which to position yourself, and questions to answer, without having to analyse your customers first.

The most popular definitions

conversational search
real time search
informational search
local search
navigational search
trademark application
predictive search
transactional search
universal search
visual search
voice search
generic query

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