A Beginners Guide To Voice Search

Voice search isn’t just on the rise, it’s already here.

You may already use it yourself; asking your smartphone to call a parent, play a song, or search for the best place to have dinner. By 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches, according to econsultancy.

Here at Lethal, we understand the importance of keeping up with the current technological landscape and how digital trends will affect your business. Your success, is our success, so we’ve put together an overview of the leading digital assistants and how your website can be optimised for voice search, staying ahead of your competitors.

Here’s a quick chat I had with Gary Vee recently in Sydney.


Google Assistant - Voice Search

Google Assistant

“Ok, Google”

The virtual assistant developed by Google available on mobile and smart home devices, lets the user interact through natural voice. The assistant searches the Google index for answers, delivering an audible response, while allowing the user to engage through a conversational interface via Google Actions.

Google Actions allow you to extend the functionality of Google Assistant. The commands can be as simple as ‘Turn off the lights’, or as complex conversations such as: ‘Search for local shoe store.’, ‘What are their opening times?’, ‘Do they have any current sales?’

When building your own Google Actions, ensure there is a help section, room for personalisation (time zone, location etc.) and a range of command word variations and phrases.

Google Hub - Voice Search

Google Home or Google Home Hub

Google Home is a speaker and Google Home Hub is a display screen. Both utilise a built-in Google Assistant for voice commands, enabling the user to control multiple smart devices around their home, or search for how-to videos.

Google Home Hub is closely integrated with Youtube with special formatting, meaning when someone searches for a particular video, youtube is up front and centre.

Ensure your business is on the YouTube platform to answer product questions, help or general queries.

Amazon Alexa - Voice Search

Amazon Alexa

“Hey, Alexa”

Just like Google Assistant, Alexa is Amazon’s digital assistant with a standout shopping feature. User’s can shop on Amazon via voice commands, placing orders, checking delivery status and more. The application answers queries through the Bing search engine.

Just as we previously advised optimising your website and content with Google entities, the same goes for Bing Webmaster Tools and Bing properties. You’re placing your digital eggs in an array of search engine baskets, so to speak.

Alexa Skills allow developers to create their own voice apps with the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK- Genius, right!?)

Ask enables designers, developers and brands to build engaging skills and reach their customers through all Alexa-enabled devices, leveraging Amazon’s knowledge and work in the field of voice design.

Amazon Echo - Voice Search

Amazon Echo

Echo is Amazon’s Alexa- enabled smart speaker, similar to Google Home. Amazon were the first to pioneer this technology back in 2014. Whilst initially developed as a simple speaker, technological advances enabled the device to be used as a smart home hub. Echo also has support for third- party app, an attractive quality for consumers who use multiple platforms.

Apple Siri - Voice Search

Apple Siri

“Hey, Siri”

Apple’s virtual assistant, now embedded in every Iphone and only available on IOS, is a natural- language user interface that answers questions, provides recommendations and performs actions. Siri returns web results without audible answers, but is also used across many of Apple’s devices such as iMac and Apple TV.

Siri provides suggestions based on the user’s routines across apps and browsing. Similar to Amazon Skills and Google Actions, Apple let’s you create Siri Shortcuts, voice- activated apps that let you handle everyday tasks such as ordering coffee.

Apple has room for third-party apps, favouring Apple Music over Spotify for example, however SiriKit provides a framework to integrate some third-party apps into your IOS/ Watch apps for voice commands.

Apple Home Pod - Voice Search

Apple Home Pod

Apple’s version of Google Home and Amazon Echo is the HomePod. A quality smart speaker that is relatively new to the market. It can help with everyday tasks, pair up with other smart devices, and created a fully integrated and connected Apple Home Centre. This will appeal to users who prefer the seamless ease of sticking to all Apple products, however no smart display has been produced as of yet.

Microsoft Cortana - Voice Search

Microsoft Cortana

“Hey, Cortana”

Cortana Assistant by Microsoft can set reminders, recognise natural voice and uses the Bing search engine to answer questions. Unlike Siri, Cortana not only works across all Windows platforms, but also IOS, Invoke Smart Speaker, Amazon Alexa and more.

Cortana uses Alexa Skills, so to create an app for Cortana, you will need to develop an Alexa Skill.


Optimising for voice search

“How can voice search help my clients find me?”

The devices listed above are the current tools customers are using for voice search and while this may change in the future, Google Assistant is leaving anytime soon. To optimise your website in Google searches you need to be aiming for rich results in Google. When you go through Lethal for your website, you aren’t just getting a pretty shopfront; we know how to optimise your website for the best SEO results, just ask us how!

Conversational Questions

You may think abbreviated search terms are the way to go. After all, this is what most of us will type into Google. However, this does not work quite as well for voice search. Optimise the full question, such as “Where are women- only gyms near me?”

Featured Snippets

To get a coveted Rank 0 Position, Google finds the best match through H2 subheaders, so ensure you have entire questions ready to be mined.

Local SEO Importance

Optimise your website for local search. Your clients probably aren’t looking for a personal trainer on the other side of the world!

Page Speed

The average internet browser has a 3 second attention span. If your site is running too slow, you can lose customers fast. Optimise your site for fast loading.


How can we help you?

Do you have a question regarding voice search, or how we can help your business grow online? Drop us an email at info@lethal.com.au or comment below and join the conversation.