Search engine optimization (SEO) continues to change and evolve. Many old tactics that once worked in the early 2000s are no longer effective today. Some, in fact, can even trigger penalties, thereby lowering a website’s search rankings. One of the latest trends in SEO, however, involves targeting voice search queries. So, what is voice search exactly, and how will affect your business’s SEO strategy?

Voice Search Explained

Voice search is an online search performed using voice that returns results via an digital assistant’s voice. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve probably performed a voice search at some point in time. Smartphones and tablets, for example, typically feature at least one voice search app. Both Android and Apple devices now feature voice search technology. Furthermore, smart speakers like the Google Dot and Amazon Echo are designed specifically for voice search.

According to a report by WordStream, half of all searches will be performed using voice by 2020, attesting to the importance of voice search SEO. By optimizing your website to rank high for voice searches, you’ll connect with these users and increase your business’s online visibility.

How to Optimize Your Website for Voice Search

Optimizing your website for voice search requires a similar approach as traditional SEO. You must perform on-page optimizations, such as modifying title tags and meta descriptions, while also building backlinks to create the perception of an authoritative, popular website.

First, make sure your website is filled with great content. According to Backlinko, web pages ranking for voice search have an average number of 2,312 words. That’s pretty long, and writing articles and blog posts of this length requires time, resources and energy. If you’re willing to put forth the effort, though, you’ll have a greater chance of ranking your website for voice search queries.

You should also consider using HTTPS on your website. The secured version of the HTTP protocol, it’s a key ranking signal used by Google and other major search engines. And in the same report previously cited, websites with HTTPS are more likely to rank in voice search results than their HTTP counterparts. This makes sense because HTTPS offers greater security for users’ privacy.

There’s no foolproof way to ensure that your website ranks for its target keywords in voice search results. Following these tips, however, will increase your chances of success. Just remember to combine both on-page and off-page SEO for maximum results.