General and beginner resources
Still getting up to speed with what voice search is all about? We recommend starting with the following resources:
What is voice search? – If you’re looking for a straight-up definition of voice search, this link is a good place to start. WhatIs.com defines the concept in easy-to-grasp terms and also sheds light on the different applications of voice search.
Beginner’s Guide to Voice Search SEO – This post on Single Grain serves as a solid beginner’s guide to voice search from an SEO perspective. It starts off by giving a quick background of the state of voice search, then gives an overview of how search queries are evolving. It also fires off some basic tips on how to optimize web pages for voice search.
Voice Search: Is Your Content Prepared for the Verbal Revolution? – If you want to learn about this trend from a content marketing perspective, CMI’s post gives you exactly what you need. In addition to sharing insights into its growth and the basics of voice SEO, the post also tackles keyword research, voice vs. traditional search, optimizing your FAQs, and more.
The beginner’s guide to voice search engine optimization – In this post, you’ll learn why consumers are turning to voice search and what they’re looking for. You’ll get some basic details on what you need to do to get started with voice SEO.
Beginner’s guide to voice control – This article is about voice control technology. Unlike the other articles in this section, this piece doesn’t talk much about SEO. Instead, it provides fundamental information on the devices that leverage voice control technology and how to use or enable voice control on different devices and platforms.
Voice search statistics and data
This section includes articles and reports on voice search and voice technology. Have a look to learn about the key facts and stats surrounding voice.
Voice Marketing Tactics: There’s Only 100k Searches a Month Up For Grabs Anyway – Will Critchlow of Distilled discusses in some detail as to why he believes voice search isn’t as disruptive as many seem to think.
How voice assistance is reshaping consumer behaviour (article data) – Did you know that 52% of those who own a voice-activated speaker say they keep it in a common room (e.g. family room, living room, etc.)? Or that 62% of consumers who regularly use voice-activated devices say “they are likely to buy something” through the speaker in the next month? There are a lot of interesting stats around voice assistance, and Think with Google has compiled a number of them in this post.
Prepare for the voice revolution – For this report, PwC surveyed 1,000 Americans to gauge their awareness and usage of voice technology. The report also compares how different voice assistants stack up, and how they influencer smartphone and home purchases.
Time to Navigate the Super Myway – This page outlines the findings from the 2018 Accenture Digital Consumer Survey of 21,000 online consumers. The study identified stand-alone voice assistance as one of the hottest technologies, and Accenture shares some of the key data points they found.
Internet Trends 2017 – Code Conference – Presented by Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins, this is a slide deck that details the top global internet trends for 2017. There are a handful of slides on voice technology, which talk about voice-based mobile and home platforms. (Jump to page 46 of the deck to learn more.)
33 Voice Search Statistics to Prepare You for the Voice Search Revolution – In this post, WordStream shares some general voice search numbers, along with data on voice usage, user demographics, device statistics, and voice commerce stats.
OK Google, Siri, Alexa, Cortana; Can you tell me some stats on voice search? – The folks at Branded3 has put together voice search stats across different categories, including voice search usage and predictions to intent, commerce, and errors.
Will Reynolds Found of Seer Interactive: Shares some “OK Google” stats from their client base. 17.2 million search terms and approximately 120 million data points.
OK Google, What Are You Really Saying? by James McNulty – How we are using voice search and how voice search is impacting us today?
Voice Search Ranking Report – Report produced by the team at Roast marketing agency.
Resources on the devices and platforms that use voice control/voice search
Voice searches are conducted using different platforms and devices. There’s Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Cortana by Microsoft, and Google Assistant. In this section, you’ll find resources that shed light on these platforms and how they work.
Use Siri on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch – Here’s the official “how to” Siri article straight from Apple. It teaches you how to ask Siri a question, how to set up “Hey Siri,” how to change Siri’s voice or language, and more.
Our Siri guide: How to merge your life with Apple’s witty virtual assistant – Need another essential, step-by-step guide to using Siri? Digital Trends has one for you. This post gives you all the fundamentals, from setting up and using Siri to the standard voice commands and the future of the virtual assistant.
The Complete List of Siri Commands– Here’s a nifty list of all available Siri commands. If you’re looking for a cheat sheet of what to ask or tell Siri, this resource has you covered.
Siri: The ultimate guide – Now, if you want to geek out and go in-depth, iMore has the guide for you. This page tackles all the essential Siri features and commands, along with intermediate and advanced functions — including how to set up alarms, how to get directions, how to play and control music, how to search Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Wolfram|Alpha and so much more.
Google Home – Moving on to Google’s side of things, here’s the website of Google Home, the search giant’s foray into voice technology for households. Powered by Google Assistant, you can ask it all sorts of questions and tell it to do various things. Just say “Ok Google” followed by your command and you’ll be good to go.
Introducing Google Home – Need a more visual overview of Google Home? Watch Google’s short and sweet introductory video for the device.
The Total Beginner’s Guide to Using Google Home Like a Pro – Here’s a comprehensive guide to using Google Home. You’ll learn all about standard commands, adding skills, additional services, and more.
Use “OK Google” voice searches & actions – Google’s voice technology is accessible via Android phones and tablets. If you want to learn more about how to use “Ok Google” on your handheld gadgets, here’s a no-frills guide straight from the search giant.
Meet Alexa – Alexa, as Amazon defines it, is “the brain behind Echo and Alexa devices.” Like the other voice assistants we talk about in this section, Alexa can answer various questions and fulfil different commands. This site is Amazon’s official destination for all things Alexa. Use it to wise up on Alexa’s role in home entertainment, communication, news and information, shopping, etc.
34 Alexa tips and tricks – If you want to get the most out of Alexa, CNET has put together a list of “tips and tricks” for using Amazon’s voice assistant. It covers basic how-tos such as adding profiles and also dives into more intermediate features like adding non-supported smart home devices, creating routines, settling arguments and more.
Amazon Alexa ultimate guide: How to use and get more from your Amazon Echo – Interested in Amazon Echo and need an in-depth guide? Right, this way. The Ambient covers everything from the various Echo devices and their prices to setting up the gadgets and making full use of them.
Echo & Alexa Devices – In addition to Amazon Echo, Alexa works on various other devices. Check out this page for a list of devices that support Alexa and use it to learn more and compare different gadgets side-by-side.
Cortana – Cortana is Microsoft’s virtual assistant. It works on Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Phone 8.1, Invoke smart speaker, Microsoft Band, Xbox One, iOS, Android, Windows Mixed Reality, and even Amazon Alexa. This page is Microsoft’s official Cortana destination so visit it if you want to get the latest about this virtual assistant.
Cortana: Your Assistant for Life – Here’s a cool YouTube video showcasing Cortana in action. It’s a good way to see what some of the commands look like in the real world.
How to use Cortana – If you need a how-to article on using Cortana, Digital Trends has come up with a post that walks you through setting up the assistant, using search, using Cortana Home, Cortana Notebook, and connected accounts.
The story of Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri killer – If you’re interested in the story behind Cortana, here’s a detailed article by The Verge. It dives into what Cortana is all about, how it came into existence, and the steps Microsoft took to create it.
Siri vs. Google Assistant vs. Alexa vs. Cortana
We put Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana through a marathon of tests to see who’s winning the virtual assistant race — here’s what we found – The folks at Business Insider decided to test all these virtual assistants in various situations to see which one is the best. Spoiler alert: the author gave Google “the slight edge” because it was “the smoothest to use.” He wrote, “Even if Siri feels more in tune with the device it’s a part of, I felt more like a robot talking to it. The Assistant is also fun— it runs like something Google’s people enjoyed being creative with. And in the areas where Google was behind, the gap wasn’t huge.”
AI Faceoff: Siri vs. Cortana vs. Google Assistant vs. Alexa – Here’s another article that pits the different assistants against each other. It’s a great read, and if you’re curious about the final verdict, here it is: “Choose between Siri and Google Assistant based on convenience and what hardware you already have.”
Voice search SEO resources
If you’re in the SEO or online marketing space, these resources will teach you how to incorporate voice into your digital marketing strategy.
Speakable Schema Markup – Google launches speakable Schema markup for the latest news.
Aleyda Solís Optimize for Voice Search – Presentation from Learn Inbound conference.
SEO Strategy for Voice Search in Shopping – part 3 of a series on mobile indexing, Cindy Krum details ways you leverage your SEO strategy for voice search shopping era.
Does Voice Search and/or Conversational Search Change SEO Tactics or Strategy? – Whiteboard Friday – Here’s an excellent Whiteboard Friday video “about voice search, conversational search, Internet of things search, and how these attributes and the rise in these trends may or may not play a big role in our SEO strategy and tactics for the future.” In the video, Rand Fishkin looks at voice search from both a strategic and tactical standpoint and shares his take on what it means for different types of websites.
How Voice Search Will Change Digital Marketing — For the Better – This lengthy article gives a very detailed look at “how voice search will shake things up” in the digital marketing realm. It talks about the five core differences between conversational and text search, then offers actionable takeaways to help you adapt to voice search.
SEO in 2018: Optimizing for voice search – In this articles, Search Engine Land columnist Bryson Meunier discusses why your SEO tactics for voice should vary slightly from your tactics addressing traditional search.
OK, Google: How Do I Optimize My Site for Voice Search? – This meaty post has it all: an overview of voice search, why it’s on the rise, and what marketers should do to get a piece of the action. It even has a section on how to optimize your ad campaigns for voice search.
We Analyzed 10,000 Google Home Results. Here’s What We Learned About Voice Search SEO – This data-backed article talks about Backlinko’s findings from analyzing 10,000+ Google Home search results. Specifically, it sheds light on the impact of PageSpeed, HTTPS, and length on voice search results. It also tackles domain authority, social engagement, content, and more.
Are You Optimized for Voice Search? Here’s How to Do It – Here’s a tactical post on optimizing your site for voice. It discusses a bunch of best practices, including targeting long-tail keywords, beefing up your microdata, and monitoring performance, among other things.
How to Optimize Your Ecommerce Site for Voice Search – Specifically written for ecommerce merchants, this post helps online retailers optimize their stores for voice search. In addition to tried-and-true tips, it offers expert insights and pointers to help ecommerce sites dominate voice search.
The Step-By-Step Guide to Testing Voice Search Via PPC – Want to discover voice search opportunities for your business? Purna Virji presents a 5-step process to help you just that. In this post, you’ll learn how to uncover any voice activities for your business, how to extrapolate themes, optimize your campaigns, and more.
Voice Search 101 – This presentation answers the questions of What matters in voice search?, types of Google provided answers, types of featured snippets and How to write for voice search?
Voice search developer resources
If you’re looking to develop applications for voice-activated platforms, check out the following resources to get started:
Voice search developing for Siri
SiriKit – Apple Developer – This is the developer page for SirKit, which “enables your iOS apps and watchOS apps to work with Siri, so users can get things done using just their voice.” Use the resources on this site to develop apps that work with Siri.
SiriKit Documentation – This is Apple’s developer page which contains SiriKit documentation you can use to handle user requests for your Siri or Maps application services.
Voice search developing for Google Assistant
Actions on Google – This is the homepage for Actions on Google, a developer platform “that lets you create software to extend the functionality of the Google Assistant, Google’s virtual personal assistant, across more than 500 million devices, including smart speakers, phones, cars, TVs, headphones, watches, and more.”
Actions on Google – Overview – This page points you to detailed guides on developing for the Actions on Google platform.
Google Assistant SDK for devices – Overview – Check this page for a detailed overview of the Google Assistant SDK. It contains info on the SKD components, prototypes, as well as a developer preview and roadmap.
Voice search developing for Alexa
Amazon Alexa (developer.amazon.com) – This is the developer website for Amazon Alexa. In it, you’ll find out lots of info on what you can build with Alexa and the various Alexa programs out there.
Alexa Skills Kit – According to Amazon, the “Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) is a collection of self-service APIs, tools, documentation, and code samples that makes it fast and easy for you to add skills to Alexa.” This site is home to all things ASK so that you can learn, design, build, and launch your skill.
Amazon Developer Documentation – Go to this website to get various Alexa resources (i.e., ASK, custom skills, skills for Echo Show, Alexa Voice Service, etc.). You can also check out Alexa on Github, submit your Alexa skills, and do live app testing through this site.
Voice search developing for Cortana
Microsoft Cortana Dev Center – Looking to develop for Cortana? This site is the best place to start. It contains the latest news, as well as samples and documentation to let you create Cortana skills.
Cortana Dev Center – Devices – This site gives you the need-to-know info for building a Cortana device. Sign up to learn how to create a voice-enabled device or check out the Cortana Devices SDK using Microsoft’s sample for the Raspberry Pi.
Voice search examples and case studies
L’Oréal Gains Edge on Striking Distance Voice Search Queries – In this video, Carlos Spallarossa, Director of SEO at L’Oréal, talks about the impact of voice search on their content strategy and what they’re doing to ensure that L’Oréal comes out on top for crucial voice search queries.
Sheetz Introduces Voice Activated Ordering – In late 2017, fast food company Sheetz launched voice-activated ordering for Alexa. Customers just need to login to their Sheetz account, enable the Sheetz skill on their Alexa device, then say something like “Alexa, order my favourite from Sheetz.
Take that Alexa! Wal-Mart partners with Google to offer voice shopping – In 2017, Wal-Mart gave its customers the ability to shop from them with the help of Google Assistant. Shoppers who linked their Wal-Mart accounts to Google Express could place voice orders by giving commands like “Google, buy jam.” Then, to figure out which flavour and brand of jam to order, Google would scan the shopper’s Wal-Mart purchase history to determine the right item.
Target takes voice-activated shopping nationwide with Google, joining Wal-Mart in the fight against Amazon -Target aligned itself with Google by allowing shoppers to link their Target.com account to Google, enabling consumers to shop from Target using Google Assistant. According to CNBC, “Target’s product assortment on Google Express will include anything in a typical Target store, which will serve as fulfilment centres. In 2018, shoppers will be able to pick up their Target purchases made via Google Express at Target stores, should they want to forgo waiting on a shipment.”
Burger King ‘O.K. Google’ Ad Doesn’t Seem O.K. With Google – Here’s another example of voice search in action. In 2017, Burger King ran a TV ad that was intended to prompt voice-activated Google devices to talk about its burgers.
As the New York Times reports, here’s how it went down:
“You’re watching a 15-second Burger King ad, which is unfortunately not enough time to explain all the fresh ingredients in the Whopper sandwich,” the actor in the commercial said. “ But I got an idea. O.K. Google, what is the Whopper burger?”
Prompted by the phrase “O.K. Google,” the Google Home device beside the TV in the video lit up, searched the phrase on Wikipedia and stated the ingredients.
The advertising stunt didn’t seem to sit well with Google, though. Within hours of its airing, Google made changes to its platform to prevent the ad from activating its devices.
How to Manage Your Brand for the Machine Channel by Martha van Berkel.
Resources on the future of voice search
Voice search is here to stay. The question is, what does the future hold for the technology? The following articles provide insights into what’s next for voice search.
Voice Search and the future of SEO – This article explores how voice search will shape the future of SEO in terms of content creation, mobile optimization, keyword research, and more.
How Voice Search Will Change The Future Of SEO – Another informative article on the future of voice search and SEO, this piece provides more details on three main things: the use of natural speech patterns, long-tail keywords, and mobile.
The Undeniable Impact of Voice Search on the Future of SEO – In addition to sharing insights on how voice search will impact SEO, this article sheds light on the problems and opportunities that voice search will bring up. It also has tremendous info on how to adapt your business for voice, and it shares practical advice on using the technology as your customers do.
Prepare for the voice revolution – “How and why are voice assistants being used?” “What do consumers think of the technology, and what are the primary needs, current use cases, opportunities and concerns?” These are just some of the questions that this PwC report aims to answer. Check it out to understand the strengths and use cases for voice assistance, the accelerators of the technology, and the top concerns consumers have about the technology.
According to many high profile “futurists,” voice search is the future. Personally, I am a believer in voice search however I find much of the data and conference quotes to be far fetched with little evidence to back up those far-reaching claims.
This website was curated by Carl Hendy who works within Ecommerce and SEO by day. You can follow me on Twitter if you wish to share more voice search related resources. This website will continually be updated and very much a work in progress. I also offer voice search consultancy.
Did we miss any key voice search links or resources? Get in touch to let us know!