What Is Voice Search Optimization (VSO)?

Did you know that 1 out of 4 searches online today are  voice  searches? If your business isn’t properly optimized for voice  search, you’ll miss out.  Voice Search Optimization, also  known as VSO, can help you get your business listings optimized on voice assistants.  Google is currently the largest search engine with voice search capabilities with Apple accounting for 50% of voice searches today.

Voice Search Optimization is a function that allows users of selected platform to search the internet with voice search commands instead of typing with keyboards. Google is currently the largest search engine with voice search capabilities.

Most Common Smart Voice Devices and Platforms

There are a handful of smart voice devices and platforms available right now. They are:


  • Google Home
  • Google Max
  • Google Mini
  • Android Devices


  • Echo 
  • Echo Dot
  • Echo Plus
  • Echo Show
  • Echo Look


  • All iOS-enabled devices use “Siri”


  • Windows Cortana

There isn’t much difference between a typed search query and a voice search query when it comes to ranking results. Users will be taken to a specific Google results page which will most likely be very close to the same result for both typed desktop queries and spoken word mobile device search queries. 

Just keep in mind that search query results can be different depending on the user’s location when on a mobile device. Oftentimes, cell phone towers could be overloaded with too many communications, resulting in moving users from one tower to another, which can skew the search results. 

There are four categories of voice search intentions

Informational Voice Search

This is where a user is seeking specific information and asks the device a question in order to receive an answer from the search engine platform. 

Local Voice Search Intent

Local Voice Search Intent happens when the user is looking for information about a local business. People often use the term “near me” with this type of search intent (i.e. “personal injury lawyer near me”).

Voice Search Assistance

This happens when the user tells the device to perform specific actions such as making phone calls, setting alarms, or setting reminders.

Voice Search Entertainment

Users will often make requests from the device to get information such as movie times/facts, music track surfing, event times, YouTube video information, etc. 


VSO is like SEO for voice. Outside of that, the two aren’t very different. The key difference is how users are searching for information. 

In a standard online search, users will go to the search engine on a desktop or mobile device, and type in specific keywords or search queries with fragments of information. On the other hand, voice searchers use natural language and ask full questions. 

What does this mean?

It means that in order to optimize for VSO, a different kind of approach is required.


What Next/

If your business isn’t properly optimized and submitted to the major voice  search platforms, it means you’re losing business to your competitors. but the  good news that it’s easily fixed thanks to our Online Foundations Premium service.

To learn more about how  to get your business ready for voice search in  2021 and beyond  give us a call or contact us here.