According to one U.S.-based online analytics company, half of all searches will be verbal requests by 2020. Voice search is not something people only use on mobile phones and tablets. Windows 10 users can speak to Cortana rather than opening a web browser. Amazon’s Echo sits in the room and listens to everything you say. Voice search is no longer just mobile-based.

How Voice Search Is Changing the Internet

Even Google had to react to voice searches. The fact is, we word things differently when speaking, as opposed to typing in a search bar. Search has to be able to respond to complete sentences and fully formed questions. No one types, “What is the best Italian restaurant near me?” but that’s exactly how we ask Siri or Google.

On the plus side, voice search gives us a glimpse into the mind of the searcher. Is this simple research, or is the person who’s speaking ready to make a purchase right now? The type of question gives away the answer. Questions that begin with what, who, or how are usually informational. For example:

  • Who is the Executive Chef at The Forge?
  • How much horsepower does the 2016 Nissan Maxima have?

These individuals are still trying to make a decision. But what if someone asks:

  • When does The Forge open for dinner?
  • Where can I buy a 2016 Nissan Maxima near me?

When and where questions generally indicate that someone is ready to make a purchase. Armed with this knowledge, how can you successfully market to voice searchers?

  • Natural Content – Voice searches are spoken naturally, so naturally written content is more likely to rank higher in a search engine. “Where is the best donut shop in town?” is not only easier to fit into your content—it is probably not the most contested search term.
  • Discern Intent – Send who, what, and how searches to your authoritative content to build confidence in your brand. Send when and where searches to your sales copy to close the deal.
  • Website Structure – Make sure it easy for searches to crawl and understand your website. The easier it is for Google to look at what you have, the more likely you are to appear as a top result for a long-tail keyword like an entire spoken sentence or question.